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Top 10 Sports Moments in 2011

The best sports triumphs of the year include national hockey champions, improbable high school playoff runs and Oakland University hosting some of our favorite Detroit athletes.

Oakland University's O'Rena hosted Lions, Tigers and a former Piston.  Adams High School saw playoff runs and perfect seasons.  Lake Orion High School girl's volleyball team made OAA history and a hockey team fueled with four local players brought home a national championship.

Here's our list of the top 10 sports moments in Rochester Hills in 2011 (cue Sportscenter music):

1. Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh is in the news a lot, making it easy to forget all of the charitable work and positivity he brings to Michigan's communities.  

The top sports moment in Rochester Hills involved Suh celebrity hosting .  Players from Detroit Medical Center's Rehabilitation Institute matched up against former athletes and media personalities, showing their support for a great cause.

At a , Suh told Patch he had heard about OU's great basketball program and that he was excited to coach in the game and shoot around at the .

2. Lake Orion girl's volleyball team finished as  in the Class A state championship.  Lake Orion made OAA history by being the first team to make it to the championship, the catalyst being  in the state quarterfinals.

3. Detroit Tigers all-stars Magglio Ordonez and Jose Valverde were celebrity guest servers at the on Walton Boulevard as a destination for the . 

While the two Tigers stars were serving up fast food, head coach Jim Leyland and other players gathered at Oakland University's O'Rena to speak with fans as part of the caravan's two-day tour of Michigan.

4. boys basketball capped off an improbable playoff run to the regional championship in storybook fashion by hitting a 3-point buzzer beater to send the game to overtime.  The best part: Patch captured .

5. Oakland University men's basketball head coach to the 2011 NCAA Division 1 Tournament for the third time in his long tenure at Oakland University.

Here's , because when March Madness hype was building around his team, his son Press was playing in his own tournament during Adams' run to the regional final.  

6. Adams and football programs came together for a cause in the in the last game of the regular season.  Players and fans alike were dressed in pink to pledge their support for fighting breast cancer.

Adams' defeated Stoney Creek to advance to the , but the real highlight was the great cause – and the uniforms were sharp, too.

7. Detroit Lions quarterbacks on the sidelines at Adams High School when the Highlanders hosted Stanton's alma mater, Farmington Hills Harrison High.

8. The this year, featuring four players that go to local high schools: Shane Cuckovich (Stoney Creek), David Parrottino (Rochester), Mitch Jones (Stoney Creek), and Donovan Bewick (Henry Ford II).

9. Taylor Perry, a senior, next fall.

Perry dominates the courts and averages about one slam dunk a game, but early this season he made it , the Highlanders.

10. Adams High School freshman girl's soccer head coach Ken Hernandez's . Hernandez promised to let his team cut his (long) hair if they remained undefeated.

The freshman girls did remain perfect, scoring 93 goals and only allowing three against them.  The girls weren't as good at cutting hair as they were at beating opponents, because Hernandez went to the very next morning.

Did we miss any of the top sports moments this year?  Let us know in the comments!

Sandy Tabacchi December 29, 2011 at 11:43 PM
Avondale High School is actually in Auburn Hills but the district covers a section of Rochester Hills. I think that the Patch should include Avondale's accomplishments especially the fact that the Boy's Soccer team was the Division 2 State Champs! Posted by a proud Rochester Hills resident and a retired faculty member.
Brendan McGaughey December 30, 2011 at 12:04 AM
Thanks, Sandy. Avondale has two of the top 10 athletes (including a soccer player) on our list that published today: http://rochester.patch.com/articles/top-10-athletes-of-2011
Dano January 14, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I think you have to include Wayne State University's playoff run in this feature. It was the first time the WSU Warriors made the playoffs in their 93 year history. They won 4 games playoff games on the raod to play for a National Championship. There are several players from Oakland Co. High Schools that played on that team. Just saying...

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