STUDENT VIEW: Nick Brad-three catches fire to deliver Falcons to win over Adams | North Oakland Sports

STUDENT VIEW: Nick Brad-three catches fire to deliver Falcons to win over Adams

| February 16, 2011 | Comments (1)

ROCHESTER HILLS — The ball flew around the court as the Rochester High Falcons took on Rochester Adams in the fifth annual Crosstown Showdown inside the Athletics Center O’Rena at Oakland University.

The ball was passed from Falcon to Falcon, just waiting to be shot at the right time. From junior forward Taylor Perry to sophomore center Arben Camaj then to senior guard Billy Klotz and so fourth. All in preparation for the perfect shot.

Finally, as it happened so often during the game, the ball made its way into the waiting hands of senior guard Nick Bradley, who was constantly standing just outside the three point line. And he didn’t disappoint. Bradley went 7-for-9 for three pointers, a career high. Just call him, Nick Brad-three.

“I hit a couple and seemed to have a hot hand,” Bradley said. “They felt good coming out. I was just trying to get a win.”

But there wasn’t just Bradley. There was Klotz, his junior brother Mike, Perry, junior Kurt Apostol and, in short, the entire team. Add all the terrific performances together and you got a 63-48 victory for the Falcons over Adams. Their first in the showdown.

It’s about time.

While the game was close early on — each team went into the half with 25 points — in the second half, the Falcons began to run away, even without three-year starter Paris Pereia, who is injured, and do what no team could before them.

“I thought we should have been up (at the half) since we had some good defensive breakdowns,” head coach John Pleasant said. “The big thing for us that we have to believe. I think once we went on that run [at the start of the third quarter] … we really started to believe.”

A big part of that was Bradley, who had 22 points on the night, 18 from three pointers.

“Offensively we have some really good shooters, but if we commit to the defensive end, this can be a special team,” coach Pleasant said. “I think a league championship, district championship are certainly in the realm of possibility.”

Tonight, it felt like a championship. The crowd was jumping up and down, screaming, and believing in a Falcons squad that has been down in recent years, which definitely affected the players.

“That was all the seniors talked about,” Bradley said when asked about what this game meant to him and fellow seniors. “The juniors definitely stepped up and helped us out. That’s all we wanted to do, that’s all we talked about, ‘Beat Adams in the Crosstown Showdown.’”

Like stated by Bradley, underclassmen played more than the role of towel boy and bench warmer in this one: Camaj blocked four shots and freshman Jason Lee made clutch free-throws and wasn’t afraid to run straight up the lane into Highlanders defenders twice his size, almost mirroring the performance that Pereria made in his first Showdown two years ago.

In the end, Adams, it seemed was just simply overmatched, even when it came to defense, Adams’ bread and butter.

“I think what was too much was that they played a really good game, “Adams coach John Hall said. “They executed, their seniors rose up, Bradley was incredible, and you saw a group of kids that just united, came together, had a game plan, executed it and played really well.”

Unite they did. It’s not too often you watch a game that almost every player made a big play, be it a rebound, blocking a shot, hitting a big three or making free throws. Overall, the game, though only one on the schedule, seemed like a turning point for this basketball team and potentially for Rochester High athletics as a whole.

First we had the girls golf team finish seventh overall and win both the team and individual state championship the two previous seasons. Then, the varsity football team took us all on a ride, turning the corner and reaching the playoffs. The competitive cheer team, though not as strong as years past, is still thought of as a state powerhouse. And now, the basketball team, anchored by Bradley, Perry, Billy Klotz and Pereira, look to win even more games, inching closer to a title.

Put simply, for a fan, it’s a great year to be a Falcon.

(Aaron Kuhn is a junior at Rochester High School and part of the Student Correspondent Program at


Category: Prep Wraps, Rochester, Rochester Adams, Student Columns

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