Royal Oak High’s Andrew Heitchue tries to get past a Ferndale High defender in a game earlier this season. The Ravens were 5-8 overall at press time.

Royal Oak High’s Andrew Heitchue tries to get past a Ferndale High defender in a game earlier this season. The Ravens were 5-8 overall at press time.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Royal Oak High boys basketball trying to find consistency in second half

By: Mike Moore | Royal Oak Review | Published February 7, 2018

ROYAL OAK — He sees the little battles here and there separating his team from wins and losses.

So it goes for a group learning on the fly.

“I don’t like the term ‘rebuild,’ but that’s kind of what we’re doing,” Royal Oak High boys basketball coach Aaron Smith said. “We’re getting a lot of minutes for younger guys who hadn’t played a lot (before this season).”

Smith said he had relatively high expectations for the group when the season started.

“But I think we’ve had some of the struggles you’d expect with an inexperienced team,” he added.

At press time, the Ravens were 5-8 overall and 0-7 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

Royal Oak started the winter with just three varsity veterans and a host of guys adapting to new positions and systems.

“We have good basketball players,” Smith said. “Getting the system aspect of it all down is what we’re really working on now.”

Consistency has been the main focus moving forward.

Smith said some of the closer games his team has lost happened because of a few small plays here and there over the course of the game. Of the eight losses, three have been by four points or less.

“It’s those competitive moments that we’re not getting sometimes that’s hurting us,” he added. “Now it’s about finding that compete level and getting better. Our mindset is, every practice is a new tryout. You take that passion and energy and apply it to the game, and the results will follow.”

Catch the Ravens against Berkley High at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 on the road.