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November 19, 2012

Eagles hope to make strides in the MAC Silver

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

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Eagles hope to make strides in the MAC Silver
Madison senior Keonta Robinson runs through a drill during practice. Due to the lack of experience on the Eagles’ roster, coach Jeff Evans would like to see his squad build “a little team unity.”

The last few years have been a struggle for Madison Heights Madison’s girls basketball team.

Last season, the Eagles had an overall record of 1-20, and have won just five games in the past three seasons. The closest Madison has been to a league title in the past five years is when it finished three games back from the top spot in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division in the 2007-2008 season.

The Eagles have gone back to practice in preparation for a new season, and coach Jeff Evans is hoping to set a different standard for the program. While he would like to see Madison find its way to the top of the MAC Silver as soon as possible, he also understands there is a process that needs to take place in order to turn that hope into a reality. 

Part of that process will involve getting his young players acquainted with each other. Senior Monique Burnett-Conley is the team’s lone returning starter, and given the lack of varsity experience that exists on the squad, Evans acknowledges that there is work to be done.

But despite the inexperience of his team, Evans does have an idea as to what can be done to help speed up the process for the Eagles.

“Build a little team unity,” he said. “Because there’s new faces and these girls haven’t played a whole lot together. Just get them used to each other. I expect us to be a lot more competitive. Hopefully, we can get things going soon enough, so we can try to be competitive right off the bat.”

After the players get more comfortable, Evans thinks their athleticism will allow them to compete at a higher level than last season. And that isn’t the only aspect of the game in which Evans believes Madison has potential to show improvement.

“We have some decent size,” he said. “We should be a better rebounding team than we were last year, and I think we’re going to have a little more depth than we had last year.”

Last season, Marysville went 14-0 in the MAC Silver en route to the division championship. The Vikings have since been moved to the MAC Gold Division.

With Marysville leaving the division and Center Line moving into it, the MAC Silver will have a different look. And while Evans doesn’t know exactly what to expect, he does know Madison will still see some familiar foes.

“I don’t know how things are going to pan out,” he said. “I hear Lamphere is really solid this year. Clawson was very good last year. I really think some of these other schools are going to bring up girls from the JV. Unfortunately, last year we didn’t have enough for a JV, so we’re kind of just re-loading with some of the girls we had and some of the girls that came out of the eighth grade. I think we’re going to be a better team, but how much better, we’re just going to have to wait and see.”

Madison is scheduled to open its season at 7 p.m. Dec. 7 against Mount Clemens at home.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.