It was a year of close calls and runaway races in the Oakland Activities Association boys basketball season.
Out of the four divisions, each champion either edged out a title by a single game or took the dramatics out of it all together with a four-game cushion.
Here’s a look at where all the teams finished and which players excelled.
Clarkston High was at it again, winning its second straight outright Red title with a 12-0 division record.
North Farmington and Southfield-Lathrup were the next closest, both finishing 8-4 and tied for second.
Pontiac High took fourth at 7-5, followed by Southfield High at 5-7. West Bloomfield High and Farmington Hills Harrison rounded out the division at 1-11.
All-Association honorees went to seniors Mitch Baenziger, Nick Tatu and Matt Dellinger, Clarkston; senior Dorrell Foster and junior Caleb Hogans, North Farmington; senior Jordan Denham and junior Jonathan Williams, Lathrup; junior Brandon Bean, Southfield; junior Jarod Jones, Pontiac; junior A.J. Freeman, Harrison; and sophomore Josh Birnberg, West Bloomfield.
Clarkston’s Dan Fife is the Coach of the Year.
For the first time since the early 1990s, according to Troy High coach Gary Fralick, the Colts won back-to-back division championships.
Troy did it with a 9-1 mark, just edging out Ferndale High at 8-2.
The Colts battled back from early season losses and departures from the team.
“I think it says what a high amount of character there was on this team,” Fralick said just weeks after the season ended. “Kids that really cared about this team — not about their points, not about their playing time. It was about the team, and the seniors had a lot to do with that.”
Rochester Adams was third at 7-3; Oak Park High finished fourth at 4-6; and Auburn Hills Avondale and Berkley High tied for fifth at 1-9.
Juniors James Young, Joe Leonard and Zak Noor, Troy; junior Zack Littleson and sophomore Akhemi Williams, Adams; junior Stephon Williams, Oak Park; sophomore Jabbar Mims, Avondale; and Berkley senior Damon Eldridge are All-Association honorees.
Fralick earned his second straight Coach of the Year.
Rochester High also made it two in a row for division titles. The Falcons sprinted past the rest of the division, finishing 10-0.
“From top down, whether guys played a lot or a little, they all bought into what their role was,” Rochester coach John Pleasant said after the season ended.
Farmington High was Rochester’s biggest threat at 6-4, and Troy Athens and Birmingham Seaholm finished 5-5 to tie for third.
Lake Orion High ended 4-6 and in fifth, while Rochester Hills Stoney Creek went 0-10 and finished sixth.
All-Association honorees are seniors Taylor Perry and Paris Pereira, and junior Arben Camaj, Rochester; seniors Marcarius Coackley and Caleb McIntosh, Athens; seniors Chris Hare and Bryan Green, Farmington; senior Spencer Eick and junior Paris Bass, Seaholm; senior John McCarty, Lake Orion; and junior Stephan Makowski, Stoney Creek.
Pleasant took home his second straight Coach of the Year honor.
With a lineup that technically could play at the JV level, Bloomfield Hills Lahser took the Gold crown.
Starting two sophomores and three juniors, the Knights finished 8-2, beating out Oxford High by one game.
“How young we are and bonded together really stands out about this team,” Lahser coach Duane Graves said earlier. “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.”
Birmingham Groves finished third at 6-4; Royal Oak High was fourth at 5-5; Bloomfield Hills Andover finished 4-6 and placed fifth; and Hazel Park High went 0-10 for sixth.
Junior Martez Jones, and sophomores Yante Maten and Khalil Gracey, Lahser; seniors Mark Hazelwood and Jacques Toussiant, Oxford; seniors Grant Henderson and Parish Thurman, Groves; senior DeAndre Smith, Royal Oak; junior Marcus McQueen, Andover; and senior Eric Bolitho, Hazel Park are All-Association honorees.
Graves was named Coach of the Year.
November 16, 2015
Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day
Thanks to two early scores, some lock-down defense, and a touchdown with just 5:25 remaining in regulation, the Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day football team picked up a 20-13 victory against Milan High in a Division 4 regional final on Nov. 14 and earned this week’s Team of the Week honor. Country Day, which had outscored its opponents 78-7 in the district round, advanced to the state semifinals for the second year in a row. The Yellowjackets (11-1) face Flint Powers Catholic (10-2) at 1 p.m. Nov. 21 at West Bloomfield High.