St. Clair Shores
Lake Shore girls hoops coach touts team’s depth
Published December 17, 2013
ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lake Shore girls basketball coach Jimmy Roehm said his team doesn’t have a superstar player, and he’s OK with that because the Shorians have a lot of good players.
Roehm, in his seventh year with the program, said his team is really deep this season and that he will play nine or 10 players each game.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s the starters on the court or five players off the bench,” Roehm said. “Whoever goes into the game does a good job. We have a team of players where any one player could lead us every night. That’s a luxury most coaches don’t have.”
Lake Shore, at press time, had a 3-0 record and had beaten its first three opponents by an average of 17.6 points per game. Roehm said his team has gotten several steals that have led to easy transition scores early on. Those easy baskets help in building the team’s confidence.
Roehm said his team presses on defense for about 90 percent of each game and that the team’s depth allows him to employ that style. He cited Lake Shore’s 67-33 win over Warren Woods Tower as an example, saying the Shorians pressed on all but two possessions in the 34-point win.
“That’s what the girls are good at, so we’re going to keep doing it,” Roehm said. “I feel like having more possessions works in our favor. We’re going to miss some shots, so if we get more opportunities to score, eventually, mathematically, it’s going to work out in our favor.”
“We might have some players who get into foul trouble because of the style of defense we play, but we know there’s somebody who can come off of the bench and play well,” junior guard Mackenzie Alvae said. “We’re a very versatile team. I like it.”
Alvae is one of the players Roehm said has stood out early on, along with senior forward Sarah McCarthy.
Roehm said he is also fortunate to return three strong players from last season’s team in guard/forward Paige Plotzke, forward Carly Vargo and guard Taylor LaPorte. Vargo and Plotzke were named to the All-Macomb Area Conference Gold Division team last season.
“We’ve been working really hard, and I think that’s been key so far,” McCarthy said. “And the fact we’ve all pretty much played together for a long time is good, too. We all hustle and battle in practice, and that carries over into our games.”
Roehm’s team finished one game out of first in the MAC Gold last season, going 10-2 in the league and 14-7 overall. The program’s last divisional title came in 2004.
The Lake Shore coach said the goal is to win the MAC Gold, but he said it would be tough. Marysville, which won the league last season, brings back reigning league MVP Madison Valko. Roehm said teams such as Anchor Bay and Warren Mott will be much improved, and Mount Clemens would be solid, as well.
“The girls here have won a lot of basketball games.” Roehm said. “You can tell, even early on, every time we walk out on the court that they have something to prove, especially the seniors, because this is their last shot and they want to make the most of it.”
Lake Shore next battles St. Clair Shores Lakeview in a city showdown set for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at Lake Shore.