Walled Lake Western's #10 David Walczyk shoots over the outstretched arms of Detroit Country Day's #34 DeShawn Lewis during their game at Walled Lake Western High School, Friday December 13, 2013. Western went on to win the game 73-69. (Vaughn Gurganian-The Oakland Press)
Basketball - Boys
BOYS BASKETBALL: Walled Lake Western claims upset over Country Day in early season matchup WITH TOUT VIDEOS
Detroit Country Day's #4 Edmond Sumner drives past Walled Lake Western's #15 John Flowers during their game at Walled Lake Western High School, Friday December 13, 2013. Western went on to win the game 73-69. (Vaughn Gurganian-The Oakland Press)
Walled Lake Western's #15 John Flowers and Detroit Country Day's #20 Taylor Graffa tussle for the ball during their game at Walled Lake Western High School, Friday December 13, 2013. Western went on to win the game 73-69. (Vaughn Gurganian-The Oakland Press)
Detroit Country Day's first year coach Mark Bray gives instructions to #10 Darrell Davison Jr. during their game against Walled Lake Western at Walled Lake Western High School, Friday December 13, 2013. Western went on to win the game 73-69. (Vaughn Gurganian-The Oakland Press)
WIXOM – The old-school Walled Lake Western Warriors beat the new-look Birmingham Detroit Country Day Yellowjackets on the boys basketball floor Friday night in a clash of Oakland County hoop powers.
Going at it in frantic and foul-plagued fashion (20 whistles in opening six minutes), host Western posted a 73-69 upset of the defending Class B state champions in the season-opener for both clubs.
Western, which brings back the majority of its line-up from last year, led for most of the game and then closed out the Yellowjackets, a club breaking in a fresh roster and coaching staff this winter, with a late dose of playmaking in the clutch.
CLICK HERE TO VIEW A PHOTO GALLERY FROM THIS GAME.
With Western ahead by eight points with under three minutes remaining, Country Day trimmed its' deficit to two points on two separate occasions down the stretch, but couldn’t make any more headway.
Free throws by point guard Jerald Booker, small forward Moshea Williams, and power forward David Walczyk in the final 30 seconds secured the win for the Warriors.
Booker had a team-high 24 points and six assists and hit some big shots in the fourth quarter in heavy traffic (he had four "And 1s" on the night). His performance was made even more impressive considering he was playing with four fouls from early in the third quarter on.
Williams in his first varsity start had a nice effort of 15 points, hitting some critical shots in crunch time.
“We like playing with a fast tempo and tonight we used that style well,” Booker said. “I think both teams like playing that way.”
Last season, Country Day topped Western in overtime in a high-scoring affair in the Yellowjackets' gym during a holiday tournament.
Booker admits that last season’s barnburner was definitely on the mind of his team entering Friday’s ball game.
“Everyone thought we should have won last year and we came out tonight and played with something to prove,” he said.
Junior Marcus Bailey recorded a double-double of 10 points and 19 rebounds on Western’s behalf, controlling play in the paint and on the glass. Fellow junior John Flowers tallied 10 points and Walczyk had six points and seven rebounds in a rugged outing for Western on the blocks.
Western was in front 42-34 at the half and 52-47 entering the game's final frame.
Friday was Country Day’s first action with 35-year old head coach Mark Bray on the sidelines in place of longtime Yellowjackets’ coaching legend Kurt Keener (9 state titles), who departed for a job in Arizona back in the summer.
“We need to execute with more precision,” said Bray following the game. “It’s a marathon, not a sprint though and we have to have a short memory going forward, put this behind us quickly and move on. We’re going to get better.”
Bray’s senior captain, Country Day all-state floor general Edmond Sumner, a Mr. Basketball candidate and Xavier-commit, netted a game-high 27 points to go along with six assists, six rebounds and four steals.
Maceo Baston, Jr. and Nazir Wallace looked good for the Yellowjackets as well; Baston put in 20 points, 17 in the second half and Wallace had six points and 14 rebounds.
WL WESTERN 73, BIRMINGHAM DCD 69
DCD - Jared Logan 1 2-2 4; Edmond Sumner 4 (1) 16-19 27; Dawan Perry 1-2 1; Maceo Baston 6 (2) 2-2 20; Taylor Graffa (1) 3; Nazir Wallace 3 6; Deshawn Lewis 3 2-4 8
WLW - Marcus Bailey 4 2-4 10; Daryl Porter (1) 3; Jerald Booker 9 6-8 24; Ra Murray 1 2; John Flowers 4 2-4 10; Slava Finko (1) 3; Demond Young 1 2; Mosheh Williams 5 (1) 2-2 15
SCORE BY QUARTER
DCD 21 7 13 22 - 69
WLW 24 18 10 19- 73
RECORDS - WLW 1-0; DCD 0-1