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Senior Justin Walukonis wrestles for the basketball against Ferndale. Photo by J. St. Henry (click for larger version)
January 18, 2012 - The Dragons managed to break even last week with a win 65-49 win over Notre Dame Prep and a tough 63-56 loss against Ferndale.

In what head coach Tom Risi called the best game his team has played all year, senior Brad Watterworth and sophomore John McCarty led the scoring with 20 points each against Notre Dame. Senior Chaz Miller tacked on another 14 points in the solid victory.

The Jan. 13 game against Ferndale was as disappointing as the victory against the Fighting Irish was exhilerating. With Orion scoring similar to the game earlier in the week, it was a combination of errors that led to the loss, the coach said. While Risi said he was happy with how his team played despite the loss, but pointed out the team struggled on defense early.

"We were losing 14-2 in the first two minutes of the game," said Risi. "Ferndale created 21 turnovers, and they shot very well from the three point line. Between ball pressure and their shooting we just couldn't hold them back.

"They locked us down."

Lake Orion's inside game was again its strong point, with the team shooting 20 for 37. Ferndale finished 16 for 36, including five of nine from three-point range. Lake Orion went two for 14 from the three-point arc. Orion did take the lead once in the third period by two after a brief surge.

"They were very quick and very athletic," said Risi. "Defensively we were not where we needed to be. McCarty got into early foul trouble, which did not help us since he's one of the better defenders. At the end of the day though, you just cannot turn over the ball as much as we did and expect to win."

Watterworth scored 14 points while McCarty took 13. Miller, according to Risi, has played much better since the Jan. 3 game against Clarkston. He lead the team in scoring against Ferndale, with 20 points.

"He's been playing like I know he could," said Risi. "He's on fire."

Risi added his appreciation for the strong crowd that came out to watch his team and said when the crowd gets into the game he cannot thank them enough. He said having so many people in the community care about the basketball team was beneficial to team moral.

Orion also played Birminham Seaholm on Jan. 17 and will play again against Stoney Creek on Friday. Risi said Birmingham would prove a tough opponent as they have the same record. He was not able to offer a comment on Stoney Creek.

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