Troy High boys basketball leads tight division race

By: Christian Davis | Troy Times | Published January 27, 2011

 Troy sophomore James Young drives to the basket in a game earlier this season. Young is leading the Colts with 25 points per game.

Troy sophomore James Young drives to the basket in a game earlier this season. Young is leading the Colts with 25 points per game.

Photos by Patricia O’Blenes

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TROY — Troy High boys basketball coach Gary Fralick knew it had to be better this time around.

Last season, whatever could go wrong, did just that. Whether it was injuries or an illness, the Colts struggled along to an unlikely 6-15 record.

“Last year was just a tough year,” the coach said during a break from practice Jan. 20. “It was really a Catch-22.”

Fast-forward to this past summer, and Fralick saw signs that things would be better. The Colts won 15 of their 20 scrimmages against tough competition.

The Colts are keeping that momentum going and were 10-1 overall, 5-1 the Oakland Activities White Division.

“I’m happy about it, but not necessarily surprised,” Fralick said.

The Colts’ record is all the more impressive considering they are doing it in the balanced White Division. Fralick said it’s the most parity he’s seen in the division.

Troy leads the pack, but Auburn Hills Avondale, Berkley High and Ferndale High are all just a game behind.

“From top to bottom, from the No. 1 team to the No. 9 team, believe it or not, anyone can beat anyone,” he said. “I think it’s wonderful, because we don’t have to sell the kids that (each) game is going to be tough.”

Senior captain Al Wise agreed.

“Every game is a challenge,” he said. “You just have to go out every game and try your hardest. It makes you work harder because you know if you lose, you’re out of the top.”

Wise said a big difference this season has been the support the team has received.

“We have great fans this year. A lot of the students get together and come to our games. That helps us play better,” he said. “We just feel like, ‘Wow, people want us to do good,’ so it just pushes us even more to do better.”

Another reason for the strong start is the maturation of sophomore forward James Young, who is averaging over 25 points per game. Last season, he scored 14 a contest.

“James has improved a lot. He’s gotten bigger and stronger,” Fralick said. “He’s spent time in the weight room, and he’s more of a man among boys this year.”

Though Fralick is happy with what he’s seen so far, he believes there is room to improve.

“When we decide that we’re going to be a good rebounding team, which we’re capable of, and when we cut our turnovers down, we’re going to be hard to beat,” he said.

Catch the Colts against Lake Orion High at 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at home.
 

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