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 Troy Athens freshman Bryce Eaton controls the ball this past season. Athens finished its season with the program’s best record in more than five years.

Troy Athens freshman Bryce Eaton controls the ball this past season. Athens finished its season with the program’s best record in more than five years.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Troy Athens boys hoops coach reflects on season

By: Mark Vest | Troy Times | Published March 18, 2020

 Troy Athens senior Paul Ciak takes a shot against Berkley High this past season. Athens came away from the season with the program’s first division title since 2015.

Troy Athens senior Paul Ciak takes a shot against Berkley High this past season. Athens came away from the season with the program’s first division title since 2015.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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TROY — What a difference a year made for Troy Athens’ boys basketball program.

After going 4-17 in its previous campaign, Athens finished this season at 16-6 overall. That included a division championship after going 10-2 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

Athens completed its season March 11 with a 59-48 loss against Clinton Township Chippewa Valley in a Division 1 district semifinal.

“We had such a nice season,” said coach David Scott after Athens’ loss to Chippewa. “We lost here in a little bit of a heartbreaker. … I’m super proud of the job that our kids did. It was a great year.”

Last season, the Red Hawks finished second from last in the OAA White, going 2-12 in division play.

Scott shared his thoughts about the keys to the turnaround for Athens.

“I think our kids really liked each other,” he said. “I think that was the biggest thing. We had a group of senior leaders this year who really wanted us to do well as a team. … That spreads to the other kids. … I told the boys they made basketball fun.”

Davis DiGiovanni, Paul Ciak, Max Delong and Jake Wood were the four seniors on Athens’ roster. They got to come away from the season with the program’s first division championship since 2015, when Athens won a MAC White title.

“Very special, especially for our seniors,” Scott said. “It means the world for all the hard work they put in over the summer and in the offseason to get better and to improve.”

Athens finished with the program’s best record in more than five years.

The Red Hawks have come a long way since going 1-20 in the 2015-16 season, and the success they’ve had could have an impact that lasts beyond just this year.

“I hope we take what we learned this year and keep building,” Scott said. “Hopefully, these kids set a little standard going forward and that our underclassmen who were up on the varsity, as well as our JV and freshman kids, see and realize the hard work that is required to be a good team.”

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