BOYS BASKETBALL: Fenton makes Holly its 26th straight FML victim |
BY DAN STICKRADT
FENTON — If last season’s gaudy 22-2 record didn’t serve notice, Fenton’s 10-0 start to the 2012-13 boys basketball season is another reminder that the Tigers are legitimate.
Fenton made Holly its 68th victim in the past four seasons by recording a 66-43 Flint Metro League boys basketball victory over the visiting Bronchos.
Fenton (10-0, 8-0) opened with a 23-6 run in the first quarter and the outcome was never in doubt.
“It’s nice to see us start to gain some recognition,” smiled Fenton coach Tim Olszewski of his team’s success in recent years. “This is my ninth year and here and we’ve been building towards this for several years. Last season we won the league and district titles and now we are off to another great start. The veterans are playing some very good basketball and the younger players are starting to catch on a little bit.”
Fenton’s balanced attack was led by Eric Readman, who scored a game-high 21 points with 12 rebounds and four assists for the Tigers, who posted a 40-27 edge on the boards.
Cory Cox added 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots, Mitchell Shegos added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists, Damon Thomas tossed win eight points with four rebounds and James Claborn corralled nine boards for Fenton.
It was a typical night for the Tigers, who have won 26 straight league games and are on pace for their fourth straight FML title.
“That’s one of our goals,” said Shegos.”We have a lot of experience on this team and it all starts with our coaches. They don’t let us take time off. We play hard all of the time.”
Holly found that out Friday night. The Bronchos were never in the game against the league’s most experienced ballclub.
Holly’s program has future sights on where Fenton is currently nestled — the Class A top 20. The Bronchos have a roster four sophomores and two freshmen, although two of the team’s best players, sophomores Parker Rowse and Isaac Casillas, are currently on the sidelines with injuries.
“Sometimes the other team is just better,” conceded Holly coach Lance Baylis. “They have a lot of experience and we are young. Plus two of our better players were on the bench tonight, unable to play. Isaac Casillas is our top returning scorer from last season, averaging around nine a game, and he’s been out most of the season. Parker Rowse also played varsity as a freshman and is a pure point guard and he’s been out for a few games. Missing those two guys hurts.
“Our freshman, Kyle Woodruff, had another solid shooting night. With him on one corner, he gives us a nice option. But we just don’t have another shooter on the other corner and that hurts against a very good team like Fenton,” continued Baylis. “We had a hard time handling the basketball in the first half and when you only have one pure shooter, it’s hard to match up with a team like Fenton with so many ball-handlers and shooters.”
Holly, which had won six straight league games, did climb to within 14 points at 53-39 with four minutes to play, but that was as close as the Bronchos could get down the stretch.
Fenton responded with an 11-0 run to open up a 25-point lead with 1:33 to play.
Woodruff finished the night with 17 points, canning four 3-pointers on seven attempts — all four treys were on consecutive shots. Holly did not have any other players reach double figures.
Sophomore Joshua Simms added nine points and five rebounds off the bench for Holly, which converted just 15-of-47 shots from the floor.
Fenton shot 19-for-51 and also made 16-of-29 free throws and 8-of-20 three-pointers.
(Dan Stickradt is Senior Editor for Digital Daily www.northoaklandsports.com and The Real Deal sports and coupons magazine, as well as a freelance writer for multiple media outlets, including State Champs! High School Sports Show website. He is a 20-year veteran sports journalist based in Oakland County, Mich. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @LocalSportsFans.)