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OAA showdown was no let-down for Dragons



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Senior Damonte Kruse netted a season-high 21 points. Photo by T. Connolly (click for larger version)
January 30, 2013 - The expected basketball showdown last week between OAA Blue Division pre-season favorite Lahser and Lake Orion was more of a dress-down by the Dragons as they crushed the Knights, 74-54.

The win improved Lake Orion's record in the OAA Blue to 3-0 and this week they meet Harrison, also 3-0, in what is looming as the real showdown in the division. The game was Tuesday.

Senior point guard Damonte Kruse had his best game of the season to help the Dragons jump to a 19-7 lead in the first quarter. The Knights came back to take a 35-33 lead in the third quarter.

After some foul trouble to one of Lahser's floor leaders, the Dragons took control again.

In the fourth quarter, Lake Orion "Krused" outscoring the Knights, 34-19.

Kruse finished with 21 points. John McCarty netted 19 and Chaz Miller hit 18 to outpace Lahser's so-called big three of Yante Maten, Armans Cartwright and Khalil Gracey, who accounted for a total of 34 points.

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Nate Marcum secures a rebound. (click for larger version)
Lake Orion Coach Tom Risi said he was very happy with his team's play and is looking forward to the team's next challenge against Harrison.

"This was a good game for us," Risi said. "They (Lahser) were picked to win the division. This was fun for everyone. We are very happy with how we are playing right now."

A few weeks ago, the Dragons had to face three very tough teams in Clarkston, Detroit Country Day and Rochester Adams and suffered losses to all three.

Those setbacks helped mold his team into what it has shown in OAA Blue play.

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"You always learn more in your losses. If you want to be the best you have to play the best. We are a better team for having played those teams," Risi said.

Former Leader Editor Dan Shriner will cover Wildcat football this season.
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