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Roseville

March 17, 2014

Roseville High boys basketball coach looks back at 2013-14 campaign

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
The Roseville High boys basketball team won its first district title in 22 years. Pictured is Panthers senior Elijah Collier (30) during a playoff game against Warren Mott March 10.

ROSEVILLE — In his second season, Roseville High boys basketball coach Sean Hansen led the Panthers to their first Michigan High School Athletic Association district title since 1992.

Roseville also notched 14 wins — the most for the team since it tallied 18 victories in the 2008-09 season. For those things, Hansen said, the team should be proud.

Roseville’s run came to a close in a 67-39 loss to Warren Mott in a Class A regional semifinal played March 10 at Macomb Dakota. The matchup was the third for the Panthers against the Marauders. Mott took all three meetings.

“(Mott) has some outstanding players — some outstanding athleticism,” said Hansen. “We knew we had to play a pretty good game in order to compete. I give a lot of credit to them. They took away our main weapon and forced us to do things we didn’t want to do.”

The regional semifinal matchup was tight early on, with Roseville holding an 8-6 lead. Mott went on a 26-8 run to take a 32-16 lead into the locker room it would not relinquish.

“We had to convert at the basket because of their pressure, they extend so much,” Hansen said after the March 10 game. “We had to make some (3-point shots), and make them come out and extend so we could get to the basket. The problem was, they extended so well we couldn’t get shots off, and we couldn’t convert at the basket. We shot poorly in the first half and got into a hole we couldn’t recover from.”

Hansen said he’s sad to see his eight seniors leave. He said the playoff run, which included a 84-60 win over Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse March 7 to clinch a district championship, was a good experience for the younger players on the team. Six players will be eligible to return next season. That group doesn’t include senior swingman Elijah Collier — a two-time All-MAC selection who finished the regional semifinal with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“Some of the benefits of going through a run like this are knowing the routine and getting accustomed to having success,” Hansen said. “Having the younger kids go through this, hopefully, it carries over into the next two or three seasons.”

Hansen said next year will be interesting with the loss of so many seniors. He said he’s looking for everyone to step up into a leadership role.

Hansen also said the loss to Mott is not a reflection of the season. He delivered that message to his team shortly after the March 10 contest.

“We have every reason to be proud,” Hansen said. “(The scoreboard) is not indicative of the accomplishments we had this year, the goals we set and achieved. I don’t want to see our seniors go out this way, but that’s the nature of the beast.”

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