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Orchard Lake St. Mary's boys basketball downs Brother Rice

Junior Trey McKenney finished with a team-high 16 points
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ROCHESTER, Michigan — The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep Eaglets (9-1) handled the Brother Rice Warriors (8-3) en route to a 66-47 win at Oakland University on Sunday. The game was originally scheduled for January 12, but was postponed due to weather.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Revisiting a rivalry

St. Mary’s Prep and Brother Rice have long been connected in the Catholic League. Last season, Brother Rice was going into the playoffs 22-1 and seemed poised for a state title. The Warriors’ quest for glory was cut short by St. Mary’s in just the second round of the playoffs, losing to the Eaglets 57-50.

That being said, the Eaglets hadn’t beaten Brother Rice in the regular season since 2021 before Sunday. Junior St. Mary’s forward Trey McKenney said his team wanted to prove something this time around.

“Ever since I’ve been at St. Mary’s, we’ve never beaten them in the regular season, so [we] had to make a statement and let it be known that we’re the top dog in the state,” McKenney said.

McKenney finished with a team-high 16 points.

McKenney is usually unstoppable when he wants to score, but he had some trouble finding the bottom of the bucket early on. He still managed to make an impact on the game however, as he found open teammates and forced multiple turnovers on defense.

McKenney said he’s been focusing on his defense.

“I feel like my scoring is pretty automatic, but when it’s not I can do other things on the court,” McKenney said. “Get my teammates involved and play defense. I’ve been working on my defensive intensity so I feel like that’s really starting to show.”

Eaglets' defense showed up

A large portion of Brother Rice’s offense from last season is now at the collegiate level, and it showed on Sunday. St. Mary’s jumped out to a 23-9 lead early in the second quarter, and it kept a double-digit lead throughout most of the game. 

Senior Brother Rice guard Warren Marshall (Oakland) didn’t score until the second half. Sophomore Brother Rice guard Elijah Williams led his team with 19 points.

Junior St. Mary’s guard Sharod Barnes was one of the most active players on the floor. Although he finished with 11 points, Barnes came up with multiple steals leading to Eaglets buckets. Barnes said they were in the right place at the right time.

“Coach is big on defense and help-side,” Barnes said. “So we were just in the gaps waiting for them to drive, and we got the steals.”

Attitude reflects leadership

Late in the fourth quarter with the game in-hand, St. Mary’s had most of its starters on the floor. Rather than lallygagging and waiting for the clock to run out, McKenney and Barnes were diving for loose balls and sprinting up and down the court.

St. Mary’s head coach Todd Covert said McKenney sets the standard.

“That’s who he is man, he’s the first one in the gym and the last one to leave,” Covert said. “That’s why he’s so great. He does all the little stuff.”

Barnes said himself and McKenney try to set an example.

“That’s what we expect (from) two captains,” Barnes said. “If our captains are doing it, the whole team should be doing it.”

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