Lakeview girls basketball not missing a beat

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 15, 2018

 St. Clair Shores Lakeview sophomore center Joslyn Brennan goes up for a contested shot earlier this season. The Huskies for the second straight season have started 9-0 overall. The start ties a school record, set last winter.

St. Clair Shores Lakeview sophomore center Joslyn Brennan goes up for a contested shot earlier this season. The Huskies for the second straight season have started 9-0 overall. The start ties a school record, set last winter.

Photo by Sean Work

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores Lakeview girls basketball coach Joe Charrette admits that he’s surprised with how well his team has played this season.

That’s in part because a team that lost seven players to graduation — including Macomb Area Conference Blue Division MVP Nicole Austin — has started 9-0 overall, at press time. The run marks the second straight year that the team has rattled off nine wins to start the season, tying a school record. Lakeview met New Baltimore Anchor Bay Jan. 12 with a chance to set the school record.

“If I said I wasn’t surprised about the start, I’d be lying,” said Charrette, whose team has an average margin of victory of 26.9 points per game. “I was hoping to be 5-3 at the (holiday) break, and we were 8-0. Our kids are dedicated. They came in during the summer and worked hard, and we’ve got some talented new players.

“The players who were a part of last year’s team want to be better than that group was. We have the same goals we had last year, and we’re going after them.”

Last year’s team won a school-record 21 games and went 9-1 to win the program’s first division championship since 2008. The Huskies in 2017 also won the first MAC Blue/Gold tournament championship.

One goal that eluded the team was a district championship. Lakeview fell to Grosse Pointe North in the district final.

Senior guards Alicia Bullaro and Seanna Saccone, and senior wing Lauren Wynn lead the team. All three played big roles on last year’s squad. 

Bullaro said it’s important for the team to perform well this season for a number of reasons.

“We want to prove that this isn’t a rebuilding year and that we are capable of great things like last year’s team,” Bullaro said. “We all want to prove that last year was not a fluke and that we are a part of a great program. We all know the team goals that we are working toward achieving to having another successful year, and (we) take reaching those goals very seriously.”

The effort on defense has been the biggest surprise, according to Charrette. Lakeview has allowed just 27 points per game — tops in the 35-team MAC. Last year’s team allowed 35 points per contest. 

“I thought we were better on defense last year, but the numbers don’t compare,” Charrette said. “We’re more athletic than last year. We can really trap and get into the passing lanes. This team defensively is a lot of fun to coach.”

An infusion of youth has helped as well. 

Freshman Kayla Austin starts at point guard. Freshman guard Ariana Wlodeck is the first player off the bench. Joslyn Brennan, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, is a starter and has been dominant at times, Charrette said. 

“A lot of the girls, including myself, came in the summer three days a week and worked really hard on our game,” Bullaro said. “We also have played multiple (Amateur Athletic Union) seasons together, which helped us get to know each other on the court and how we play together.”

The regular-season success is nice, but this team is out for a deep postseason run.

Charrette said that’s top of mind for the group. Lakeview last won a district title in 2016 — its first as a Class A school.

“They want that bad,” Charrette said. “They talk about it more than anything else. I’m excited about where we’re going. I thought we’d be good, but now I think we can make a (playoff) run. I’ll be disappointed if we don’t.”

Lakeview’s next game is against Fraser High at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at home.