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January 16, 2013

Troy High boys basketball playing with chip on its shoulder

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Troy High’s Demonta Hood goes up for a shot in a game earlier this season.

TROY — Troy High boys basketball coach Gary Fralick noted that this is probably the shortest team he’s ever commanded, but its also proving to be one of the gutsiest.

“I found out so far that these guys just believe in themselves; they’re not going to back down from anybody,” he said. “No one has out-rebounded us yet, and hopefully that continues. That’s kind of surprising to me, but fundamentally, we’re pretty sound. We box out and do some things that keep us in the game.”

At press time, the Colts were 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

Troy won the OAA White the last two seasons but has lost a lot of talent since then, namely University of Kentucky-commit James Young, who transferred out the district.

“Everything ran through James. It was pretty easy to get a good shot every time down,” Fralick said. “Now, you have to make that extra pass and do some things that maybe we haven’t done over the last three years.”

With the move to the Red and the loss of their top scorer, the Colts came into the season hearing about how much trouble they would have competing.

“I think a lot of people picked us for last place in the Red, but these guys were having none of it. I know it’s still early, but we’re pretty competitive,” Fralick said.

Senior captain Joseph Leonard agreed.

“Everyone thought we were supposed to be the worst team in our league, the worst team in the area,” he said. “We really took it as a challenge, rather than let it (hamper) us. We’ve stepped up to the challenge.”

The Colts’ recipe for success is balanced scoring and limiting their opponents to one shot.

“We’re a really scrappy team with some tough guys,” Leonard said. “We just really go hard for loose balls and long rebounds. We try to make sure those are ours.”

Offensively, Chris Dorsey and Zak Noor lead with 14 points per game, each. Ben Horvath is averaging 11, and Leonard contributes nine.

Again cautioning that it is still early, Fralick reiterated his pleasant surprise at the team’s demeanor.

“I didn’t really how much heart and soul these guys have, how prideful they are,” he said. “The fact that they just decided that they’re going to play with a chip on their shoulders, and they have.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.