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March 14, 2012

Country Day’s 15th straight regional a moment of pride for Orlando

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Roeper’s Julie Pudar looks to pass the ball during loss against Our Lady of the Lakes in a Class D regional semifinal. The Roughriders ended the year 10-12.

The reality of the postseason for the Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day girls basketball team often centers on small bumps, not roadblocks, on the journey to the Class B final four.

Winning is expected this time of year, no matter the time, place or opponent.

Yet, just a day after his team beat a 19-2 Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy 69-43 to claim the program’s 15th consecutive regional crown, coach Frank Orlando, as he often is, was beaming with pride.

“What these girls have done is just so remarkable,” he said of the season and regional title, adding to an MHSAA record for consecutive appearances in the quarterfinals. “We’re playing with nine girls right now, and every one of them has to contribute. These are such team wins. That’s what makes it so great,”

The Yellowjackets faced Goodrich High (25-0) in a Class B quarterfinal played after press time.

The winner advances to the semifinal, set for 7:50 p.m. March 16 at the Breslin Center.

The Class B state final is at 6 p.m. March 17.

The regional title pushed Country Day to 21-1 on the season, and while he knew the battle with Goodrich would be the toughest challenge yet for his team, Orlando called the Martians the best squad in the entire state; he added that any sort of championship never gets old.

“It’s an honor to still be winning these,” he said of the regional. “With the kids playing the way they are, to pick each other up and move on, I’m just so proud of everything.”

In other regional action
Bloomfield Hills Marian had its 2012 postseason run come to a close in a 59-46 Class A regional semifinal loss to Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

“We knew they had some scorers, but for some of their other players to step up and play the way they did made things very tough,” coach Mary Cicerone said of Stoney Creek. “They were deeper offensively then we thought they’d be.”

Marian, which was in the regional round for the first time since winning three straight district title from 2008-2010, ended its season 9-14.

“I think we struggled a bit this year, but that’s typical of a team as young as we were that played a schedule as tough as ours was,” Cicerone said. Marian’s lone senior was Megan Sandiha. “The main things I was focused on was seeing improvement, and I think we did that. I thought they played really well in the playoffs, and it was good to see everything come together when it did, especially in that district final win. That district win was a great confidence boost for us coming back next season.”

In a Class D regional semifinal, Birmingham Roeper had its season end in a 53-18 loss to Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.

The Roughriders ended the year 10-12.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.