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BOYS BASKETBALL: Detroit Westside Christian on the prowl, making a name for itself on local prep hoops landscape

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

The Westside could easily wind up being the best side when it’s all said and done on the Class D boys basketball season in March.

Detroit Westside Christian has a mighty good hoop squad this winter, piled high with experience, athleticism, size and speed.

Despite competing in tiny Class D, the Warriors are talented enough to go toe-to-toe with almost any team around.

“We’re scrappy and we like to share the ball,” said Westside Christian head Greg Boler of his ball club. “There’s a lot of chemistry with this group. They play well together.”

Boler’s Warriors have won two district titles in a row. In 2011, they appeared in the final four. Last year, Westside Christian advanced into the regional championship game.

So far this season, playing a schedule chalk full with bigger schools, the Warriors are 3-1, with victories over Detroit Northwestern, Detroit CMA and Clintondale.

The straw that stirs the drink for Westside Christian is 6-foot-8 senior forward Kaion Seals, a versatile and explosive presence on the wing and the top small-school player in the state.

He can play all five positions on the floor and is incredibly unselfish. His passing skills set him apart from many other players his size.

In The Detroit Free Press’ preseason player rankings, Seals checked in at No. 28, ahead of Division I-signees Austin Price (Lehigh) of Birmingham Detroit Country Day and Nick Daniels (Oakland) of Westland John Glenn.

Currently, he is uncommitted to a college, however, his services at the next level are being heavily sought-after by several schools, both Division I and Division II.

Seals is no doubt spectacular, but Westside Christian is far from a one-man team.

Lightning-quick junior point guard D’Juan (Happy) Williams is the Warriors second-best player and extremely dangerous in his own right. He is equally adept at pushing tempo and dissecting defenses in the half-court set.

Senior forward Tomial Gary and junior center Charles Brooks, both 6-foot-6 and aggressive attacking the basket, line-up alongside Seals in the Warriors’ frontcourt. Junior sparkplug guard Derrick Brocks, a pesky defender and emotional leader on the court, rounds out Westside Christian’s starting five.

Coming off the bench for the Warriors are guards Jurgen Pirgu, Justin Green and Jeremy Lee and forwards Terryn Wheeler, William Johnson and Terrez Garrett.

Pirgu is Albanian and a deadly long-distance shooter.

The Warriors return their entire rotation from last year. As a sophomore in 2011, Seals started for Westside Christian’s final four team.

“We have high expectations around here this year and I think we have the kind of talent that we can live up to them,” Boler said.

Boler is in his fourth year roaming the sidelines for Westside Christian.

An intriguing aspect of Boler’s 2013 schedule is the fact that he will take his team to Ohio for four games over the next three weeks.