West Bloomfield cruises to Class A state semifinal with 80-43 win against Troy

By: Mike Moore | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 21, 2017

 As the final seconds expired, the celebration was on for the West Bloomfield High basketball team.

As the final seconds expired, the celebration was on for the West Bloomfield High basketball team.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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DETROIT — Whether or not this was the intention, well, it certainly was the result.

Whether or not the West Bloomfield High boys basketball team felt like it had to prove a point about belonging on the biggest of stages this deep into the Class A playoffs, well, the Lakers certainly did.

Emphatically.

With hot shooting and a suffocating defense, West Bloomfield cruised into Friday’s state semifinal with an 80-43 route of Troy High in Tuesday night’s quarterfinal game at Calihan Hall.

“Can’t explain it,” coach Jeremy Denha said after his team punched a ticket to the Breslin Center. “If you don’t work hard and you don’t say your goals out loud, you don’t believe it. Every guy here believes (we could do this).”

"We didn't play well the whole game, but we busted our butts,” Troy coach Gary Fralick said. “They just played a very good game, and we gave up too many looks to (West Bloomfield senior Kevin) McAdoo. He's a heck of a player, really hard to stop, because he can shoot it and drive it. We just didn't shoot well tonight. We battled hard, but we didn't execute.”

Riding the high of last week’s overtime comeback and last-second victory against Novi High in the regional final, the Lakers came out on fire Tuesday, connecting on a four 3-pointers while taking an 18-11 lead after the first quarter.

The teams were fairly even — and back and forth in the second — with the Lakers taking a 34-24 lead into halftime.

But the third quarter was the signature moment for this West Bloomfield journey to East Lansing, and the nail in the coffin for Troy.

The Lakers couldn’t miss.

The Colts couldn’t set up their offense, yet alone make a shot.

West Bloomfield went on a 20-2 run in the frame, keeping Troy off the board until 37 seconds remained in the quarter.

“That was huge,” Denha said with a smile about the third. “We played 'D' and we played 'D'. The guys just kept fighting.”

By the fourth quarter Denha had emptied his bench and the celebration was on in the over-packed student section.

“This is just crazy,” said McAdoo, who poured in a game-high 23 points. “It’s so special. The people here to support us. The success this basketball program has had.”

The final score was somewhat surprising considering West Bloomfield had beaten Troy by just three, 64-61, earlier this winter.

“Film — we studied so much,” McAdoo said when asked about the 37-point margin Tuesday, not sounding surprised. “Guys are locked in right now. We were fired up.”

"We played much better a month ago, we hit shots,” Fralick said. “We just didn't hit many shots tonight. That's a very good team, very quick. They can jump in the passing lanes and rebound well, and they had us a little off balance."

Now 18-9, the Lakers are set to face Clarkston High (25-1) in the 1 p.m. semifinal Friday afternoon.

Clarkston defeated West Bloomfield 59-48 on Jan. 31 and 68-61 on Feb. 28.

“People saw how we played tonight?” McAdoo asked. “We’ll be ready for Clarkston. We have the team that can pull it off.”

Tyler Davis added 17 points for the Lakers in the win, while Daniel Wrack scored 16.

Leon Ayers led Troy with nine points, while Robert Banas added eight.

The Colts closed the season 23-5.

"It's been a great run,” Fralick added. “This was the first time we've been in the quarterfinal since 1989. Wish we could've had a bit of a better showing when we got here. We plan on being competitive next year, and hopefully we can do better things.”

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