WARREN, Mich. - The De La Salle Collegiate varsity basketball team's undefeated start to the season has come to an end.
The Pilots (6-1) fell to the Orchard Lake St. Mary's Eaglets, 44-32, in a Catholic League Central division affair Saturday at the Bill Fox Gymnasium.
The Purple and Gold came out with a ton of defensive intensity to start the game, and limited the Eaglets to 15 first-half points. But, Jon Djokaj's squad was unable to contain the Eaglets in the second half, as the turnovers piled up on the offensive end for the Pilots.
Still, Djokaj was proud of the fight his team showed, after it played in just one other game the last two weeks (Thursday night against Eastpointe; a 75-53 win for the Pilots).
"I thought we had a really good gameplan. We just ran out of gas," Djokaj said. "I'm not trying to make excuses. They're the best team in the state. And maybe, they'd beat us nine times out of 10. Who knows? But, I know my guys, and I saw some fatigue that I normally don't see out of them. And this was a great game to really push us to get right back to where we were."
He added, "We needed this type of competition, this type of intensity, to speed up the process and hopefully get us back on track for Tuesday's game and then, the rest of the conference season."
Sophomore Triston Nichols led all Pilots scorers with 10 points, and he also chipped in six rebounds, a block and an assist.
Nichols & Co. will look to bounce back when they take on the Farmington Falcons Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the campus of De La Salle.
DLS 72, OLSM 46: Sophomore Adam Broski led the way with 19 points, and freshman Kandakai Sherman chipped in 12 points in the win for the Purple and Gold.
DLS 46, OLSM 33: Joe Maisano led all Pilots scorers with 12 points, and Donny Hopp contributed 10 points. The team's "Hard Hat" winner for the game, which is based on a player's number of deflections, steals, blocks, rebounds and other hustle-related stats, such as charges drawn, was Josh White.