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February 5, 2014

East Detroit girls hoops looking to peak come playoff time

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Karolyn Howard takes a shot during a layup drill during a practice earlier this season as Shamrocks coach Krysta Kreyger, left, looks on. The East Detroit High girls basketball team next plays at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at Center Line.

EASTPOINTE — The state girls basketball playoffs start Feb. 24. East Detroit High girls basketball coach Krysta Kreyger said her team must improve in three areas in order to have a solid showing in the postseason.

“Consistency, handling pressure and being aggressive at all times — those three things are what we’ll be working on throughout the rest of the season,” Kreyger said.

The Shamrocks had a tough start, which Kreyger attributes to a strong nonconference schedule. East Detroit at press time had won four of its last six games to push its record to 5-6, 4-3 Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.

Kreyger said the team has started to give much more effort against teams in the MAC Silver. She said execution at both ends of the floor is what will separate the winner of the division from every other team. Madison Heights Madison sat atop the league at press time, with a 6-1 mark.

“We need to continue to be consistent with our play,” Kreyger said. “We’ve been such a roller coaster-type team. We either play great or we have days where we’re extremely off.”

Kreyger said it looks like things are beginning to click for her team, but tough tests remain against the three teams at the top of the MAC Silver standings: Center Line High, St. Clair Shores South Lake and Madison.

The East Detroit coach said three players have stepped up to lead the team when things get tough. Senior captain LaKeyia Terry has been the team’s motivational leader, Kreyger said. Junior Victoria Grimes leads by example and senior Tiffany Wilson is improving as a leader and player, Kreyger said.

Those improvements must continue as the team marches toward the postseason. East Detroit is in a Class A district with Fraser High, Warren Regina, Warren Cousino, Warren Woods Tower and Warren Mott. The Shamrocks open the playoffs with a district quarterfinal against Fraser at 5 p.m. Feb. 24 at Cousino.

Kreyger said she loves being a part of this district and that it will be competitive all around.

“There is a (history) between East Detroit and Fraser — at least there used to be when I played for East Detroit (from 2001-04),” Kreyger said. “When I saw that we get (Fraser) in the (quarterfinals), I couldn’t have been more excited. If we bring our ‘A’ game and execute our game plan, it should be a great game.”

East Detroit next hits the court for a matchup against Center Line, set for 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at Center Line.