Roseville High girls hoops honored by MAC

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published March 22, 2017

 Roseville High senior guard Chantae’ Parker drives the lane during a Feb. 27 playoff game against Warren Woods Tower. Parker is one of three Panthers to earn All-MAC Silver Division recognition.

Roseville High senior guard Chantae’ Parker drives the lane during a Feb. 27 playoff game against Warren Woods Tower. Parker is one of three Panthers to earn All-MAC Silver Division recognition.

Photo by Sean Work

ROSEVILLE — The season didn’t end the way they wanted it to, but for their efforts over the course of the season, Roseville High girls basketball personnel received numerous honors from the Macomb Area Conference.

Coach Andy Houghton was named MAC Silver Coach of the Year, and senior forward Nija Collier earned MAC Silver MVP honors after being named MAC Gold MVP in 2016.

Along with Collier, senior guard Chantae’ Parker and sophomore forward DeBraya Edwards earned All-MAC Silver Division recognition.

The awards come after Roseville went 9-1 to win the MAC Silver Division title. The Panthers also won the inaugural MAC Silver/Bronze tournament title. The season ended in a Class A district semifinal loss to Grosse Pointe North.

Houghton — who is in his fourth year with the program — said he’s honored to have received the Coach of the Year award. He recognized his assistants — Connie Frikken and Aja Williams — for their contributions to the team.

“We were very successful this year because of them, the team, and everyone’s hard work,” said Houghton, whose team finished 16-6 this year. The team’s win total has increased in each of Houghton’s four years.

“As a program, I like where we’re heading. We have made progress each year, and we want to continue to do so. With the increased number of wins, the division title and tournament championship comes confidence. We need to build off of that.”

Collier’s MVP win is a special one. The award comes after the senior forward missed the first eight games of the season while rehabbing a knee injury.

Collier said it hurt her to not be with her teammates early on, and that she was determined to make an impact once she got back out onto the court.

Houghton called Collier an “unbelievable” person. The coach added that Collier didn’t miss a step after the injury.

“Once she returned, we didn’t lose a game until the playoffs,” Houghton said. “(Collier) is a game-changer. She was very well deserving of her second MVP award. She will be missed.”

Houghton attributes the season’s success to camaraderie. He said the seniors — Rayven Newberry, Talaja Edwards, Collier and Parker — provided strong leadership and set a great example for the team’s underclassmen.

Those underclassmen will see their roles expand next season, as Roseville loses five players to graduation. Junior Maddy LaGassa, sophomore Che’Paris Mobley, freshman Mycah Goodwin and Debraya Edwards are expected to lead the pack going forward.

“Even though we did not accomplish our goal of winning a district championship, we remain motivated and want to win it next year,” Houghton said. “With the foundation that has been laid and the group we have returning, we like our chances.”