That loud noise you may have heard coming from the area of McCann Street and LeRoy in Southgate was the sound of coach Eugene Kolbusz’s Anderson basketball team exploding out of the starting blocks earlier this month.
After a long delay to the start of the season because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shutdowns, the Titans showed up ready to play and won their first four games of the season.
Anderson knocked off Allen Park 40-34, Roosevelt 53-52, Trenton 65-43 and Carlson 47-44.
The most thrilling of the wins was the one-point heart-stopper against Roosevelt.
“Southgate-Wyandotte is always a battle,” said Kolbusz. “This one was no different. It was a five-point game all night long. We had a lead in the fourth quarter and lost it and it went to overtime.”
At the end of the extra period, Giovanni Hugan hit a shot to give the Titans a one-point lead and the Titans hung on when the Bears missed at the other end.
Kolbusz said all the credit for the hot start goes to his players.
“The kids did everything they needed to do,” he said. “They showed a lot of dedication. (This start) is a testament to their hard work. They came back in shape and ready. They’ve done everything we’ve asked and it has shown up on the court.
“Anyone who has ever played a sport for me knows that conditioning is No. 1. Most of them came in in better shape than we could have asked. Spencer McMahon has been on the team three years and he is in the best shape he’s ever been in.”
Kolbusz said leadership from veteran players has been crucial, too.
“Having seven returing players has been huge,” he said. “Those guys have shown the newcomers what has to be done and how to do it.”
The team has also put in a lot of study time.
“Watching film is important, the kids know that,” said Kolbusz. “We do a lot of film work and the kids know that is as important as court work.”
Kolbusz said his team has gotten contributions up and down the line up.
Hugan has been the team’s leading scorer in three of three first four games.
“He has really increased his offensive effort,” Kobusz said.
And he has not been alone.
“McMahon has really stepped up this year and Daveon Jones is doing a great job in the post,” Kolbusz said. “Jake Peer has been dominating in rebounding – he had 18 against Trenton – (Anthony Gutierrez) has been our defensive stopper, I have put him on everyone’s best player. And Andrew Calhoun is our first guy off the bench, but he’s more like a sixth starter. He is so steady and he has played every position for us.”
Four games into what will be an abbreviated season the Titans find themselves tied for first place in the Downriver League with hot shot Woodhaven. The two teams meet March 1 in Woodhaven. The Titans faced Taylor (Feb. 18), Edsel Ford (Feb. 22) and Lincoln Park (Feb. 26) before matching up with the Warriors.
At the end of the regular season, Anderson will host a Michigan High School Athletic Association Division 1 district tournament and welcome in Roosevelt, Allen Park, Trenton and Riverview.