Troy High boys basketball leading the division

By: Mark Vest | Troy Times | Published March 4, 2020

 Troy High’s Brody Parker takes a shot earlier this season. At press time, the Colts were leading the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

Troy High’s Brody Parker takes a shot earlier this season. At press time, the Colts were leading the Oakland Activities Association White Division.

Photo by Brian Sevald

 Troy High boys basketball coach Gary Fralick is pictured earlier this season. The Colts have won three consecutive district titles.

Troy High boys basketball coach Gary Fralick is pictured earlier this season. The Colts have won three consecutive district titles.

Photo by Patricia O’ Blenes

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TROY — With more than 25 years of experience as a basketball coach, Troy High boys coach Gary Fralick can recognize when he has a solid squad to work with.

Fralick recently said he felt this season’s team was going to be a “pretty good” one, and thus far, the Colts have met that expectation.

At press time, Troy was 15-3 overall and leading the Oakland Activities Association White Division with an 8-2 mark.

“Hopefully, we’re working on being an even better team than a good team,” Fralick said. “I think right now we’re pretty much where I thought we would be. Thought we would be able to score the ball, and we’re starting to score it a lot better than we were about four or five games ago — making more shots, taking better shots. … I’m pretty pleased with what we’ve done so far, and I hope that we’re going to continue to improve.”

Coming into the season, Troy had won one division title, three consecutive Division 1 district championships and one regional title over the past three years.

Some teams can react differently when they are expected to be good. Fralick said his team has handled the expectations well.

“This is a real fun group to coach. They practice hard, they play in the games very hard, and they show a lot of commitment to coming in before practice and after practice and working on their individual skill,” he said. “So, I’ve been very pleased with that.”

Senior captain John Stabinsky said things have been going well.

“Our team chemistry is getting better and better each and every game, and we really enjoy being around each other,” he said.

At press time, Farmington High was 7-3 in the OAA White and Southfield A&T was 6-4.

A tight division race isn’t something that seems to bother Fralick much.

“I think it’s a lot of fun for the kids and the coaches,” he said. “Every game means something; every game is a battle. … Anybody in our division can beat anybody else in our division. So, it’s a real evenly matched-up division. … It’s very enjoyable.”

Aside from being enjoyable, close division races can help prepare teams for postseason play.

“Hopefully, it prepares us very well,” Fralick said. “It is important to have a good number of competitive games in the regular season. That’s going to make you a stronger team physically and mentally, and hopefully help you reach your goals for the playoffs.”

After getting a first-round bye in a district playoff tournament hosted by Rochester High, the Colts play at 7 p.m. March 11 against Utica Eisenhower.

The other teams in the bracket are Rochester, Utica High and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek. The final is at 7 p.m. March 13.

While this season could get even more fun, there have already been things to like about it for Fralick.

“I really look forward to going to practices, look forward to our coaches meetings and our fun film sessions with the guys,” he said. “They’re locked in, and they seem to be enjoying it also. … It’s a joy to be a coach of this team.”

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