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Bloomfield Hills

Lahser falls in regional final

Local squads battle in playoffs

Published March 18, 2013

» click to enlarge «
Bloomfield Hills Lahser junior Yante Maten rises for a shot over a Troy Athens defender March 11 in a Class A regional semifinal. The Knights won that game, but fell to Rochester High in the final two days later.

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The Lahser boys basketball team sat on its bench and watched as Rochester High accepted its Class A regional trophy and medals March 13 at West Bloomfield High.

It was a moment to remember for the vast majority of players who will be back next season, but also a chance to reflect.

Next year, Bloomfield Hills Lahser and Bloomfield Hills Andover are joining to make the Bloomfield Hills Blackhawks.

“I think this shows the future of what the Blackhawks program is going to be like. It means a lot to these kids right here to finish out strong. The boys did a great job. I’m very, very proud of my boys,” Graves said after the 65-41 loss. “The season was a great one. The boys did a lot of growing up this year. We’re still young. A lot of our returning players were juniors.”

In the regional final, Lahser led by six points after the first quarter, but Rochester took over in the final three frames, outscoring the Knights by 10, eight and 12, respectively.

“The ball didn’t bounce our way; calls didn’t go our way. Some things just have to come to an end,” Graves said.

Junior Yante Maten led the Knights with 14 points. He was the only player in double digits.

Rochester coach John Pleasant said the score wasn’t indicative of how closely the teams really matched up.

“(Lahser is) a really good team. We’re not that much better than them,” he said.

The Knights finish the season 17-7 overall, claiming their second straight district and division championship in the process. Lahser won the Oakland Activities Association Gold Division last season and were co-champs of the OAA Blue this year.

Though not always as noticeable in the scorebook, Graves said his seniors were the “heart and soul” of the team.

“Those guys were with me since day one. I can’t thank them enough. … They gave me blood, the sweat and the running. I’m so proud of them,” he said.

In other local boys basketball news:
Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day continued its regional championship streak. The Yellowjackets beat Detroit Douglass 73-51 March 13 at home for the Class B title. It’s Country Day’s ninth in a row.

They Yellowjackets played Flint Powers Catholic in a quarterfinal after press time. The winner moves on to the semifinals at 6 p.m. March 22 at Michigan State University.

Birmingham Groves’ season came to a close, falling to Detroit U-D Jesuit 64-24 March 11 at Southfield High in a Class A regional semifinal.

The Falcons end the year 16-7 overall and were co-champs of the OAA Gold.

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