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BASKETBALL: Bishop Foley in the midst of building a championship tradition

By: Scott Burnstein, March 10, 2013, 9:00 am

MADISON HEIGHTS – After decades of being an also-ran on the high school hardwood, Madison Heights Bishop Foley is hoops heaven these days.

The Mark West-led Ventures boys team has won a remarkable six straight district championships and three consecutive Catholic League crowns.

They go to war with arch-nemesis Detroit Loyola on Monday in the Class C regional finals, a trip to the Sweet 16 at stake.

The Ventures girls program, headed by Dave Joseph, has raised three consecutive district-title banners and just lost in a regional championship showdown to league-rival Riverview Gabriel Richard late last week.

West came to Bishop Foley from the Westside of the state and his presence on the sidelines and as the school’s athletic director has been an overwhelmingly stabilizing force, and the spark that ignited this entire cage resurgence in the first place.

“We’ve come a long way and it’s because of the kind of kids that have been through here and the time and effort they’ve put into the cause that’s why we’ve been able to achieve what we have,” said the young head coach on what he’s been able to accomplish at Bishop Foley since he arrived.

Looking forward to the upcoming hardwood slate, West is pumped.

“This upcoming week will be extra exciting for the fact that we’re going to be playing our biggest rivals, Detroit Loyola, in the next round of the state tournament,” he said. “Everyone is raring to go.”

The 2013 Ventures boys hoop crew is highlighted by a mean inside-outside attack, fueled by senior floor general Deandre Jackson and the sensational sophomore tandem of shooting guard Antonio Capaldi and fast-rising 6-foot-7 center Gary Perry.

Capaldi transferred into Bishop Foley last summer from CHSL-foe University of Detroit-Jesuit and his becoming eligible in January has been a key to this season.

Jackson is a slippery, smart and seasoned point guard and three-year contributor on the school’s squad, a big part of all three Catholic League and district titles.

Perry, who came on strong last year as only a freshman and had a very productive offseason, is being looked at by several Division I college programs. He’s one of the area’s most dangerous shot blockers and is quickly improving his moves in the post on offense.

The past two championship Ventures teams (2011 and 2012) were headlined by future college players such as Corey Green (N. Georgia St.) , Mike Oravetz (Kalamazoo College) and Max Aleshire (Rochester College). Green was one of the nation’s leaders in field-goal percentage in Division II as a freshman this year.