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January 23, 2013

Road warriors Regina basketball team battles through tough away-slate to start season

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Warren Regina will have played nine of its first 11 games on the road before it goes home to face Dearborn Divine Child Jan. 25. Pictured, Saddlelites’ Emily Davis, left, drives to the hoop during a game earlier this season.

WARREN — This year’s Warren Regina girls basketball team has quickly gotten used to playing in hostile environments, as seven of the Saddlelites’ first nine games have been played away from home.

Regina junior Emily Davis, a Sterling Heights resident, said having so many games on the road to start the season is difficult. She said having a home crowd behind you can help a team in a variety of ways.

Regina’s next home game is Jan. 25 against Dearborn Divine Child. That will mark just the third home game in 12 contests for the Saddlelites. Road contests against Birmingham Marian (Jan. 18) and Livonia Ladywood (Jan. 22) took place after press time.

“It’s tough, but it’ll balance itself out when we have something like five of our last seven games of the season at home,” Regina coach Diane Laffey said.

The Saddlelites sat at 3-6, 0-2 Catholic High School League Red Division at press time. Regina has held its own on the road, despite a lack of experience in key spots, according to coach Diane Laffey.

Laffey said the team’s guard play has been spotty this season, due to a lack of experience. She added that her team has shown a lot of fight in each of its games.

Several of those games have come down to the wire. Five of the Saddlelites’ nine games have been decided by six points or fewer, including a two-point loss and two three-point setbacks. The Saddlelites’ season-opening win over Macomb L’Anse Creuse North was by three points.

“You have tough losses early in the season and those will turn into wins later on,” Laffey said. “I told the team at practice (Jan. 13) that we could be better than just about every team we lost to. I told them we’re a couple of plays away from being off to a really great start.

“We’re working hard every day, and I can see us getting better as the season goes along.”

Leading the improvements are seniors Christine Palazzolo, a Detroit resident, and Becca Sabol, of Shelby Township, along with Davis, who believes the team will round into form, come playoff time.

District play begins Feb. 25. Regina will play its district games at Warren Woods Tower.

“We’re getting a lot better. We can see it every day,” junior Emily Davis said. “Sure, the games will get tougher as the season goes along, but we’re getting it together.”