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Farmington Hills

January 22, 2014

One winter after setting records, Harrison maintains look of contender

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Farmington Hills Harrison’s Asia Campbell, left, and Amber Stephens run through drills at a Jan. 17 practice. Harrison won the program’s first district crown last season.

FARMINGTON HILLS — The look is eerily familiar, namely because the team is, as well.

One year after setting records for wins and claiming a title never claimed before, the Farmington Hills Harrison girls basketball team upped the ante a bit, toughened the schedule, sharpened its focus and picked up right where it left off.

“It’s been pretty awesome, so far,” coach Tim Micklash said. “It’s such a great feeling to have the type of group we did come back. When you’re having success and winning games, it’s always fun. But the group we have is such a pleasure to be around.”

Last year’s squad went 23-2, won an Oakland Activities Association White Division crown and then claimed its first district title ever.

The league title was the first since 1998.

“The bar has been raised,” Micklash said. “With the work these girls have put in and the way they put this program back on the map last year, we’re not going to go unnoticed anymore.”

“Teams are aware of us now,” junior Kyla Roland said. “We know teams are aiming for us, but you have to love that.”

The team had a 7-2 record at press time, including a 3-1 mark in the OAA Red, which the Hawks joined this season.

“We returned 11 girls, including four starters,” Micklash said. “I’m not really surprised, to be honest. We know this is a talented group of girls, a hard-working group. We have the chemistry, and we know everything is about the team with them. They all understand their roles, and get along and work very well together.”

“Being in the Red and knowing the schedule we were going to face, we knew it’d be a bigger challenge this year,” senior Asia Campbell said. “Practice has been a big deal to us, in putting in the work we’ve had to. But being in the Red, it’s going to prepare us for some things down the road.”

Despite last year’s accomplishments and this year’s potential, Micklash said his team isn’t focused on league goals, district titles or anything beyond that.

And he meant it.

“As a coach, you set goals that you keep to yourself, and I think the girls do the same,” he said. “You hope for a league title and a district, but it’s not like we sit down and write on the board what has to happen. When you set yourself up like that, great seasons can be looked at as disappointments.”

“It’s one day and one step at a time,” Campbell said. “We don’t want to do too much or look too far ahead.”

Still, when asked about the team’s potential as the season unwinds, Roland had certain things in mind.

“People expect us to win,” she said. “I think we present some challenges that teams are going to struggle to find an answer to.”

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