ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lake Shore boys basketball coach Todd Stevens said his team is definitely fun to watch.
In the five games the Shorians played at press time, each has been close, exhibited by its plus-1.8 scoring margin (52.6-50.8). Lake Shore was 2-3 overall, 1-1 Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, to start the season.
“Just like every other team, we have our times during games where we have lapses,” said Stevens, in his 10th year with the program. “As the season progresses and we continue to work toward playing a complete game, our team will be able to compete with anyone we play.”
Stevens called this year’s team one of the most positive, competitive and unselfish groups of individuals he’s had the privilege of coaching. He said his reason behind calling the Shorians exciting is because the team refuses to let anything get it down and will fight to the end.
Players who have led this exciting, never-say-die group include senior forward Brandon Muraszewski, who Stevens said has stepped up both vocally and with his play. Junior forward Will Bobek and senior guard Jon Brown have also stepped up, Stevens said.
“Jon is a fierce competitor who has a will and desire to win,” Stevens said. “Bobek just always seems to be in the right place at the right time.”
The strong leadership is a pleasant surprise for Stevens after having what he called a young team last season. Stevens said this year’s team has exhibited a mental toughness that will pay dividends down the road. Last season, Stevens and his players said mental toughness was something that needed to be worked on.
Stevens said his team is definitely improving its mental toughness. He also said he wants his players to become better students of the game so when they are presented with a situation, they know what to do.
“In three of our first five games, we have been down by double figures in the first half and pulled within one possession or take the lead in the second half,” Stevens said. “If we can eliminate those lapses where we put ourselves in a hole, then we should be able to control most of the game.
“But basketball is a game of runs, and it’s usually the team that makes the longest and last run that wins.”
Stevens said his team looks to get out and run on offense. He said that allows him to feature his bigs (Bobek is 6 feet 6 inches tall) more often.
Stevens said his forwards are tall and athletic, and are able to get out on the break with fluidity.
“(Bobek), Tyler James, Randy Walton and D’vonte Owens are all tall, athletic guys who can get up and down the floor,” Stevens said. “I don’t know how many teams can say they have four guys who can do that. So far this year, Owens is averaging a double-double with points and rebounds.”
That attack will have to remain strong if Lake Shore wants to win the MAC Silver. Stevens said the league would be competitive, as usual. St. Clair Shores Lakeview and Clinton Township Clintondale shared the league title last season.
“It seems like a different team wins the league every year,” Stevens said. “I don’t think that will change. This team should be able to compete for a league title and make a run in the state playoffs. We’re a balanced team that is unselfish, and we like to see one another succeed.”
Lake Shore’s next game is a matchup against Marine City, set for 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at Lake Shore.