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Orchard Lake St. Mary's boys basketball defeats Brother Rice in MHSAA quarterfinal

The Eaglets held off a Brother Rice fourth quarter comeback
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DETROIT -- The Orchard Lake St. Mary's Prep Eaglets (25-1) defeated the Brother Rice Warriors (20-7) 52-43 Tuesday night in a rematch of last season’s Division I state quarterfinal matchup. 

The Eaglets beat the Warriors a total of four times this year, and they sent them home for the second year in a row. 

The next time OLSM takes the floor, it will be at the Breslin Center in East Lansing with a state title berth on the line. 

Here are three takeaways from the game:

Too much OLSM offense

The Eaglets were soaring early, and their junior five-star guard Trey McKenney got it started by getting his team out to a 6-0 lead. By the end of the first quarter, OLSM was up 20-8, and it would be 26-13 at halftime.

When the first two quarters were finished, McKenney had the same amount of points as Brother Rice. Although McKenney is occasionally known for his deep-range shooting, it was his mid-range jumper that found most of his success Tuesday night. Along with a block early in the game and a late steal, McKenney finished with a game-high 19 points.

McKenney said his team left no doubt.

“I came in with some energy because I knew it was going to be a tough battle,” McKenney said. “Brother Rice is a good team. They always say it’s hard to beat a team three times, and we did it four times, so there should be no excuses.”

Rice didn’t go easily

Going into the fourth quarter, Brother Rice was down 35-22. The Warriors went on a 14-4 run in the first four minutes, and it was quickly a one-possession game at 39-36 with about three minutes left in the game. OLSM was able to stop the bleeding and hold on for the win.

Junior Brother Rice guard David Williams played a large part in the Warriors comeback attempt. Williams knocked down multiple 3-pointers and forced several fouls against McKenney in the fourth quarter, and he had a team-high 13 points.

McKenney said he has to be wary when he plays physically.

“I’m a big-body guard, so I feel like teams are going to try to always flop,” McKenney said. “I’ve got to play cautious when they’re trying to do that type of stuff, so I just had to play through it.”

Unfinished business

In its 2023 state semifinal matchup against Muskegon, OLSM fell short 65-42. With just two wins standing between them and their ultimate goal, the Eaglets will try to avoid the same fate they suffered last season.

OLSM head coach Todd Covert said all the stars have to align in order to reach the promised land.

“I tell everyone: I don’t know if there’s a harder tournament to win in high school sports than basketball,” Covert said. “You’ve got to be good, you've got to be lucky, you’ve got to have a good path, and you’ve got to have really good players. For all those to line up on one given year, you’ve got to have a little grace and luck.” 

Follow SBLive Michigan for brackets, scores, live score updates, game stories and more during the 2024 Michigan (MHSAA) boys high school basketball state playoffs.