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Off to its best start in over a decade, West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy boys basketball is aiming to leave years of dormancy behind for playoff success. On Thursday night, it took one step closer to that goal, beating Chesterfield Austin Catholic on the road, 69-31.

It was a dominant performance from start to finish in a game in which second-year head coach Michael Marek praised his team’s defense.

“The defense has propelled us,” Marek said. “Our defense is setting our offense up. We’re getting out in transition and scoring easy baskets.”

Noah Schlussel led Frankel Jewish Academy (5-1, 3-1 Catholic League) with 23 points and Jordan Salesin scored 19.

Benjamin Brown paced Austin Catholic (0-4, 0-2) with 16 points.

While Frankel Jewish Academy is still in the young stages of the season and surpassing last season’s 10-10 final record isn’t a guarantee, Marek is pleased with his program’s progress.

Two years ago, before Marek was in place, Frankel Jewish Academy won four total games. It has won five before the midway point of December this season.

So what has changed in such a short span?

“The kids are buying in,” Marek said. “It’s been great. We turned the program around. We had the pieces to the puzzle, we just had to put it together.”

Frankel Jewish Academy will face a tough league battle against Riverview Gabriel Richard next Tuesday in a battle for first place.

Boys basketball

Detroit Edison 51, Detroit Loyola 37: Raynard Williams scored 14 and David Hughes 13 for Edison (4-2). Loyola is 2-2.

Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy 82, Detroit Public Safety Academy 34: Jayland Randall scored 16, Andre Bradford had 12 points and five assists and Derrick Bryant added 11 points and seven assists for Chandler Park (4-0).

New Haven 79, Utica Ford 19: Romeo Weems had 39 points, 14 rebounds, seven steals and five assists, Ronald Jefferey had 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists and Brent Wiles added 10 points and 11 rebounds for New Haven (3-1, 1-0 MAC White). Ford is 1-5, 0-1.

Peck 57, Kind-North Huron 40: Zac Dudley scored 23 and Brandon Winiarski 11 for Peck (1-2).

Pontiac 80, Detroit Leadership Academy 43: Da'Veaun Cole scored 24, D'Quarion Cole 17 and Dominique Stovall 11 for Pontiac (6-0). Jaden Tillman scored 17 for Leadership Academy.

Port Huron 70, Marysville 63: De’Ovion Price scored 28 and Ryan Gilbert 16 for Port Huron (1-3). Marysville is 2-2.

Trenton 49, Allen Park 45: Zack Conti led Trenton (2-1, 1-0 Downriver) with 12 points. Peirce Eaton scored 11 for Allen Park (1-5, 0-1).

Warren Mott 67, Grosse Pointe North 52: James Chaney scored 23 and De’Jon Gantz 17 for Mott (5-1, 1-0 MAC White). Ryan Webb led North (1-3, 0-1) with 18 points.

Girls basketball

Detroit Denby 46, Detroit International Academy 11: Eshawnda Smith had 18 points and nine steals, LaAngel Bursey had 15 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks and Montia Rodgers scored 11 for Denby (2-1).

Grosse Ile 49, Riverview Gabriel Richard 37: Helena Formentin scored 16 for Grosse Ile (1-2). Sydney Balan scored eight for Gabriel Richard (1-2).

Macomb Lutheran North 65, Marine City Cardinal Mooney 21: Lauren Mow scored 22 and 13 players made the scoring column for Lutheran North (3-1). Lauren Luzynski led Cardinal Mooney (1-3) with nine points.

Troy 55, Birmingham Seaholm 31: Kendal Zeiter scored 13 and Lauren Gumma 12 for Troy (3-1). Chloe Burkett scored eight for Seaholm (2-2).

Connor Muldowney is a freelance writer.

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