Defensive intensity key for Clintondale girls basketball team
Published November 21, 2012
CLINTON TOWNSHIP— Clinton Township Clintondale girls basketball coach Pete Romano said the main objective for the Dragons this year is to be better conditioned.
He said last season was disappointing, particularly on the defensive end. Clintondale was outscored by nearly 16 points per game last season.
“We will play better defensively,” said Romano, in his third year with the Dragons. “We have a small but quick team. We’ll attack defensively.”
That attack should be aided by the return of four starters. Romano said the play of three senior guards — Brianna Harmsen, Cecelia Donaldson and Rolanda Petty — will be a major factor in Clintondale’s success.
The coach said senior forwards Leshia Vanderwill and Teri Stewart will be factors, as well.
“Our guards will be our leaders,” said Romano, whose team is coming off a season in which it went 6-15, 5-9 in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division.
“(The guards) could take us to the top.”
Romano said he’s optimistic about the return of two players who went down last season with injuries. Junior forward Jeana Fuller was dominant in the paint and the Dragons’ best shooter, before her injury last season. Senior forward Shar’on Becks started the first two games for Clintondale last year, before suffering a season-ending injury.
The Dragons’ coach said he’s excited about the skills of sophomore Dacheale Williams and what she brings to the team. Four other players were still battling for spots at press time, according to Romano.
After finishing fifth in the MAC Silver last season, Romano expects the league to be just as competitive this year. He sees Madison Heights Lamphere, Madison Heights Madison, New Haven and Center Line as the teams to beat in the Silver.
“And we have a tough preseason schedule, so how we play early will test the character of this team,” Romano said.
Clintondale opens the season with a matchup against Warren Lincoln. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at Clintondale.