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March 26, 2014

Mott boys hoops coach looks back on run after loss in state quarters

By Christian Davis and Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writers

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The Warren Mott boys basketball team won five games in 11 days to win the program’s first district and regional titles. Pictured is Marauders senior forward Ken Goins (23) during a March 18 state quarterfinal matchup with West Bloomfield High.

DETROIT — The 2013-14 Warren Mott basketball team is the most successful in the history of the school.

The Marauders captured the program’s first district and regional titles. Prior to that playoff run, Mott won its second Macomb Area Conference White Division crown, going 11-1 in league play and winning the division by two games.

After a Class A regional semifinal win over Roseville March 10, Marauders second-year coach Jeff Olind said he believed his team was playing its best basketball. That carried over to a 63-52 win over Utica Eisenhower to claim the Class A regional title.

Mott’s momentum was halted, though, in a 74-68 loss to Bloomfield Hills High March 18 in a state quarterfinal played at University of Detroit-Mercy.

Senior forward and MAC White MVP Ken Goins led Mott with 27 points in the loss.

“It’ll probably take a few days, or a week, to actually reflect on it,” said Olind, whose team ends the season at 21-5. “The coach in me wants to look at the stats in this game and figure out what went wrong and how to fix it, but there are only four teams in the state that win their last game. It’s tough on everybody, but when you make a run like this, it’s even tougher.”

After a 2-3 start, the Marauders won 19 of 20 games before the state quarterfinal.

Following the quarterfinal, Olind said that from the start of the second half of the season, all the way through the end, he never questioned his team’s effort. He credited a group of five seniors — led by Goins, guard Stef Johnson, forward Angelo Proulx, guard Vondale Kelley and forward Anthony Weigand — with setting the bar for how hard the group played each night.

“Those kids aren’t going to quit out there,” Olind said March 18. “They’re going to keep digging it out. I’m proud of our seniors for leading that (charge) and instilling that in the younger kids.”

After the regional championship win, Goins said the run is about as good as it gets for a prep basketball player. Kelley added that the team had set a goal of advancing deep into the playoffs at the outset of the season.

“To be a part of the most successful team in the history of Mott boys basketball, that really means a lot,” Kelley said.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.