Lahser boys basketball ends season with titles; Country Day moves on
March 19, 2012
Duane Graves measured success this season in a different way.
“My senior class, those five guys were the heart of our team and the backbone. They came to practice and worked as hard as every starter knowing they weren’t starting and their job was to prepare the underclassmen,” Graves said. “They never complained. The commitment and leadership they brought to the program, you don’t see that out of five kids. You’ll see it out of one on a team, but not five. That to me was the ultimate success this season.”
The Knights started two sophomores and three juniors. With a lineup that could technically play at the JV level, Lahser won its first Class A district since 2000 and an Oakland Activities Association Gold Division title.
Graves said the strength of this team came from the chemistry.
“How young we are and bonded together really stands out about this team,” Graves said. “If you’re sitting on the side just watching, it’s just amazing how well together and a unit from top to bottom we were. They get the concept of team.”
Lahser finished the year 18-6 overall and 8-2 in the Gold. Its season came to an end in a regional semifinal against Lake Orion High, falling 52-50. The Dragons went on to beat Waterford Mott for the regional title.
“It was just one of those games with some untimely calls and bad bounces, but the kids fought hard and never quit,” Graves said. “Our youth showed up and let it slip through our fingers, but it’s mostly the coaches fault. We live and learn.”
The Knights led 18-0 in the second quarter before Lake Orion began its run.
Graves believes the experience will only better his young squad.
“To get that district trophy for my boys was the one thing they wanted to get this year. That was a steppingstone that they wanted,” he said. “The cool thing about it is that even after winning districts, they didn’t want to cut down the nets because they wanted to wait until they get to states. They weren’t satisfied with just that.”
Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day won its eighth Class B regional title in a row. The Yellowjackets beat Harper Woods Chandler Park 89-52 March 14 at Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.
Country Day has all new starters from the team that lost in the semis last season.
“They’re just enjoying it and living it,” coach Kurt Keener said. “We always preach it’s only eight games to make a memory last a lifetime.”
Country Day played Goodrich High after press time. With a win, the Yellowjackets play either Lansing Sexton or Dearborn Robichaud at 7:30 p.m. March 23 in East Lansing.