2012-03-05 / Sports

400 wins for Burton!

Devils reward coach with 2 OT win over Ubly
BY DALE BALL 810-452-2685 • dball@mihomepaper.com

Tony Burton Tony Burton UBLY — Tony Burton has mentioned a couple of times this year that he did not know if his Brown City Green Devils would get, at least, a share of the Greater Thumb Conf.- East boys’ basketball title. But, he added that they could have a say in who does.

The Green Devils did just that last Tuesday night in a two-overtime, 63-57, win at Ubly. In the meantime, they gave Burton his 400th career coaching win. All 400 have come as varsity boys coach at Brown City, starting in the 1986-87 season.

Instead of conversing about his milestone victory, Burton wanted more to talk about the exciting win that will now force Ubly to share the East title with Harbor Beach

But, he relented.

"It just means I've been here way too long," said Burton.

He then added, "Going up to Ubly to play was tough enough. Then, to go two overtimes, makes it tougher.

The Green Devils’ Charles Baird (23) defends a shot against Mayville recently. 
Photo by Kevin Gregory The Green Devils’ Charles Baird (23) defends a shot against Mayville recently. Photo by Kevin Gregory "I've just been lucky to be in the right spot at the right time," Burton said. "I've worked with good people, good assistant coaches and good administration. And, we've been lucky to have such a great run of basketball players. I've had strong support."

Burton is in his 25th season as head coach at Brown City. He stepped down before the 2010-11 season, but came back this winter to share the varsity position with Doug

Muxlow, who played on his first Green Devil varsity squad.

In Tuesday's win over the Bearcats (7-3, 15-4), Brown City started fast, jumping out to a 22-11 lead in the first quarter. Brown City connected on four triples in the quarter, including a pair from senior Andrew Knox.

"We haven't shot the ball well the last couple of games," Burton pointed out. "This time we shot the ball better and got off to a fast start."

Ubly eventually fought all the way back to force overtime. The Devils led, 30-22, at the break, but the Bearcats tied it at 36-36 in the third. In the final quarter, the Bearcats scored the last four points to send the game into OT.

In the first extra four minutes, Brown City's Charles Baird and Ubly's 6-foot-6 Marshall Leipprandt scored all the points, five each.

The second overtime belonged to the Devils. Leipprandt, the All- Thumb Player of the Year last season, fouled out, and, in the meantime, Ryan Spokaeski and the freethrow line did the rest.

"Ryan made two nice baseline jumpers," said Burton, "and we were 7-of-8 from the line."

Burton added, "We made some mistakes at the end of (regulation), but we were able to hang on. It was good for the kids to get back on track."

The Green Devils (6-4, 13-7) had lost back-to-back East Division contests to Sandusky and Harbor Beach the week before to fall out of title contention.

Baird led Brown City in scoring, against Ubly, with 22 points, 14 from the fourth quarter on. Knox finished with 16 and Spokaeski and Chris Fischer had eight apiece.

Leipprandt led all scorers with 23 points. Josh White, a 6-foot-6 post player, also had 18.

"I thought we did a good job all night on Leipprandt," Burton commented. "He's the best player, I think, in the area. But ,I thought we did a good job. Him and White got their points, but we shut everybody else down."

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