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December 11, 2012

Murawski hopes experience pays off for Lutheran North girls hoops squad

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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With 11 players back on the roster, the Mustangs are ready for the new season. Pictured, the team runs through some drills during a recent practice.

MACOMB TOWNSHIP— The return of 11 players to the Macomb Lutheran North girls basketball team has the Mustangs raring to go, according to coach Kevin Murawski.

Five of those 11 are in their third year with the program, Murawski said.

“It helps out a lot having that many players back,” said Murawski, whose team sat at 1-1 at press time. “They all have a good grasp of the system we run — offensively and defensively. We came in ready to go. There wasn’t a lot of re-teaching things because everybody knows where we’re at.”

Those systems include an inside-out attack on offense, and a defensive approach that sees Lutheran North position its players somewhat deep inside the arch, enticing opponents to beat the Mustangs with long jumpers.

Murawski said the offensive attack is a bit different from what Lutheran North has run recently because the team has more skilled post players to rely on, such as junior forward Jackie Schwark. Murawski said Schwark can play multiple positions.

Primarily, Schwark will play center, but the junior serves as a point guard when the Mustangs encounter a zone defense because of her vision and decision-making, according to Murawski. The Lutheran North coach also expects big years from senior guards Danielle Schomaker and Katie Draeger.

“(Schomaker) is the leader of the team. When we need a bucket, she’s who we look to,” Murawski said. “(Draeger) is a great shooter and another go-to player.”

Having an experienced team in place, along with playmakers in the post and on the perimeter, has Murawski optimistic about the season. The Mustangs finished 10-11, 1-7 in the Michigan Catholic High School League AA Division last season.

The Lutheran North coach said he knows the league is tough (the Mustangs have won just one game in league play since the start of the 2010-11 season, going 15-27 overall in that span), but he believes his team can make some headway this year.

“We haven’t had a lot of success in the league the last couple of years, but with what we have, I think this is the year we challenge for a division title,” Murawski said. “We had a great summer, beating some great teams, and I think this is the year we get back to winning.”

Lutheran North’s next tip is a home matchup with Clarkston Everest Collegiate, set for 6 p.m. Dec. 14 at Lutheran North.

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