BOYS BASKETBALL: Final ‘Breslin’ation: Waterford Our Lady overcomes poor shooting to reach state semifinals for first time in 22 years

| March 25, 2015 | Comments (0)



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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Thing a beauty?

Far from it. In fact, it was downright ugly.

But every ugly duckling can produce a swan.

Ditto for Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.

The unbeaten Lakers continued their vision quest for the perfect season by downing unranked Burton Genesee Christian, 48-30, Tuesday night in the Class D state quarterfinals at West Bloomfield High School. WOLL did so despite its lowest field goal shooting night of the season.

The win, although not a typical performance for the top-ranked Lakers (25-0), propels this team into Thursday’s state semifinals  for the third time in school history and first since 1993. WOLL will face sharp-shooting Morenci (23-2) at 6 p.m. at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.

“If it means reaching the Final Four, we’ll take it,” smiled WOLL coach Steve Robak. “It wasn’t pretty, that’s for sure.”

Genesee Christian was making its second appearance in the quarterfinals since leaving the Michigan Association of Christian Schools for the MHSAA Class D two decades ago. The Soldiers built an 11-8 lead at the end of the first quarter before a proverbial lid was placed on their basket.

Genesee Christian went from the 1:45 mark of the second quarter until their was 4:20 remaining in the fourth quarter without a basket — a stretch of 13:25 of game clock. By that time the Soldiers trailed 38-21.

Genesee Christian finished the night a dismal 11-for-55 shooting from the floor (20.0 percent), including 2-for-20 from beyond the three-point arc (10 percent) and converted just 6-of-12 free throws (50 percent) to go with 22 turnovers.

“It’s hard to go that long without a basket, especially against an undefeated team like Lakes,” said Genesee Christian coach Dan Chapman. “We did a nice job on defense, disrupting their rhythm. But we had a hard time making a basket against their size. It was one of those games where it seemed like nobody could buy a bucket.”


The high-octane Lakers sputtered as well in this contest, shooting a season-low 30.2 percent from the floor (16-for-53), making just 1-of-15 three-pointers (6.6 percent) and just 15-of-29 free throws (51.7 percent). They simply went to the defensive end to keep the Soldiers from marching on to East Lansing.

“We told the guys before the playoffs that, along the way, defense and rebounding is going to have to win you a game because the offense won’t be there,” offered Coach Robak. “I didn’t think that would mean it wouldn’t be there for 32 minutes, but oddly, it wasn’t there for 32 minutes and we still won. We found a way to win. Defense is what did it. (Genesee Christian) is a very scrappy team.”

Senior guard Travis Rose finished with 11 points and six rebounds, while sophomore guard Tyler Rose added eight points and six steals for Genesee Christian, which amassed 14 team steals with its pesky defense.

Senior guard Nick Robak led the Lakers with 16 points and 13 rebounds, both game highs, to go along with three steals. Junior guard Andrew Kline added 10 points, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals, while junior forward Clay Senerius chipped in with six points, eight rebounds and two more steals for Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.

“We just had to keep working hard to be able to make it to Breslin,” said Robak, one of the state’s top small-school talents. “We knew that we can still play great defense when we are not shooting well. We just had to do it as a team.”

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Category: Basketball, Featured Articles, High School, High School (M-Z), Most Recently Updated Stories, NOS reference, Prep Wraps, Sport, Top Stories, Uncategorized, Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes

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