Ferndale High boys basketball hopes to make run at division title

By: Christian Davis | Woodward Talk | Published January 26, 2011

 Ferndale High senior Joe Baker takes a shot in a game earlier this season. Baker is looking to make a difference in the second half of the season.

Ferndale High senior Joe Baker takes a shot in a game earlier this season. Baker is looking to make a difference in the second half of the season.

Photo by Deb Jacques

FERNDALE — Watching film from the previous night’s game, Ferndale High boys basketball coach Tom Staton took a second to admire a drive to the hoop and bucket.

“That’s what we call the ‘give it to them and take it away,’” he said with a laugh Jan. 19.

The Eagles have been doing a lot of giving and taking this season. Ferndale was 6-3 overall, 4-2 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division, at press time. It won its first three games, lost the following three and has won the last three.

“I think we’ve handled it pretty well,” senior captain Jordan Guinn said. “The coaches told us before the season that there were going to be peaks and valleys.”

The Eagles hope they’ve seen the last of the valleys.

With the addition of Joe Baker and Willie Harvey, who can start playing the second half of the season after transferring, Staton believes Ferndale is going to stay at the top.

“The biggest adjustment has to be from ourselves,” he said. “We’ve been playing with basically half a team, so now we’re getting starters back, and (the opponents are) going to have to adjust to us now.”

Harvey is a 6-foot-4 swingman who can play on the perimeter or down low. Baker is a pure shooter who scored 15 points Jan. 18 against Lake Orion High in his first appearance of the season.

“It felt great to get a little rust off my game,” Baker said. “I feel like I have to make up for games that I missed, but I don’t want to force anything as long as the team is winning.”

Guinn said there have also been some surprise contributors.

“Players are just stepping up,” he said. “Jamarius McTear, he was a football player, and he’s a starter for us now. He hadn’t played a day of basketball in his life, and he’s our hustle man.”

Staton hopes the mix of the new and the old players leads to another division championship. Last season, Ferndale ran through the Blue Division undefeated.

He said he’s enjoying the challenge this time around.

“It’s almost as if every other game is a championship game,” he said. “This year, we know against the top-tier teams, it’s going to be a dogfight. But defense wins the day, and the teams that are in the best shape in the fourth quarter.”

“If you play a team that’s as good as you, if not better, then it brings out the best in you,” Guinn added.

Catch the Eagles against Birmingham Seaholm at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at Seaholm.