With only one home game remaining on the schedule, Kurt Keener's squad gave the home crowd a good show.
Still missing the services of center Amir Williams (No. 52 on Rivals 150 of 2011), No. 1 Detroit Country Day dominated rival Orchard Lake St. Mary's 73-50 Friday night to win the Voorheis Trophy, annually awarded to the winner.
The Yellowjackets got solid production out of their guards, with senior guard Ray McCallum (No. 60 Rivals 150 of 2010) leading with 22 points and 12 rebounds, and junior Lee Bailey posting 17 points.
"This is a big game for Lee," McCallum said. "He brought his game and did what he had to do, definitely knocked down a lot of big-time shots."
Bailey helped Country Day dominate right out of the gate, scoring the first nine of their 11 points of the game.
"It means a lot because since we're an independent school we really don't have a leading rival, so this is one of the teams that we play year in and year out," Bailey said. "We just try to come out and play hard and get that trophy back this year."
Leading by 25 points at roughly the six-minute mark of the fourth quarter, Keener pulled his stars for the remainder of the game and still got solid production from his reserves. It was a lead in large part thanks to a dominating effort by the Yellowjackets on the boards, collecting 44 total rebounds.
"It was far and away our best offensive rebounding effort of the season," Keener said. "In the last two games we were trounced on the boards, so that became a point of emphasis that we wanted to win the battle of the boards, particularly on the offensive end. Jason Ray is kind of an undersized power forward, and he did a heckuva job, but all of our guys did and I was really pleased with that."
Ray, a 6'3" senior, was able to elbow his way into the post for some buckets as well, finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds. He played a key factor with Country Day missing two of its other tallest players, 6'4" senior Kenny Knight and 6'5" senior Carter Elliot.
It was somewhat of an off-game for McCallum in terms of long-range shooting, as he drained just 1-of-6 3-point attempts. He still made his presence felt, scoring the last six points of the first half to lead the Yellowjackets into the locker room with a 38-17 lead.
The Eaglets were paced by junior guard Allen Robinson, who led the team with 23 points, along with senior guard Evan Webster who scored 11. St. Mary's was hurt by subpar free throw shooting, only hitting 50 percent on 11-of-12 attempts.
Country Day will face an unrivaled test next Saturday, travelling to a neutral site of Saginaw to take on the No. 1 ranked team in the nation, Columbus Northland of Ohio.
"No one thinks we're going to beat this team," McCallum said. "We're going to come out and try to shock the nation and make a statement."
Keener said that Williams is expected to return from injury to face Columbus Northland and center Jared Sullinger, the No. 3 player in the country.
"We're just trying to be really conservative with it. He didn't need any surgery, but it was a slight tear of the meniscus. He's been doing all of his weightlifting and cardio, and he's dying to get back in there. I told him if we have any chance next Saturday, he's got to be there," Keener said.
Michigan's top boys basketball team wins again
Posted on: February 1, 2010 12:41 am