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It took 10 years, four quarters and even an overtime period before Gabriel Richard Catholic would hoist its first conference title since their last title in boys’ basketball.

The Pioneers won their fifth straight game last Monday night with a 43-42 win in overtime over Everest Collegiate. Both teams came into the final regular-season game tied for first place with 6-1 league records.

“You really couldn't ask more of a championship game than that,” said Richard Coach Kris Daiek. “Our school is extremely proud of this accomplishment. Our boys showed some resiliency and I hope we can keep it going.”

Richard finished the regular season 10-4 overall and 7-1 in the league.

The Pioneers opened with an 8-2 lead as John Lemieux scored five points. The Mountaineers struggled early to find the scoring touch as GR took a 10-6 lead after one quarter.

“Both teams seemed a little tight,” Daiek said. “We had some easy chances in the first 3 minutes and didn't capitalize. I thought we played great defense in the first quarter.”

Richard tried to establish a post presence in the second quarter. Senior Colton Jarratt scored four points in the quarter but both teams continued to struggle offensively.

The Pioneers took a 20-14 lead into halftime.

Everest turned the tables on Richard in the third quarter, outscoring the Pioneers 13-6 to take a 27-26 lead after three.

Tyler Blaszczak began attacking the Mountaineers’ defense and scored four points to give his club a lead early in the fourth quarter.

However, the defending champions stormed back with clutch 3-pointers and free throws to take a three-point lead with under two minutes to go in regulation.

After a time out, Blaszczak nailed a triple from the top of the key to tie the game at 37-37.

“We called a timeout to try and set up John (Lemieux) and it ended up in Blaszczak's hands. And he hit it. It wasn't exactly how we drew it up, but we'll take it,” Daiek said.

The Pioneers forced a turnover off an Anthony Brown steal with 43 seconds on the clock.

The Pioneers ran the clock down to eight seconds, setting up a chance to win the game in regulation. Richard failed to get a shot off and the game headed to overtime.

“We practice these late-game situations and unfortunately we couldn't get a shot off,” Daiek said. “Give credit to Everest. They defended very well all night.”

The Pioneers got a key stop on the opening possession of overtime, but after a Richard miss, Everest’s Luke Allen hit a 3-pointer before Richard’s Colton Jarratt hit a free throw to cut the deficit to two points.

After an Everest miss, the Pioneers called their final timeout.

“We talked about three possessions in that time out,” Daiek said.

Richard turned the ball over and had to foul. But Everest missed the free throw.

Brown found Lemieux for a deep 3-pointer that hit nothing but net to give the Pioneers a 41-40 lead.

Everest’s Owen McMahon answered with a basket with 20 seconds left to steal the lead right back at 42-41.

Brown took the in-bound pass and found Tyler Blaszczak on the right wing. The junior drove the baseline, spun and knocked down a tough 10 footer to give the Pioneers a 43-42 lead with eight seconds remaining.

“That was a big-time shot,” Daiek said. “He has been playing at a high level and that shot was just a reward for his work."

Everest called its final timeout to set up a last attempt. But a shot near the free-throw line missed at the buzzer.

The Pioneers opened the league playoffs on Saturday with a 48-39 win over Detroit Cristo Rey High School.

The Pioneers took a 13-8 lead after one quarter behind the strong play of John Lemieux and Colton Jarratt.

Richard opened a 31-18 lead in the second quarter. Jake Lipetzky had four points and six of his team-high 11 rebounds and Tyler Blaszczak had six points in the quarter.

The Pioneers led by as many as 16 points before Cristo Rey cut it to 11 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Pioneers extended the lead back to 16 points behind the play of Brown, who scored five of his 10 points in the quarter.


The Inter-City Chargers hosted Detroit Country Day on Saturday, falling 68-53.

The Chargers trailed 28-24 at halftime.

“The first half we had plenty of open looks and could have gotten some separation from them but were unable to knock those shots down,” Coach Mark Kraatz said. “DCD started the third quarter on a 10-0 run and that really was the difference. They knocked down their first three shots and we turned it over twice and that’s where the game changed.”

It was a good learning experience for the talented Chargers.

“We have to learn to eliminate those large run outs when we face the good teams,” Kraatz said. “I thought our guys were ready to play and in the first half really looked like we were going to take control of the game. We also need to learn to capitalize when we have teams on their heels, and we need to get those 10-0 runs like DCD did on us.”

A positive experience for Inter-City, Kraatz said.

“The game will do nothing but help us in the tournament if we learn from our mistakes,” he added.

Evan Kraatz had 25 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Luke Barber had seven points and Nathan Estell, Bradu Fressel and Troy Kazlaskaus each scored six. Fressel also had five rebounds and Kazlaskaus grabbed eight rebounds.

Inter-City beat Plymouth Christian 65-47 on Friday. The Chargers led 40-15 at halftime.

Evan Kraatz had 21 points, 10 assists and eight steals and Garrett Kraatz had 15 points, five steals and five rebounds. Luke Barber had 13 points and eight rebounds; Troy Kazlauskas had eight points and nine rebounds; and Nick Carrico had four points.

The week started last Tuesday with a 74-56 win over Franklin Road.

Barber had 22 points and nine rebounds and Evan Kraatz had 15 points, nine assists, six steals and six rebounds. Kazlauskas had 13 points and eight rebounds; Estell had nine points and Garrett Kraatz had six points and nine boards.

Inter-City plays Oakland Christian at home on Thursday and then hosts Roeper on Friday.

Baptist Park

It was a good week for the Wildcats, who won both games last week.

The week started with a 58-56 victory over visiting Sterling Heights Parkway. Anthony Kaminski had 22 points and Devante Schofield scored 20 in the win. Both players also had 13 rebounds. Caleb Culp had six points and 14 rebounds and Seth Thompson had eight points.

The Wildcats led 17-11 after the first quarter and 27-24 at the break. Baptist Park outscored Parkway 16-13 in the third quarter.

“We had a small lead for most of the game until the last two minutes of the game when Parkway took a 54-50 lead,” Baptist Park Coach Bill Miller said. “They missed some free throws and Schofield made all four of his to tie the game. We then traded baskets before Anthony hit a bucket with three seconds left to win it.”

On Tuesday night, the Wildcats jumped out to a 19-5 lead and cruised to a 67-41 win over Lutheran South. Kaminski had 19 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Schofield had 13 points and eight rebounds, Daniel Eubank had 12 points and Culp had seven points and 12 rebounds.

Last Updated: 2/18/2014 2:41:26 PM EST