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February 19, 2014

Foley girls to open playoffs with familiar foe; hockey playoffs underway, as well

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Madison’s Zaria Carruthers (20) goes up for a shot against South Lake in a game earlier this month. The Eagles start the 2014 playoffs by hosting Sacred Heart at 6 p.m. Feb. 24.

MADISON HEIGHTS — Two weeks ago, Dave Joseph knew very little about Wixom St. Catherine.

In five days, the Madison Heights Bishop Foley girls basketball coach will lead his team against St. Catherine for the second time in a playoff format.

Only this game is truly win-or-go-home.

“We know a lot about each other now,” Joseph said last week. Foley played St. Catherine in the opening round of the Catholic League playoffs on Feb. 8 and will meet again at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 in the opening round of the state playoffs in the Class C Royal Oak Shrine district.

Foley will host the opening-round game.

The Ventures won the Catholic League playoff game 56-40, thanks in large part to a 10-0 run to open the game.

“We kept the offensive pressure on them, shooting the ball real well, and at the start, our defense was very strong,” Joseph said of the win. “They came back a little bit in the third quarter, but then we shut them down again with another good stretch at the end.”

Despite the 16-point win, Joseph knows he and his girls can take very little for granted heading into the rematch.

“They are going to be ready for us. No doubt about it,” he said. “I think they’ll adjust how they attack us, too. Their guards scored 32 of their 40 points, so I expect them to try and get inside and work the post more.”

Revenge will be on the side of St. Catherine’s, but confidence belongs to Foley, which was 10-7  and had won its last five games leading into the Catholic League final, played at Calihan Hall Feb. 16, after press time.

“We’re playing very well right now, which is what you want at this time of year,” Joseph said. “We’ve kind of hit our stride down the stretch. We’re full of confidence.”

The Foley-St. Catherine winner advances to a 5:30 p.m. Feb. 26 district semifinal against either Madison Heights Madison High or Bloomfield Hills Sacred Heart Academy.

Madison, 12-3 at press time, hosts Sacred Heart at 6 p.m. Feb. 24.

The other half of the bracket includes Shrine, West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy and Southfield Bradford.

The semifinals, set for 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Feb. 26, as well as the Feb. 28 final, set for 6 p.m., will be played at Shrine.

In other playoff action
Madison Heights Lamphere’s girls hoops team takes on Pontiac Notre Dame Prep in a 7 p.m. Feb. 24 Class B opener in the Prep district.

The winner gets Detroit Henry Ford at 7 p.m. Feb. 26. The final, set for 7 p.m. Feb. 28, will feature Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day, Clawson High or Bloomfield Hills High.

Hazel Park High is hosting a Class B district.

The Vikings drew a first-round bye and face Ferndale University or Detroit Central Collegiate in a 7 p.m. Feb. 26 semifinal.

The final is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 28 and will include Ferndale High, Detroit Old Redford or Detroit University Prep.

In the state hockey tournament, Bishop Foley begins the Division 3 state tournament at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 25 against Grosse Pointe North. The game will be played at McCann Arena on the campus of Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett.

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