Source: Sherman Publications

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Talent, effort will drive basketball team

by Gabriel L. Ouzounian

December 07, 2011

The Dragon boys’ varsity basketball team takes to the court this week. Photo by G. Ouzounian
The weather is rapidly cooling, causing sports teams and fans alike to move indoors, making the basketball court at Lake Orion High School the new popular venue.

One team filling that space is the Lake Orion High School boys' basketball team, which is looking extremely athletic, talented and ready to have a successful year according to new Head Coach Tom Risi.

"Brad Watterworth, our 6'8" senior, is playing really well right now with his inside game coming along nicely," said Risi. "Damonte Kruse, our junior point guard has shown some real ability in his position. His play is excellent and he shows the potential to really stand out.

Also, Risi said, John McCarty, the team's 6'5" sophomore player, has stood up and become a great leader. "It's unusual for a sophomore, but his attitude is fantastic, he played varsity as a freshman and he is always there to help," the coach said. "He has leadership qualities."

This is Risi's first year coaching the Dragons. Despite only coaching the team for a short time, he said he is enjoying every minute of the experience and that Lake Orion has proved to be a school full of support and encouragement as he has prepared the team for the season.

"I've enjoyed being a part of the Dragon varsity family," said Risi. "Lake Orion has a lot of great kids and families and I'm looking forward to a very positive year."

But Risi is the first to point out the team has a lot of work to do. The team went 3-18 last year and he realizes the team will have to put in the extra effort if they hope to improve. He added the team last year was a young one and remains so, but the talent and potential will shine through if they can mature as the season goes on.

"There's some work to do, but it helps that we have a lot of positives," said Risi. "We still are young, but there is a ton of skill and talent here that just needs to grow. Before it's all over, It hink this will be a very good ball club."

The team, which consists of five seniors, six juniors and two sophomores faced off against Rochester Adams on Dec. 6 in their OAA White League home opener. Risi called Adams very well coached and extremely defensive, adding it will take "everything we've got to beat them."

Lake Orion then plays at Oxford on Friday evening.