Scoring the key for L’Anse Creuse girls hoops heading into postseason

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published February 9, 2018

 Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior forward Tiffani Burgess brings the ball up the court against Macomb L’Anse Creuse North earlier this season. Lancers coach Lisa Downey called Burgess the key to the team’s playoff prospects.

Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse senior forward Tiffani Burgess brings the ball up the court against Macomb L’Anse Creuse North earlier this season. Lancers coach Lisa Downey called Burgess the key to the team’s playoff prospects.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — At the close of the regular season, the Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse girls basketball team was allowing 35.6 points per game — good for fifth-lowest in the 35-team Macomb Area Conference. It’s the other end of the floor that concerns longtime Lancers coach Lisa Downey as the playoffs approach.

The Lancers’ offensive output — 30.7 points per game — is fourth-lowest in the MAC. If the team is to make a playoff run, Downey says her group has to pick it up on that end.

“Our defense has been amazing, and we play really hard,” Downey said. “We need to improve our offensive execution and shoot better. The goal is to score more than 40 points a game.”

Downey is working with a young group. The roster includes six freshmen and four sophomores. A senior must lead the way, Downey said, down the stretch.

Forward Tiffani Burgess is a four-year varsity player who has started each year she’s been on the team. Downey called Burgess — who can score in a variety of ways and handle the ball — the team leader.

“(Burgess) is the only player with a lot of varsity experience, so the other girls will look to her in terms of how to prepare mentally for games,” Downey said.

Sophomore Daniah Beavers has been relied upon for inside scoring and rebounding. Other players contributing are junior Sydney Dhue, sophomore Alivia Boedeker and senior Christyna Warner.

The Lancers — who ended the regular season at 5-10 overall and 5-5 in the MAC Gold Division — open the postseason with a Class A district semifinal against Utica Ford II at 5:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at Sterling Heights Stevenson.

The other half of the bracket includes Stevenson, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley and Utica High. The district final is set for 6 p.m. March 2 at Stevenson.

Just one team in the district (Utica) finished the regular season above .500. Downey called every team in the group well-coached, adding that she appreciates the bye her team received through the district quarterfinals. Downey said that gives her players a chance to rest their legs.

“I know our girls will compete very hard,” Downey said. “I know they will be very excited, and I look forward to watching them play their best basketball of the season. Our improvement from the beginning of the season has been dramatic, and I expect them to go out and play hard, and with the passion needed to win.”