December 21, 2011 - The Dragon boys' basketball team is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with this season. This was evident after two more wins last week.
Junior Roman Kuster snuck outside and darts inside to make an easy basket. Photo by G. Ouzounian (click for larger version)
On Dec. 13, Lake Orion played a very close game against Southfield, coming from behind in the fourth quarter to win 60-53
"It went really well - I was worried because they are such an athletic team," said Head Coach Tom Risi. "Our kids played really tough and we managed to come from behind. The way we played in the fourth quarter was really great.
"We stepped up and took control. The win was very satisfying for all of us on the team."
Up next was Berkley on Dec. 15. The game started with both teams exchanging blows, but Lake Orion soon proved the superior team, beating the Bears 59-34.
Top scorers included junior Chaz Miller with 10 points, senior Brad Watterworth with six points, sophomore John McCarty with six points and junior Roman Kuster with six points. Leading rebounders were Watterworth with nine, Kuster with six and McCarty with six.
One major contributing factor to the victory, according to Risi, was the Dragons' physical height.
"We're probably one of the bigger teams in the OAA," he said. "They just couldn't handle our size and we took advantage of that. When you can't match up to the size of a player, they only thing left is to play scrappy. When you have a six-foot-one guy guarding a six-foot-eight you really don't have any other choice.
"We've shot more foul shots in the last four games that I thought we would all year."
Risi added the team's growth has been evident, particularly in teamwork and chemistry. Citing the large number of assists in the game against Berkley, he added working together and additional passing makes all the difference in a tight situation in the paint.
But no performance is perfect and Risi would still like his players to be more accurate with long range shots.
"We went 0-9 shooting from the three point line," he said. "They packed into the two point zone because they knew we couldn't shoot outside. The result is a we had to get scrappy inside.
"It's something we really need to improve on and something we're working on. Our mid- to long-range shots are nonexistent."
After the holiday break, the Dragons will be facing their long time rivals, the Clarkston Wolves, on Jan. 3. Risi remained reserved about his expectations about the game, but called the match-up a chance to see how far along his team is.
"We're really looking forward to playing them because I think it will be a true test of how improved this team is," he said. "We're going to play against these guys who are a well-coached, athletic team, so I think it will serve as a good measuring stick.
The Dragons are currently 3-1 on the season.