BOYS BASKETBALL: On-the-rise Bloomfield Hills cruising in 2014, bests Clarkston in convincing fashion |
BLOOMFIELD HILLS – The Bloomfield Hills Black Hawks are the toast of the Oakland County prep boys basketball world.
Catching fire since Christmas, Bloomfield Hills is picking up steam like a runaway locomotive.
The Black Hawks knocked off mighty Clarkston 74-62 Tuesday night before a jam-packed home crowd, forcing a first-place tie in the OAA Red with the victory and making history in the process.
Prior to Tuesday, no high school boys hoops squad from the city of Bloomfield Hills had ever beaten perennial state-power Clarkston, a year-in-year-out Oakland County darling and the seven-time defending champions of the Red Division.
“Beating Clarkston is a big deal, a big step for this program,” Black Hawks head coach Duane Graves, said.
Bloomfield Hills (10-1) hasn't lost in a month in a half.
Graves and his staff have been unfazed by being saddled with the added responsibility of blending former separate city teams and arch-rivals Andover and Lahser into one cohesive group this winter.
Last year, while Graves was coaching Lahser, his Knights played tough with Clarkston, but eventually lost.
Many players off Graves’ Lahser club that repeated as district and OAA league champs last winter are on this season’s Bloomfield Hills team.
Senior combo guard Armand Cartwright led all scorers Tuesday with 24 points to go along with his five assists and three steals.
Fellow seniors Khalil Gracey and Yante Maten proved just as destructive to the veteran Clarkston defense. Gracey, the Black Hawks’ ultra-smooth small forward scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds, and Maten, possibly the best fella in the whole state, posted his customary double-double of 12 points and 16 boards.
Both Gracey and Maten threw down rim-rattling sla