BOYS BASKETBALL: Troy guns down Seaholm to repeat as district champs, earn date with No. 1 Clarkston

| March 11, 2018 | Comments (0)



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TROY — Leon Ayers III made sure that Troy would not join the upset victims list in the Class A state tournament.

Ayers, a 6-foot-4 senior guard from Troy who was averaging 17.5 points a game, drilled four three-pointers in the first quarter Friday, drained six total in the contest and finished with a game-high 24 points in leading the Colts, honorable mention in the Associated Press polls, to a 68-47 victory over Birmingham Seaholm in the district finals.

District host Troy sank 10 three-pointers as a team — nine in the first half — for 30 of the Colts’ 67 total points on the night.

“We have a lot of shooters and when we’re knocking down shots, we’re tough to beat,” noted longtime Troy coach Gary Fralick. “We’ve had some games like this over the course of the season where it seems like we aren’t missing much. We hit six threes in the first quarter alone.

“We’re averaging around 70 points a game, and in high school basketball that’s pretty good,” said Fralick, whose team won OAA White Division, district and regional titles last season and returned most of that roster this winter. “We have a lot of guys that can score and we’ve been rebounding the ball better lately, which has helped us get more offensive rebounds and a lot more second shots.”

Ayers notched 13 points in the opening quarter, where Troy (17-5) built a 20-8 lead. The Colts continued to pour it on in the second quarter with a trio of three-pointers and a 22-6 run, good for a 42-14 halftime advantage.

Seaholm outscored Troy 33-25 in the second half, but Troy rotated freely in the fourth stanza and went deep into its bench.

Senior Danny Sully, a 6-foot-7 center, added 13 points and 10 rebounds and 6-4 senior guard Jason Dietz chipped in with 10 points for the Colts. Junior guard Clay Sebastian, freshman guard Brody Parker, 6-4 senior forward Robert Banas and 6-3 senior forward Cheikh Diop also had solid games for Troy.

The quartet have been unsung heroes all season.

“We have depth,” noted Fralick. “We have guys that might not fill up the scoring column because we have three seniors averaging in doubles. But we have guys who are doing some of the dirty work. Our freshman has scored in double figures in four games this season.”

Cooper Nixon scored 14 points and Brady Flynn added 12 points for Seaholm (9-14).

“I thought we came out with a lot of energy, knocked down a bunch of shots and played great defense,” said Fraylick. “We felt pretty good with the way we were playing both offensively and defensively that we would not let Seaholm back into the game.”

Troy will need to play with the same high-level energy in its next postseason contest. The Colts will face top-ranked and defending Class A state champion Clarkston (21-1) in the regional semifinals Monday at West Bloomfield High School.

“We’re going to have to play great energy — and more,” beamed Fralick. “They have so much talent, Taylor Currie is beast inside and they have the likely Mr. Basketball winner in Foster Lower. They have several guys that are so fundamentally sound, can shoot, rebound. So we’ll have to limit them to once chance each time down the court. You can’t give them too many second chances.”

Clarkston defeated Troy 59-54 on Jan. 16 and 58-49 on Feb. 16. Few teams have even been close with Clarkston the past two seasons.

“We know we can beat them. We’ve beat them four times before since I’ve been coach,” said Fralick. “But we’re going to have to have a near-perfect game. We have to rebound, hit shots and take care of the basketball. We’re going to give it our best shot and hope for an (upset).”

Troy senior center Danny Sully and the Colts repeated as district champions this year in a 68-47 triumph Friday over Birmingham Seaholm. Donated Photo | Troy Athletics Department

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