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March 3, 2014

Lloyd boasts about his Ferndale girls after they claim third straight district

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Lloyd boasts about his Ferndale girls after they claim third straight district
Ferndale’s Micaela Ellis protects the ball against Berkley earlier this season. Ellis and the Eagles won their third straight district title last week.

FERNDALE — The district title three years ago may have surprised some people.

Then came last year’s, where a team so loaded with talent and so used to winning was expected to repeat.

And did.

But this winter, the Ferndale High girls basketball team had a different hill to climb.

With a target on their backs, the Eagles found that prolonged success can be a whole new challenge in itself.

When the winter began, the wins were less frequent.

When the regular season ended, they were looking up at the standings in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

But, as usual, last week’s district round proved to be another reason to celebrate, and celebrate the Eagles did for the third straight season.

“It’s phenomenal,” coach Eric Lloyd said of his team’s 64-29 victory against Ferndale University Prep in a Feb. 28 Class B district final. “We didn’t even win the league, but they were able to get themselves together and pull it out. I’m very proud of these girls. We have some on this team that have won three in a row, and that’s pretty special.”

With the win, Ferndale advanced to the March 4 regional semifinal against Detroit Collegiate. The game, at Clawson High, was played after press time.

The regional final is set for 6:30 p.m. March 4 against Country Day or Harper Woods Chandler Academy.

But no matter how far or how long the season is extended, Lloyd knows the effort and path to this year’s trophy was a much different one.

“Early in the year, I think we got away from playing together,” he explained. “We won so much last year I think, at times, they expected wins to be given to them. But they had a team meeting in the middle of the season, and since then, they’ve taken care of business.”

The district-final win pushed Ferndale’s record to 13-5, and was the fifth straight win overall.

“The thing I loved about the final is how well we played, with everyone contributing,” Lloyd said. “The starters came out and set the tone, and then we were able to get everyone off the bench and in the game. … Right now, you have to like where this program is.”

Berkley ousted in semifinal
Berkley High had its season come to a close in a 64-34 Class A district semifinal loss to Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup.

The Bears drew a bye in the opening round and closed the season with a 10-11 record.

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