Warriors Drop Catholic League Battle to CC in O.T. 66-61

NOVI — Novi Detroit Catholic Central wasn’t going to let another opportunity to win a close game at home slip through its fingers.

On Tuesday, the Shamrocks carried a 39-31 lead into the fourth quarter before Orchard Lake St. Mary’s roared back to a 52-50 win.

Friday night was different.

Instead of giving up a lead, Catholic Central battled against Brother Rice on its way to a 66-61 win in overtime for its first win of the season in league play.

According to Shamrocks’ head coach Bill Dyer, the difference was his team finished.

“We willed ourselves to finish. We practiced really hard all week for this chance,” he said. “I’m happy for this team and our seniors, especially. We were close (on Tuesday with 20 seconds to play) and we didn’t finish.

“This time we finished.”

With 57 seconds to play and Catholic Central (5-3, 1-2 CHSL) in the double bonus, senior guard Noah Lee had a chance to build the Shamrocks’ lead to three points after he got fouled when he crossed the time line.

Lee hit the first free throw, but was iced by a timeout called by Brother Rice (6-3, 1-2 CHSL). But that didn’t bother Lee.

Instead he said he just blocked out the moment and played within himself.

“At that moment nothing was going through my mind,” he said. “It was just like practice. I’ve practiced free throws a thousand times for times like this. If you can just focus and not get lost in the moment things play out.”

After he hit the second shot from the charity stripe, the Warriors tied the game, 54-54 with 35 seconds left on a clutch 3-pointer by senior Stephen Westbrooks on his only attempt of the night.

“He hadn’t played for a quarter and a half. It felt like he sat for a month,” Brother Rice head coach Ed Shaffer said.

“But then, Stevie comes in and hits a huge three. He’s great that way. He’s the kind of guy that can score when you need it. It was a great shot.”

The game the entire night played to that type of ebb and flow between both squads. The tide turned though after Brother Rice junior Dominic Downs (17 points) opened overtime with a quick lay-up.

Catholic Central then clamped down on defense and made an 8-0 run to build a lead the Warriors couldn’t eclipse.

With 18 seconds left, Lee (21 points) found himself in familiar territory at the free throw line to ice the game, 66-61, when he hit both of his free throws completing a stretch of 7-of-8 attempts in the fourth quarter and overtime.

“He’s gusty and he’s tough. He’s the typical Catholic Central kid we want to have in our program” Dyer said.

“He just plays so hard. He works the hardest out of a lot of kids in the off season, and he deserved to hit those free throws. I’m proud of him.”

Catholic Central also received a spark from fellow senior Charlie Ryan who carried the Shamrock offense in the first half with 14 points before being held to only four in the second half.

Dyer said it was nice the 6-foot-7 center could get his team going early.

“He was really hot, and was just on fire from about everywhere on the floor,” Dyer said. “He just shot the ball so well, it was a great spark to help ease us into the game.”

Not to be out done, however, Brother Rice junior Kevin Hayes (21 points) played terrific in the second half. The junior utilized the back door cuts and kept players out of position to help the Warriors claim the lead twice in the third quarter.

“Kevin has really grown up, and it showed tonight. He had to adjust his game from the first half where he was getting pushed around. But in the second half, he was more aggressive and played well around the basket. He cut well, and he finished around the hoop,” Shaffer said.

Catholic Central hopes to ride the momentum of its first league win next week when the Shamrocks hit the road to play Warren De La Salle, while Brother Rice will prepare for Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

Brother Rice Stuns St. Mary’s with 60-59 Come-From-Behind Over Time Victory

SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN
@MIPrepZone

ORCHARD LAKE – On the verge of being blown out for the second game in a row, playing deep in hostile territory at Orchard Lake St Mary’s storied Dombrowski Field House Sunday afternoon, Birmingham Brother Rice (6-2, 1-1) roared off the ropes like a wild, crazed animal.

The Warriors stormed back from a 14-point second-half deficit to rally for an exhilarating 60-59 victory in overtime, downing a powerhouse St. Mary’s club that was a heavy favorite.

Junior point guard Delano Madison made his first varsity start a memorable one for Brother Rice, swishing a pair of game-winning free throws in the closing seconds.

 

Madison, a college football recruit, tallied eight points, dished five assists and made four steals.

“I was given an opportunity and wanted to make sure that I stepped up for my team,” he said. “That was my focus.”

Dominic Downs, the Warriors’ junior shooting guard scored five straight in the final 90 seconds of regulation – a steal and lay-up and a 3-pointer from the left wing – to knot the always-heated rivalry affair at 53-53 and send things into overtime.

 

Downs put in 14 points and was an energetic force on both offense and defense.

“This was huge, just so huge,” said Downs of the win Sunday. “We needed it bad and that’s how we played.”

Earlier in the week, Downs and his teammates got torched by Warren De La Salle in the Warriors’ opener in the Catholic League.

 

Brother Rice junior forward Kevin Hayes (12 points) played smothering defense on St. Mary’s star Teddy McCree during the game’s final sequence Sunday, denying him the ball and forcing the Eaglets’ last shot to be hoisted by senior guard Jalen Watts-Jackson (Michigan State football-commit) instead. Watts-Jackson’s long attempt from the left elbow fell short and Brother Rice celebrated the signature-win of its early-season schedule.

 

McCree kept up his sizzling play Sunday, recording a game and season-high 32 points to add to his eight rebounds and three steals in the loss. His two free throws pushed the Eaglets on top 27-25 at the half and his pull-up jumper from right above the foul-line in overtime gave St. Mary’s its last lead of the game at 59-58 with 40 seconds remaining in the extra session.

 

A personal 12-0 run by McCree in the third quarter provided the Eaglets a 43-29 advantage with 2:31 left in the frame.

McCree’s offensive flurry prompted a Brother Rice timeout, which Warriors head coach, Ed Shaffer credits with being a turning point.

“Everyone looked at each other and decided to fight,” he said. “What we were able to do is a testament to how these guys made a commitment to defense and went out there and made plays when their backs were against the wall.”

Baskets by Madison and Hayes to conclude the third set the score at 43-35 entering the fourth and injected the visiting Warriors with some much-needed momentum.

Hayes took a pretty feed from senior forward Patrick Sparks and hit a lay-up to tip-off the fourth quarter and it was nip-and-tuck the rest of the way.

Sparks posted a team-high 16 points and six rebounds. Drew Gallagher scored 7 points in the last 11 minutes of play including a 3-pointer from the corner in overtime. He also had 3 steals, 4 blocks and 2 rebounds to aid Rice’s comeback.

“We didn’t take care of the ball, didn’t handle their pressure very well in crunch time,” said longtime Eaglets head coach George Porritt. “We couldn’t close the door and let them back in it. They wanted it more than us. That was the bottom line.

Warriors Lose CHSL Opener to De La Salle 56-31

On Friday night the Brother Rice Warriors (5-2, 0-1) traveled to Warren and opened up their Catholic League season with a disappointing 56-31 loss to the De La Salle Pilots.  Brother Rice looked like a shell of itself as they fell behind early (18-6 after the 1st Quarter), shot the ball poorly (2-for-19 on 3-pointers), and turned the ball over excessively (24 for the game) to give the Pilots a relatively easy 25-point win.

 

In the 1st Quarter Brother Rice came out of the gates a little shaky. De La Salle jumped ahead 9-4, and then following a Warrior Timeout, the Pilots extended the lead to 18-6 by the end of the Quarter. The Warriors committed 11 turnovers in the 1st 8-minutes of play. The 2nd Quarter was more of the same. Brother Rice had a tough time taking care of the ball and finishing around the basket. In the meantime, De La Salle scored 24 of their 34 points in the paint, and 8 more from the free throw stripe. The score was 34-13 at the half.

 

Brother Rice came out swinging in the 3rd Quarter with baskets from (Junior Forward) Kevin Hayes and (Senior Forward) Steven Westbrooks. Rice eventually cut the lead to 15 points, but turnovers and lack of rebounding doomed Rice in the 2nd half. De La Salle methodically built their lead throughout the 2nd half. Rice never got closer than 15 points. The Pilots attempted just 3 shots from beyond the 3-point arc during the entire game. Rice went 2-for-19 on their 3-pointers, committed 24 turn overs, and were out-rebounded by 11 during the game. De La Salle ended up earning a 56-31 win.

 

Brother Rice will play Orchard Lake St. Mary’s on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 P.M. at St. Mary’s.

 

Warriors Slip Past Bishop Foley 60-59 on 3-Pointer from Patrick Sparks

On Saturday night the Brother Rice Warriors (5-1) scored a 3-pointer on their last possession of the game to beat the Bishop Foley Vikings 60-59 in Bishop Foley’s annual Christmas Tournament.  With the Warriors down by 2 points with 40 seconds to go in the game, Brother Rice was unable to get a shot off for 30 seconds. Finally though, (Junior Guard) Dominic Downs found (Senior Forward) Patrick Sparks wide-open at the top of the key. The 3-year starter didn’t think twice as he pumped in a 22-footer with 10 seconds left to give Rice a 60-59 lead, and that was how the game ended as Bishop Foley missed a 16-footer from just beyond the free throw line as time expired. The win was Brother Rice’s 5th win in a row after starting the year with a disappointing 4-point loss to Ferndale.

 

Brother Rice got out to a 12-7 lead in the 1st Quarter before settling for a 14-12 advantage at the end of 1 Quarter of play.  The 2nd Quarter proved to be disappointing for Rice as highly-contested (forced) shots along with turn overs helped give Bishop Foley a 27-26 lead going into halftime.

 

The Warriors got their act together right away in the 3rd Quarter. A beautifully executed fast-break, capped off with a lay-up by (Junior Forward) Kevin Hayes gave Rice a 31-27 lead. A few baskets later, Dominic Downs swished a 3-pointer from the wing to give Rice its biggest lead of the game at 38-31. The Warriors would eventually pull ahead by 12 points at 43-31 before the Vikings went on a run of their own.  Bishop Foley scored 10 unanswered Points to make it a 43-41 game. Rice extended the lead to 47-44 at the end of the 3rd Quarter.

 

In the 4th, Rice had a 51-48 lead when the Vikings were called for a Technical Foul. Patrick Sparks made both Free Throws to make it a 5-point game. Then (Junior Forward) Drew Gallagher made a 12-footer from the wing to give Rice a 55-48 lead. Bishop Foley didn’t go away quietly. They made one big shot after another to slowly close the gap as the 4th Quarter proceeded. Kevin Hayes made 2 Free Throws to give Rice a 57-54 lead with 2 minutes to play. Foley scored on 2 consecutive possessions, the 2nd of which was a 3-pointer, which gave them a 59-57 lead with just 45 seconds to play.

 

The Vikings shot an incredible 7-for-11 on 3-pointers during the game. Brother Rice was 4-of-21 on 3-pointers going into the last possession. Fortunately for the Warriors, Patrick Sparks made the team’s last attempt of the game to give Rice a 60-59 lead. Bishop Foley had no time outs left as the clock wound down.  They were able to get off a highly-contested 16-footer from just beyond the foul line, but the shot hit off the back iron, and (Junior Guard) Nick Bielkie rebounded the miss, securing the 1-point victory for Brother Rice.

 

Patrick Sparks: 15 Points, 5 Rebounds

 

Brother Rice Beats Melvindale 70-44 in Annual Christmas Tournament

On Friday night the Brother Rice Warriors (4-1) ran their winning streak to 4 games as they won convincingly over the Melvindale Cardinals by the score of 70-44.  Brother Rice outscored Melvindale in each of the 4 Quarters as Rice’s offense stayed consistent all night long.  Steals and easy baskets in transition proved to be the deciding factor as Rice opened up a 17-point lead in the 3rd Quarter and never looked back.

 

In the 1st Quarter, after having nearly a week off over the Christmas season, the Warriors looked a bit rusty. Both teams turned the ball over and neither team shot the ball well. Brother Rice was led in the 1st Quarter by (Junior Forward) Kevin Hayes who scored the Warriors’ 1st 8 points as Rice took an 8-3 lead out of the gate. Hayes finished with 10 points in the 1st Quarter. Rice had a 16-11 lead as the Quarter was winding down, but (Junior Forward) Drew Gallagher stole the ball at half court and flipped it blindly over his head to a streaking (Junior Guard) Dominic Downs for an easy lay-up to close out the 1st Quarter with an 18-11 lead.

 

Melvindale hung tough in the 2nd Quarter as the Cardinals pulled down 6 offensive rebounds to keep the game close. Meanwhile, Rice’s offense was clicking on all cylinders as the Warriors scored 20 points in the 2nd to take a 38-28 lead into the break.  In the 3rd, neither team went on much of a run until Rice got things going during the last 2 minutes. The Warriors’ lead went from 8 points to 17 points in a 2 minute span. Drew Gallagher had 2 of his game-high 4 steals during that span of time. He also converted on a 3-pointer from the wing and a 16-footer from the elbow to give Rice a 56-39 lead after 3 Quarters of play.

 

In the 4th, Rice got contributions from many of the players off the bench. (Junior Guard) Davis Feldman buried his 2nd 3-pointer of the game. (Senior Forward) Mitch Shaffer made 3 free throws down the stretch, and (Junior Forward) Brendan Smith got his name in the scorebook in the 4th.  Out of the 13 players who dressed for the game for Brother Rice, 12 of them scored at least a point. Rice’s defense locked down the Cardinals in the 4th Quarter allowing just 5 points over the last 8 minutes of the game. Rice ended up cruising to a 70-44 victory.

 

Kevin Hayes: 16 Points, 5 Rebounds, 2 Blocked Shots.

Drew Gallager: 13 Points, 4 Rebounds, 4 Steals, 2 Blocked Shots.

Steven Westbrooks: 10 Points.

Davis Feldman and Patrick Sparks: 6 Points.

Delano Madison: Team-High 6 Rebounds.

12-of-13 players for Brother Rice scored.

Rice Beats Troy 75-64 for 3rd Straight Win

On Saturday night the Brother Rice Warriors (3-1) beat the Troy Colts in a Non-League Match-up at home by the score of 75-64.  The high-scoring affair was due partially to the Warriors ability to make free throws. Brother Rice was an amazing 24-of-27 from the foul stripe on the evening. The Warriors held a slim 30-28 lead at half, but then extended that lead to as many as 13 points in the 4th Quarter before eventually winning the game by 11 points.

 

In the 1st Quarter Brother Rice got on the board 1st with a 3-pointer by (Senior Forward) Steven Westbrooks. The Senior sharp-shooter led all scorers with 8 points in the 1st Quarter and finished with 11 for the 1st half including three trifectas.  The 2 teams went back and forth for most of the 1st Quarter with Rice eventually holding on to a 17-15 lead at the end of 1 Quarter of play.

 

In the 2nd Quarter it was more of the same. The Warriors were uncharacteristically sloppy with 11 turn overs at the half. Still though, Westbrooks and (Junior Forward) Kevin Hayes kept Rice in the game. Hayes finished with 12 points in the first half as Rice took a 30-28 lead into the break.  In the 2nd half the Warriors seemed to be taking control of the game as they stretched their lead to 11 before giving back some of those points at the end of the 3rd Quarter making the score 50-44 after the 3rd Quarter.

 

Both offenses exploded in the 4th Quarter as Rice killed the Colts in transition. Kevin Hayes put on a show in the 4th and was practically unstoppable around the basket. He finished with 28 points, which included 13 Field Goals. Troy, to its credit, put on a nice 3-point shooting display in the 4th as they made 4 3-pointers to stay relatively close. When all was said and done, the Warriors’ easy transition baskets combined with their solid free throw shooting down the stretch closed out the game. Rice was able to head into Christmas with a 75-64 victory.

 

Kevin Hayes: 28 Points

Steven Westbrooks: 20 Points, 6-for-6 free throws, 4 3-pointers.

Dominic Downs: 14 Points, 10-of-12 free throws.

Ryan Jordan: 6-for-6 free throws.

Team: 24-for-27, 88.9% from the foul line.

 

Warriors Win 2nd in a Row with 74-60 Victory Over Fraser

On a cold and windy Tuesday night the Brother Rice Warriors (2-1) traveled to Fraser and knocked off the Ramblers in a non-League battle by the score of 74-60.  Fraser’s half-court match-up zone created havoc for the Warriors early on, but as the game went, Brother Rice began to execute more efficiently. Rice made seven 3-pointers during the game and dominated the glass; outrebounding Fraser 37-21 on the evening.

 

In the first Quarter (Senior Forward) Steven Westbrooks nailed a 3-pointer from the corner to give Rice an opening 3-0 lead. A few trips later (Junior Guard) Dominic Downs buried a 3-pointer to give Rice a 6-3 lead.  Both teams were a little careless with the ball as each team turned steals into easy buckets. Fraser took a 12-11 lead before (Senior Forward) Patrick Sparks finished the 1st Quarter with a basket to give Rice a slim 13-12 advantage.

 

In the 2nd Quarter, the Warriors turned up the heat defensively. A steal and lay-in by (Junior Guard) Davis Feldman was followed up by a steal and 1-hand dunk by Patrick Sparks. Fraser called a timeout to break the momentum, but it was to no avail. Feldman drained a triple from the wing, (Junior Guard) Nick Bielkie had a driving lay-up, and (Junior Forward) Kevin Hayes scored 4 of his 6 2nd-Quarter points during the 14-0 run. When all was said and done, the Warriors pushed their slim 13-12 lead to a 27-12 lead, forcing Fraser to call a 2nd timeout. Rice finished the half ahead by the score of 29-18.

 

In the 3rd Quarter the script got flipped. Fraser began forcing turnovers and it was the Warriors who were on the defensive. Despite making a pair of 3-pointers, Rice gave back all of its lead as the Ramblers tied the score at 39-39. Following a timeout, Nick Bielkie swished a 3-pointer from the corner to give Rice a 3-point lead, and the Warriors would push that lead to 46-41 before the 3rd Quarter ended.

 

In the 4th it was all Brother Rice again.  Kevin Hayes scored 8 of his 21 points in the 4th frame. All of them came off of either lay-ups or dunks. Dominic Downs scored 9 of his game-high 22 in the 4th as well.  With Rice ahead by 10 points for the majority of the quarter, Fraser was forced to foul down the stretch and Brother Rice confidently answered the call as they made 9 of 10 free throws in the 4th Quarter to close the game out. Brother Rice won 74-60.

 

Dominic Downs: 22 Points, (4 of 8) 3-pointers, 3 steals.

Kevin Hayes: 21 Points, 5 Rebounds, 3 Blocked shots.

Nick Bielkie: 12 Points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Steals, 3 Assists.

Patrick Sparks: 8 Points, 6 Rebounds, 6 Assists.

 

Warriors Beat Maples 61-52 in Cross-town Rivalry

On Friday night the Brother Rice Warriors (1-1) traveled a mile down the road to take on their crosstown Rival, the Seaholm Maples, and Brother Rice put on a great show for the boisterous crowd by beating the Maples 61-52.  The Warriors jumped out to an early 20-11 lead after 1 Quarter of play. Solid shooting (10-of-24 from 3-point line) combined with consistent team-rebounding allowed Rice to extend the lead all the way to 16 points midway through the 4th.  The Warriors held on from there for a 61-52 victory, their 1st of the young season.

 

The Warriors came out of the gate on fire. They wasted no time draining 3 three pointers in the first 4 minutes of the game. After (Junior Guard) Ryan Jordan knocked down his 2nd 3-pointer of the Quarter, Seaholm was forced to call a timeout with Rice ahead 17-7. A 3-ball from (Junior Guard) Dominic Downs at the end of the Quarter gave Rice a 20-11 lead.

 

Brother Rice continued to take control of the game early in the 2nd Quarter. (Junior Forward) Kevin Hayes flew through above the traffic for a flying lay-in, which gave Rice their biggest lead at 28-15. The Maples answered back with an 8-0 run to cut the deficit to 5.  The Warriors finished the Quarter strong with 2 more buckets to give themselves a 32-24 lead at the break.

 

In the 3rd Quarter Brother Rice wore down Seaholm with their depth.  8 of the 10 Warriors who saw the court scored during the game. With 2 minutes left in the 3rd Quarter and Rice ahead by 10, (Senior Forward) Steven Westbrooks spun through the lane and swished an 8-foot floater to give Rice a 46-34 lead.  On the next possession (Senior Guard) Denny Flynn buried his 2nd 3-pointer of the evening to give Rice a 15-point lead.

 

The 4th Quarter went back-and-forth with both teams making shots. The Final big shot for Brother Rice, which put the game out of reach, happened when (Senior Froward) Patrick Sparks knocked down his 2nd 3-pointer of the game from the wing to give Rice a 58-42 lead, their biggest of the game.  The Warriors cruised from there to a 9-point victory.

 

Patrick Sparks: 17 Points, 7 Rebounds, 2 Blocks

Dominic Downs: 17 Points, 3-3-Pointers, 3 Rebounds

Steven Westbrooks: 7 Points, 4 Rebounds

Denny Flynn & Ryan Jordan each had 6 points and (2) 3-pointers each.

 

Brother Rice Loses Season-Opener to Ferndale 72-68

On Tuesday night the Brother Rice Warriors (0-1) lost their season and home-opener to the Ferndale Golden Eagles 72-68. Ferndale shot the ball tremendously well all night long as they connect on an amazing 11 of 22 3-pointers and 17 of their 23 free throw attempts. The Warriors shot the 3-ball efficiently as well; they connected on 10 of 24 from the 3-point arc, but converted just 9 of 17 shots from the free throw stripe. Brother Rice led for the first 29 minutes of the game, but the Golden Eagles made a 3-pointer late in the 4th to take a 65-63 lead, and they never looked back from there.

 

In the 1st Quarter the Warriors jumped out to an early 11-3 lead. (Senior Guard) Denny Flynn came in off the bench and knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing to highlight the early run. As the Quarter went on, Ferndale closed the gap to 11-8 before (Junior Guard) Ryan Jordan made a running lay-up down the middle of the lane to make it 13-8. Rice finished the Quarter with one last Field Goal to make it 15-8 at the end of the 1st Quarter.

 

In the 2nd, the two teams put on a scoring display as Ferndale tallied 20 points only to be outdone by the Warriors’ 21 points. (Senior Forward) Steven Westbrooks buried 3 trifectas during the 8-minute segment to bolster Rice’s offense and help maintain a slim lead.  (Junior Forward) Kevin Hayes had a pair of “and-1” situations to score 6 points during the Quarter. Brother Rice took a 36-28 lead into halftime.

 

In the 3rd Quarter Ferndale came back with a long-range assault, which cut Rice’s lead in half to 4 points at 54-50. On the 1st possession of the 4th Quarter (Junior Guard) Dominic Downs Swished a 15-footer from the corner to make the score 56-50. Later in the Quarter, with a little over 4:00 remaining, (Senior Forward) Patrick Sparks made a pair of free throws to give Rice a 61-54 lead. From there, The Golden Eagles went on an 11-2 run to take their first lead of the game with a little over 2:00 remaining. Brother Rice had good looks at the basket down the stretch but was unable to convert. In the meantime Ferndale calmly sank their free throws down the stretch to extend the lead to 3 points. With the score 71-68, Rice had the ball with 20 seconds left, but was unable to convert on a wide-open 3-point attempt. Ferndale got the rebound, made a free throw and held on for the victory.

 

The Warriors were led offensively by 3-year Varsity starter and Captain Patrick Sparks. He led Rice with 17 points and a game-high 7 rebounds. Ryan Jordan and Dominic Downs each scored 11 points for the Warriors. Steve Westbrooks came off the bench to spark Rice with 11 points including (3) 3-pointers. Denny Flynn also gave the Warriors a boost off the bench as he made 2 of his 3 shots on the night to finish with 6 points. Rice now turns their attention to the Seaholm Maples as the 2 schools are set to face each other on Friday Night at Seaholm at 7:30 P.M.

 

 

Pat Sparks: 17 points, 7 Rebounds, 3 Steals

Steven Westbrooks: 11 Points, 3 3-pointers in the 2nd Quarter

Ryan Jordan: 11 Points

Dominic Downs: 11 Points