Jan. 24, 2007
Birman leads Hunters
By Andrew Greder
Senior point guards Steve
Birman of Duluth Denfeld and Sean Mayberry of Duluth East are the
pulses of their boys basketball teams.
At critical times Tuesday
night at Denfeld, Birman’s Hunters had an aerobic heart rate,
while Mayberry’s Greyhounds had a resting rate.
Birman scored 25 points,
Mayberry spent crucial parts of the game on the bench in foul trouble,
and Denfeld beat East 65-59 in a nonconference game. Denfeld improved
to 11-3 overall and East fell to 8-7.
layup with 10 minutes remaining started an 11-2 Denfeld run to increase
a five-point lead to 57-43 with more than six minutes left.
“[Birman] stuck it
to us,” said Duluth East assistant coach Dave LeGarde, who
is also Birman’s uncle. “We tried to put him on the
free-throw line while we found someone to guard him. It didn’t
work, he plays hard.”
Mayberry was on the bench
for the final five minutes of the first half with two fouls and
during Denfeld’s key second-half run with four fouls.
us go,” LeGarde said. “When he isn’t in there,
we have a drop-off. We need him.”
Mayberry finished with
eight points, but hit two key 3-pointers to spark a 9-4 run as the
Greyhounds took a 36-32 lead to start the second half.
Denfeld coach Jeff Nace
relied on his 3-year starting backcourt of Birman and shooting guard
Cory Schleret to weather East’s run and take advantage of
Mayberry’s foul trouble.
“[Schleret] was very
mature to realize that Mayberry was in foul trouble,” Nace
said. “He took it right to him knowing [Mayberry] had four
[fouls]. Birman played very well throughout.”
With 1:36 left and Denfeld
owning a 62-53 lead, Birman took an errant hit to the nose and left
the game for treatment. With Birman on the bench, Schleret turned
over the ball, leading to a Dyami Starks 3-pointer. East immediately
applied a full-court press, forcing Denfeld to call timeout. Birman
returned when play resumed.
“It isn’t about
me,” Birman said. “It’s about all of us, not one
Schleret had 17 points
and center Trent Beise added 12 points for Denfeld.
Ninth-grader Starks had
21 points and senior Ryan Shea had 20 points for East.
“Shea scored, rebounded and defended well,” LeGarde
said. “We lean on him for big shots.”
The rematch is Feb. 22
at East with a possible meeting in the Section 7AAA playoffs come
“We have to use this game as a wakeup call,”
LeGarde said. “They are a team in our section and they used
more energy than us. We need to have more from everyone, especially
versus our rivals.”
Duluth East 27-32—59
Duluth Denfeld 28-37—65
Duluth East —
John Edlebeck 2, Keaton Hason 2, Bryan Jasperson 6, Sean Mayberry
8, Ryan Shea 20, Dyami Starks 21. Totals 19 6-11 59.
3-point goals — Starks 2, Mayberry 2, Shea.
Duluth Denfeld —
Anthony Bautista 5, Trent Beise 12, Steve Birman 25, Matt Brickley
4, Ben Hayes 2, Cory Schleret 17. Totals 20 15-23 65.
3-point goals — Birman, Schleret, Bautista.