HOOPS NOTEBOOK: Gabriel Richard about to add 13 feet worth of transfers
Darren Washington, a 6-foot-9 junior from Detroit Southeastern, and Luther Page, a 6-foot-6 junior from Huron, will officially join the Fighting Irish that day. Although they've been practicing with the team all season, they’ll see their first game action Tuesday night when Royal Oak Shrine visits.
“It’s going to be a whole new world,” said Gabriel Richard coach Pete Schoch. “We’re obviously going to be a far more difficult matchup inside for people.”
Schoch calls his newcomers “big and skilled,” and says both should make an immediate impact.
Plus, the addition of the two post players should free up space for outside shooters like Josh Herbeck, Matt Jenkins and Keith Mackie. Brendan Cooper and Donnie Eaton, who’ve been forced to battle much bigger players inside, will also be able to move to their more natural forward positions.
Other notable transfers in Washtenaw County:
Pioneer: The family of P.J. Walker, a 6-foot-2 shooting guard from Saginaw Heritage, moved to Ann Arbor over the winter break and he has enrolled at Pioneer. Coach Rex Stanczak says the school is still clearing his eligibility - he played four games for Heritage earlier this season, complicating matters - but says he should contribute to the varsity squad once everything is finalized.
Greenhills: Matt Jong, a 5-foot-11 guard from Pioneer, is expected to make an immediate impact. He’ll join a large guard rotation for the under-sized Gryphons, who’ll do a little more pressing with him in the lineup.
FACE OF INTIMIDATION The Dexter student section is one of the rowdiest in the area, and it’s always coming up with new and creative ways to get into the opponents’ heads.
Kedroske, a senior captain for the Dreadnaughts, has been immortalized by his classmates in the form of a gigantic poster of his face, which is affixed to a broomstick in the middle of the student section. As fellow senior Emma Monaghan explained, she, or whoever else has the privilege of holding the poster during games, pumps and waves the poster during opponents’ free throws like union workers at a picket line.
Why do they do this? The teeth-baring game face of Kedroske is meant to intimidate.
“Look at those people over there,” Dexter senior Lara Valdmanis said during a recent game, pointing toward the Lincoln student section while toting Kedroske’s likeness. “So intimidated by this face right now. So intimidated.”
BUSY WEEKEND The Huron and Ypsilanti girls teams have a busy weekend ahead of them.
The River Rats host defending SEC Red champion Temperance Bedford on Friday night before heading to Dearborn Heights Robichaud on Saturday for the Martin Luther King Jr. Classic, where the River Rats will play Class A No. 4-ranked Inkster at 5 p.m.
“That's why I'm kind of happy about getting to rest my starters quite a bit,” Huron coach Steve Vinson said after Tuesday’s 67-24 win over Dexter. “That's really what we're going to need this week, because Saturday it's going to be a dogfight.”
Ypsilanti, which hosts Dexter Friday night, also plays in the Saturday showcase. The Phoenix will face host Robichaud at 3 p.m.
MORE THAN A 2-POINTER Quantitatively, a 3-pointer is the most valuable play in basketball. Sometimes the numbers don’t tell the whole story, which is why some might argue a momentum-grabbing, rim-rattling, crowd-pleasing dunk may actually beat a 3-pointer.
Huron forward Kyle Baker was twice denied crowd pleasing one-handed slams against Dexter on Tuesday. After weaving through traffic and throwing one down in the third quarter, he was called for traveling. Sensing another Baker aerial display coming, a Dreadnaught defender fouled him hard from behind before he had the opportunity for liftoff later on in the fourth.
Baker’s teammate Dante Williams more than made up for the two missed opportunities. On the ensuing Huron possession following the foul, Williams slammed home a two-hander that acted as a shot of life for Huron and a kiss of death for Dexter.
Huron coach Waleed Samaha sees the defensive value of a dunk, stating after Williams’ slam, “Once we made that play our energy level picked up even more defensively and we were able to put the game away.”
PIONEER ADDS GAME The Pioneer boys have added a game at Dearborn Heights Robichaud on Saturday, Feb. 6. The varsity game is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Pioneer was left looking to fill a hole in its schedule after LaPorte (Ind.) La Lumiere canceled a trip to the Saline Holiday Classic on Jan. 2. Robichaud entered the year with a 19-game schedule, one shy of the maximum allowed in the regular season.
Compiled by Rich Rezler and Pete Cunningham.