2nd Half Comeback not Enough Against Rival Catholic Central

Rice vs Jesuit BBall (26)-MIf Brother Rice has plans on making it to the Catholic League tournament for the first time in several years, they will need some help from others in the league as the Warriors dropped a must-win game against Catholic Central 58-56 tonight.

“We no longer control our own destiny,” said Head Coach, Ed Shaffer.

Both the Warriors and Shamrocks had the benefit of a snow day, but only one team showed up to play in the first half—the Shamrocks.

“It was disappointing that we didn’t come into the game playing with the sense of urgency we needed. If you don’t come to play in this league, you’re going to lose. The bottom line is, they were ready and we were not.”

In the first half the Warriors were beat to loose ball, beat on the boards, and got beat off the dribble repeatedly. Even so, the Shamrocks held only a 4-point lead at the half.

The Warriors got themselves back in the game in the 2nd half due to a spark from Junior-guard, Varcellus Seaton, and Seniors, Brad Royer, Brendan Smith, Dominic Downs and Kevin Hayes, all of which combined for 14 points in the 4th quarter.

But the Warriors comeback fell short at the end as they couldn’t make a defensive stop or execute a desperation three at the buzzer.

Head Coach, Ed Shaffer, summed things up at the end by saying, “On a positive note, this creates an opportunity for us to improve. We need to learn our lesson and get ready for the stretch run, the Catholic League tournament and the state playoffs. We got key contributions from a few veterans, as well as a few reserves, that we can build on. If it makes us better, then it was probably worth it.”

Brother Rice was paced by Hayes with 19 points, Downs with 17 points and 5 assists, and Nick Bielkie who added 10 points and 5 assists.

The Warriors fell to 9-4, 3-3 in the CHSL as they prepare for a rematch against Warren De La Salle on Friday, February 6th.

Seniors Lead the way on Senior Night

DSC_0005-MIt’s every high school coach’s dream to have a Senior led team, but with that comes the problem of who to start on that one special night known as Senior night. Brother Rice Head Coach, Ed Shaffer, was faced with this exact problem tonight as his team defeated crosstown rival Birmingham Seaholm 73-62.

Shaffer found that the best way to share the honor was for the ten Seniors to split time in the first quarter. Some coaches would find this difficult to do with their team—but not with this squad. “I really appreciated the sacrifices our underclassmen made tonight to let our Seniors have their moment,” said Varsity Assistant, Scott Sheckell.

As for the game, it was a typical Senior led night from Brother Rice being led by Kevin Hayes, 25 points and 6 rebounds, and Dominic Downs, 22 points and 4 assists. Seaholm didn’t go down without a fight, however, keeping the game within striking distance the entire time led by Austin Roth, who played a great game (29 points) and kept Seaholm in it with some spectacular plays.

“It’s fitting that Hayes and Downs – our most veteran guys (each were called up to Varsity late in their Freshmen seasons and have been with us ever since) – were the two guys who led us tonight. Dom handling the ball and knocking down shots, Kevin inside and in transition, both playing hard on the defensive end. I’m really proud of those two tonight,” said Shaffer.

Shaffer went on to say, “It was a great atmosphere to honor our Seniors. We played with a lot of emotion early, and both students sections were crazy, so that got us going. Our “Goon Squad” has been a great sixth man this year – our guys really feed off their energy.”


Collins lifts U-D Jesuit past Brother Rice, 62-46

DETROIT – Birmingham Brother Rice basketball coach Ed Shaffer had a lot of things to plan for when preparing for U-D Jesuit on Friday.

However, the Warriors’ coach didn’t expect Jesuit senior Gary Collins to be a big problem from the perimeter. He was.

Collins had four 3-pointers, all in the second half, to lead all scorers with 18 points and carry seventh-ranked U-D Jesuit to a 62-46 win over Brother Rice in front of a packed house at the home of the Cubs.

“Our defensive game plan was good. (Collins) hit some shots that we didn’t expect him to,” Shaffer said. “We said if (Jesuit) knocks down shots from the outside, they are going to beat us because we have too many things inside to worry about. (Jesuit) is a really good team.”

The Warriors (7-3, 2-2 Catholic League) seemed to be in good position to compete with the Cubs, as they established a 25-21 lead midway through the second quarter behind five 3-pointers from the team in the first half.

“We can shoot the ball. We haven’t the last couple games, but (Jesuit) had a great student section that fired our guys up and I felt like we were going to knock down shots (Friday),” Shaffer said.

The lead would be the last the Warriors would have for the night, as the Cubs (9-1, 3-0) scored the final 10 points of the first half to take a 31-25 lead at the break.

Jesuit would then score the first seven points of the second half behind a pair of 3-pointers from Collins to cap a 17-0 run and give the Cubs a 38-25 lead.

“Gary had a great night,” Pat Donnelley said. “He shot the ball extremely well from the perimeter (Friday), which I was really happy to see. We needed him (Friday) to do that.”

Once Jesuit regained the lead, it locked in on defense and held the Warriors without a 3-pointer in the second half.

“We worked on not helping off their shooters, because we wanted to try and make (Rice) score off the dribble and we gave them too many help situations where they got open (3-pointers) in the first half,” Donnelly said. “In the second half, we did a much better job defensively.”

The Warriors struggled to deal with the Cubs’ constant defensive pressure, committing a number of turnovers in the second half that kept them from putting together a real threat at regaining the lead.

“Turnovers are going to happen against (Jesuit),” Shaffer said. “They are really good defensively and they mix it up well. They are a really good team.”

Brother Rice cut the lead down to nine points at 54-45 with 2:35 to play, but it wouldn’t get any closer.

Junior point guard Cassius Winston had 13 points to aid the Cubs while Elijah Collins finished with eight points.

Kevin Hayes had 13 points and six rebounds to lead Brother Rice while Ryan Jordan had 10 points and Karl Kauffman added nine.

McKay’s 29 Leads De La Salle Past Warriors

BLOOMFIELD HILLS – Behind 29 points from junior Kevin McKay, Warren De La Salle outscored Birmingham Brother Rice 21-10 in the fourth quarter Tuesday to collect a 60-46 win and improve to 2-0 in the Catholic League Central.
“Brother Rice can shoot the three and is a very well-coached team with 10 seniors, so we knew that we couldn’t let them get comfortable shooting 3-pointers tonight,” De La Salle coach Greg Esler said. “Our goal was to hold them to 44, so we obviously did a good job on defense tonight. We were able to take away their 3-point shooting and made it uncomfortable for them, which I think was the big key for us.”

Despite being hampered with four fouls for much of the fourth quarter, McKay tallied 19 of his game-high 29 points in the second half, leading De La Salle down the stretch.

“There’s no question about, Kevin is a great player,” Esler said. “Kevin can take the ball to the basket and shoot, but I thought everyone contributed tonight. Josh (Winowiecki) may not have gotten the ball a lot tonight, but he did a great job of taking the ball to the basket and getting a couple of offensive rebounds which opened up the offense quite a bit for us. We also had some great post play from Jack (Ballantyne).

Ballantyne finished in double figures for De La Salle with 13 points and Winowiecki added eight.

Fresh off of a 54-47 loss on Saturday to Detroit Communication and Media Arts, the Pilots (7-3, 2-0 CHSL Central) did find themselves trailing 13-11 after the opening quarter of Tuesday’s tilt. Following the break, De La Salle opened the second with a press and went on an 11-0 run to grab a 22-11 lead with 2:53 before the half, effectively turning the tides for good in the process.

“We started to put more pressure on them in the second quarter with the diamond press, and then we went to our run and jump defense, which is where they started to turn the ball over a couple of times and we were able to convert,” Esler said. “We also had some good spurts tonight. They were able to cut it close in the third quarter, but our kids stepped up to give us a good team win tonight.”

Brother Rice (7-2, 2-1 CHSL Central) answered the Pilots with a 6-0 run late in the second and trailed 26-19 at the half. The Warriors twice tied the contest in the third quarter, including with 15 seconds left in the third before an old-fashioned three-point play by McKay with six seconds remaining gave De La Salle a 39-36 lead after three.

“They gave us some pressure tonight and that caused us problems,” Brother Rice coach Ed Shaffer said. “We made that run out of a timeout to go 6-0 and get back in it, so I thought we answered the pressure a little bit. They just overall executed better than us tonight. They were just a little bit better than us tonight, so we’ve got to turn the tables when we go over there.”

Kevin Hayes led the Warriors with 18 points, while Drew Gallagher and Davis Feldman chipped in with seven and six, respectively.

De La Salle returns to action on Friday, traveling to Novi Detroit Catholic Central, while Brother Rice travels to No. 7-ranked University of Detroit Jesuit to face Cassius Winston and the Cubs.

Warriors Spend MLK day Serving

unnamedWhile most schools took the day off to celebrate the life of Martin Luther King Jr., the Brother Rice Warriors basketball program decided to serve and give back to the community to celebrate MLK day.

Both varsity and junior varsity basketball teams went to Gleaner’s Food Bank distribution facility in Detroit to help make it a little easier for Gleaner’s to get food to other families in need.

The 33 players, coaches and managers worked together to package potatoes for needy families. In their 3 1/2-hour shift, the group received education about Gleaner’s and how it serves the community.

The guys then were sent to package more than 6,000 pounds – three tons – of potatoes that were to be distributed to hungry families and individuals later in the week.

The basketball program has been serving others on MLK day for several years. Every year they choose a different location to try and reach as many different people as they possibly can. Brother Rice alum and Varsity Assistant Coach, Leon McDonald, stressed the importance of the day by saying, “It’s always great to get these guys together off the court and see them interact and get to know each other in a different way, but to do it in the spirit of this day, doing something for others, that’s what really made it special.”

The freshman squad also got in the spirit of the day by going to Centro Multicultural La Familia (CMLF) in Pontiac. The 24 players and coaches assisted the organization by cleaning, moving furniture and beautifying the office for the non-profit organization.

“I was unsure as to how our guys would react to having to come in early on a day off, let alone a Monday morning. However, I found myself pleasantly surprised how they all embraced the idea of serving one another and had fun while doing it,” said Freshman-Black Head Coach, Adam Walentowicz.

To complete the day, all four teams fit in a practice either before or after their service projects.

Warriors’ Comeback Keeps Brother Rice Hoopsters Rolling

BIRMINGHAM – With two and a half minutes to play in Friday’s clash on the boys basketball floor between Birmingham Brother Rice and Novi Detroit Catholic Central, things weren’t looking good for the host-Warriors. The expression “on the ropes and ready to fall” might best sum of the situation.
Catholic Central was on top 46-38, Brother Rice couldn’t hit the broadside of a bar from the field and Warriors head coach Ed Shaffer called a timeout to try and stop the proverbial bleeding.

“We were panicking and looked at the guys in the huddle and I said ‘we still have a chance here,’ I was still confident in my team.”

Why shouldn’t he have been? Shaffer’s troops are 7-1, pocketing their most recent win Friday evening in comeback fashion. Brother Rice rallied to force overtime and went on to collect a 59-53 victory.

The Warriors’ only blemish on their record this season so far is a narrow loss to East Kentwood, the No. 2 squad in the state in Class A, at a holiday tournament up in Grand Rapids last month.

Friday’s rally was filled with contributions from a wide-variety of players.

Brendan Smith came off the bench to make two critical steals and score a basket off an offensive rebound with 25 seconds left in regulation (his lone field goal of the night) that got Brother Rice to within a bucket behind at 46-44. Smith started at cornerback on the school’s football team this past fall.

Kevin Hayes, the Warriors star forward, backed up his marquee-billing Friday by recording an impressive double of 22 points and 12 rebounds and delivering huge in crunch time.

It was Hayes’ pair from the charity stripe with 11 ticks of the clock left that evened the score 46-46 and forced overtime. Then, Hayes notched two hoops in the extra session, the first which vaulted Brother Rice into an advantage on the scoreboard (50-49) the Warriors wouldn’t relinquish.

Moments earlier, Drew Gallagher drove baseline for a lay-up that gave Brother Rice its’ first lead of the game. Ryan Jordan, a senior co-captain, scored 11 points and Gallagher dropped in another 13. Gallagher and Dominic Downs sank contest-clinching free throws in the final seconds.

Senior shooting guard, Davis Feldman, another co-captain, had two clutch steals, played gritty defense on Catholic Central’s No. 1-scorer C.J. Baird (16 points) down the stretch and scored on transition just before the third-quarter buzzer. Feldman is inked to play baseball in college at Eastern Michigan.

“We pulled one out, we hung tough,” Brother Rice head coach Ed Shaffer said. “We weren’t shooting it well, but we played hard and in the end good things came from that.”

Brother Rice Dominates Renewal of Rivalry with Detroit Country Day

2015_01_09_9999_553-MRice earns 77-51 home win

BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The two schools are only a mile apart, but the renewal of the rivalry between Birmingham Brother Rice and Detroit Country Day was more than a decade in the making.

On Friday night the Warriors opened the game on an 8-2 run and never took their foot off the accelerator, cruising to a 77-51 victory in front of a packed gym.

The Warriors mixed up their defenses throughout the night, keeping Country Day off balance offensively and holding the Yellowjackets to 11 points in each of the first two quarters to build a 41-22 lead at halftime.

“We really had to focus on (Deshawn Lewis) and (Nazir Wallace),” Brother Rice coach Ed Shaffer said. “They’re both superstars. We did a pretty good job. We put our best guys on them. We played hard.”

Not only was Brother Rice stingy on defense, but the Warriors were executing on offense and knocking down shots, draining eight three-point buckets on the night. Adding to the outside shooting was the inside presence of senior forward Kevin Hayes who led all scorers with 19 points.

Gallager added 15 points for the Warriors while Karl Kaufman and Ryan Jordan each scored eight, part of the nine Brother Rice players to score in the game.

Shaffer said Country Day head coach Mark Bray approached him in the offseason to renew the rivalry after it had been dormant since 2004, and neither expected the game to get out of reach so quickly.

“It means we’re going to have a rivalry,” Bray said. “I wish it would have gone a different way where we were competitive. We will be at some point in time, but they’re going to play at our place next year, and we’re going to continue this.”

Country Day (3-5) will host Detroit Consortium on Tuesday while Brother Rice (6-1, 1-0) will get back to Catholic League play when the Warriors host Novi Detroit Country Day.

Brother Rice outlasts St. Mary’s in CHSL opener


06JA15 OLSM v Bro Rice453-MORCHARD LAKE – Birmingham Brother Rice head boys basketball coach Ed Shaffer knew that Tuesday’s Catholic League opener was just that – a league opener – and that there were plenty of games left no matter what happened at the gym of rival Orchard Lake St. Mary’s.

But in spite of the understandable approach that it’s far too early for one game to make or break a season, it didn’t mean the contest didn’t have special meaning to Shaffer and the Warriors.

“We talked about using this game as an arrival,” Shaffer said. “We don’t feel like a lot of people are talking about us. We know we can be pretty good.”

The coming weeks will tell how much Brother Rice has arrived, but the Warriors are certainly off to a good start in their quest for respect after grinding out a 49-45 win over St. Mary’s in a CHSL Central Division opener for both.

The Warriors are now 5-1 to open the season, with their only loss being to No. 3-ranked East Kentwood.

Brother Rice led for most of the game, and seemed to be on the verge of putting St. Mary’s away when it took a 38-31 lead with 5:38 remaining.

Predictably though, St. Mary’s wouldn’t go away on its floor, rallying to take a 45-44 lead with 1:54 remaining and three free throws by sophomore C.J. Wilson.

But the Warriors were the stronger team from there, starting when senior Kevin Hayes drained a pair of free throws to give Brother Rice a 46-45 lead with 1:28 remaining.

Some furious offensive rebounding by St. Mary’s on its next possession led to senior Jason Boswell being fouled with 33.7 seconds remaining, but he couldn’t connect on either of the two free throws and Brother Rice rebounded the ball.

The Warriors eventually put it in the hands of senior Dominic Downs, who drained a pair of free throws with 21.7 seconds to make it 48-45 Brother Rice.

St. Mary’s had one last chance to tie, but a 3-pointer by Boswell from the top of the key rimmed out and Brother Rice senior Davis Feldman hit a free throw with 4.9 seconds remaining to cap off Brother Rice’s 5-0 run to end the game.

“We’ve got seniors,” Shaffer said. “Most of the seniors played a lot last year as juniors. They played like seniors.”

Hayes finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, senior Drew Gallagher had 11 points and Downs added 10 points to lead the Warriors.

Boswell scored a game-high 17 points and Wilson scored 13 points for St. Mary’s, which fell to 3-3 and 0-1.

A big difference in the game was at the free-throw line, where Brother Rice was 15 of 19 and St. Mary’s 6 of 12.

“They just kept us off-balance a little bit,” St. Mary’s head coach George Porritt said. “They shot a little bit better than we did. We didn’t shoot it very good tonight. We are not the biggest team, so we have to battle for everything we get.”

Warriors Earn Split at Muskegon Holiday Tournament

The Brother Rice Warriors came up with a split over the Holiday in the Muskegon Holiday tournament by beating Eastern Lansing 60-59 and losing to East Kentwood 66-59.

The tournament took place on December 29-30.

On Monday, December 29th, Brother Rice’s comeback attempt fell short to East Kentwood from Grand Rapids, who was ranked 12th in the state coming into the game.

East Kentwood got off to a fast start and imposed their will by making the Warriors uncomfortable and forcing them into bad shots. They would eventually run out to a 21 point lead into halftime.

The second half was a different story as the Warriors began to battle back and got the score to within 5 with less than three minutes to go but couldn’t come up with enough plays at the end and would eventually fall 66-59.

The Warriors were once again led by a trio of Seniors in the scoring column: Kevin Hayes, 17, Dominic Downs, 14, and Drew Gallagher, 10.

The next night, Brother Rice took battle against Lansing Eastern and squeaked out a 1 point victory, 60-59.

Most of the night the Warriors led by 10 points but struggled to put the game away in the second half, as well as in the final minutes and allowed Lansing Eastern to hang around and get back in the game.

Warriors Head Coach, Coach Shaffer, attributed the struggles to several things such as not playing very hard and not executing down the stretch.

However, Brother Rice found some keys spots from some consistent Seniors like Dominic Downs who stayed hot from the previous night by scoring 16 points, with 4-three point makes and Kevin Hayes who added 21 points and 9 rebounds. Shaffer also applauded Hayes’ effort on defense as he got six deflections and three “first to the floor” on the hustle chart that the Warriors keep.

Rice also received help from Senior-Forward, Jaqualin Hannah, who finished with 4 assists and “created a lot of great shots for others by the playing the middle against Lansing Eastern’s 2-3 zone,” added Shaffer.

“Overall, we had a good experience and played pretty well. It was a great environment for our guys to play in, and I was proud of how we represented Brother Rice on a bigger stage. Most importantly, we faced the kinds of challenges we are going to see in the next two months in the Catholic League,” said Shaffer.

Rice will open up Catholic League play, Tuesday, January 6th at Orchard Lake St. Mary’s. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm.

Experienced Warriors Too Much for Divine Child

DSC_0325The Brother Rice Warriors opened their home schedule on Tuesday night by defeating Divine Child 55-36.

Head Coach, Ed Shaffer, attributed the win to his veteran squad by saying, “our Seniors played like Seniors should play. They played with heart, and they made adjustments over the course of the game.”

The Seniors that Shaffer was referring to were Senior-Forward, Kevin Hayes, with 15 points and Senior-Forward, Drew Gallagher, with 9 points and 14 rebounds. Senior-Guard, Ryan Jordan, also contributed with 7 points and 4 steals.

Shaffer went on to say, “Divine Child is very young and very talented. I just think experience was the difference tonight.”

The Warriors will play over the Christmas break at the Muskegon holiday tournament on December 29th & 30th.