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November 15, 2012

Mount Clemens girls hoops team looks to win with defense

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Mount Clemens girls hoops team looks to win with defense
The Mount Clemens High girls basketball team will look to break through in the MAC Gold after finishing second and third the last two seasons. Pictured is Bathers sophomore Katie Jones.

MOUNT CLEMENS— Mount Clemens girls basketball coach Jason Monk believes his team could have played better on defense last season.

Monk’s focus this season remains on that end of the floor, and he is looking for the Bathers to win with their defense.

“We will be teaching defense, defense, defense this year,” said Monk, in his fourth year with Mount Clemens. “We’re going to play in-your-face team defense, always with somebody pressuring the ball and looking to force the opposition to make mistakes.”

Monk hopes that approach will lead to Mount Clemens having a strong shot to win the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division.

The Bathers have finished in the top three in the league the last two years, going 8-4 in MAC Gold play, tied for second place with Sterling Heights High, last season. The Bathers finished 14-9 overall.

“I think we have a good chance to compete for the division title,” Monk said. “The Gold has been restructured, and I like our chances.”

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North, which won the league last season, and Sterling Heights were moved to the MAC Blue. Anchor Bay, St. Clair Shores Lake Shore, Marine City, Warren Lincoln, Warren Mott and Marysville will oppose the Bathers in the Gold this year.

Mount Clemens was one of just six teams in the entire MAC to average more than 50 points per game. The Bathers gave up 41.5 on the other end.

If Mount Clemens wants its championship aspirations to materialize, Dorothy Herring, Mikhala Wooliver, and Tiasia Duplessis will lead the charge, Monk said. They represent the only three players who return from last year’s team. Monk is looking to have at least 10 players on his roster.

“Those three will be the leaders because they’ve been a part of the program for the past two years,” Monk said. “In the past two years, we’ve had two or three players named to the All-County teams, and I expect that the girls will put in the work,  and their talent will get them nominations this year.”

Working in new players is always tough, but Monk keeps things simple, he said. The Bathers’ coach uses three sets each on offense and defense.

“And we run them like clockwork,” Monk said.

“I think we’ll have a very productive season with the addition of some new players. We should be able to compete for the division title and produce some outstanding players. … The MAC Gold has been one of the most competitive divisions … so I expect that the Gold will be a battle this year.”

Mount Clemens next hits the court for a matchup with Detroit Denby, set for Dec. 5 at Mount Clemens. The starting time for the game was not available at press time. Call Mount Clemens High for gametime information.

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