Berkley High boys basketball battling for top spot in division

By: Christian Davis | Woodward Talk | Published February 5, 2014

 Berkley High’s Jonathan Radner leads the team with 28 points per game.

Berkley High’s Jonathan Radner leads the team with 28 points per game.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

BERKLEY — Berkley High boys basketball coach David McGlown knew his squad had the potential to be special.

A win against Rochester Hills Stoney Creek Jan. 17 only reinforced his inclination.

“They were the favorite to win the league and probably still are, but my guys showed some guts and won the game in overtime,” McGlown said.

The coach knows full well that a win in mid January helps the cause, but there are still plenty of potential pitfalls and battles ahead.

At press time, Berkley was 5-4 overall and 4-2 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division,  and  in second place in the standings.

“That’s the position we want to be in. We want to be in control of our own destiny,” McGlown said.

The Bears’ recipe for success has been a combination of hard work and chemistry. The coach said most of the team has played together a number of years, as the roster includes five returning varsity members from a squad that went 4-17 overall last season.

Junior guard Jonathan Radner leads the squad, scoring 28 points per game.

“He’s a smart player, has a knack for scoring, and he’s gritty,” McGlown said.

Berkley’s losses in the division came from Ferndale High and first-place Farmington High.

Though all the winning is nice, a more valuable lesson may have been learned during a 57-51 Jan. 23 loss to Ferndale High.

“I think our guys got a little ahead of themselves. We were in first place all alone then, and Ferndale knocked us back in our place,” the coach said. “That was a great lesson, and I’m glad it happened early. They have a little more focus now and are working harder. They know … everyone is gunning for you, and you can’t take any breaks.

“From the top to the bottom in this league, every night, you are going to be playing a team that is just as good, or better, than you are. There are no off-nights, especially on the road.”

McGlown added that the team is happy with its position, but not satisfied.

“We have a long way to go, but we’re getting better every day at practice. The guys are working hard and understanding the different concepts on defense, learning little tendencies and picking it up as the season goes on,” he said.

Catch the Bears against Farmington Hills Harrison at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at home.