Southfield High boys basketball closes season in semis

By: Christian Davis | Southfield Sun | Published March 30, 2011

 Southfield High senior Patrick Onwenu grabs a rebound in a game earlier in the playoffs. The Blue Jays lost in the Class A semifinals to eventual state champion Kalamazoo Central.

Southfield High senior Patrick Onwenu grabs a rebound in a game earlier in the playoffs. The Blue Jays lost in the Class A semifinals to eventual state champion Kalamazoo Central.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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The Southfield High boys basketball season came to a close March 25 at the Breslin Center in East Lansing in a Class A semifinal.

The Blue Jays lost to eventual state champion Kalamazoo Central 44-42, putting an end to the prep careers of a special class of seniors.

“They’ve had a major impact on our basketball program as well as the community,” coach Gary Teasley said in the postgame press conference.

“We have tons of young people living in the community, it’s like family in Southfield, and they created a lot of excitement, and a lot of people are looking up to these guys.”

In the past two seasons, the senior class accounted for 40 wins and two state-semifinal appearances. The Blue Jays had only advanced to the final four two other times, in 1965 and 1982, before they took to the court.

Against Central, which has won the past two Class A state championships, Southfield trailed by as much as 12 points midway through the third quarter.

The Blue Jays fought back to tie the game at 42 with 37 seconds left, but Central hit the game-winning shot with four seconds remaining.

“Without question, this is one of those classic competitions that we can all be proud of,” Teasley said. “We’re extremely grateful to have the opportunity to make our second visit (to the semifinals).”

For the game, Southfield shot 32 percent, and Central shot 31.5 percent.

“I think both teams are defensive oriented,” Teasley said. “I think both teams understood that defense wins games like this.

“I give Kalamazoo Central a lot of credit for their defensive ability. They had their stops … and I think we did the same thing.”

Like he did much of the year, senior Carlton Brundidge led Southfield with 14 points in the semifinal.

“Carlton is a very gifted individual,” Teasley said. “A lot of people don’t get the opportunity to see his work ethic. He’s one of those guys that stay in the gym and practice, practice, practice.”

Senior Patrick Onwenu contributed on the defensive end with 10 rebounds and six blocks. He also tallied nine points.

“I tried to attack the glass real hard,” Onwenu said. “Whatever I need to do to help the team, that’s what I’ll do.”

Along with Brundidge and Onwenu, Southfield says goodbye to seniors Desmond Barnes, Joshua Brown, David Dawson, James Goodman, Demetrius Moncrease, Evan Buchanan and Landon Atterberry.

“We’ve all understood, within our team, that we’re imperfect people, but we’re growing, and these guys are understanding the challenge in life, and what they have to overcome to be successful,” Teasley said.

“As far as their development as young men, that to me is as much of a championship as anything else.”

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