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November 19, 2012

Second-year Roseville girls basketball coach stresses hustle, hard work

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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The Roseville High girls basketball team hopes to improve on its 1-11 finish in MAC Blue play a year ago. Pictured is Panthers sophomore Brianna Hodge, who will be asked to take on a bigger role, according to Roseville coach Angela Houghton.

ROSEVILLE — Her team went 3-17 last season, but Roseville High girls basketball coach Angela Houghton said the Panthers have put their struggles behind them.

“After a week of full practice, it’s apparent that this group communicates very well with one another,” said Houghton, in her second year with the Panthers. “They are supportive, energetic, and they all have a desire to win.”

Houghton said her players understand why Roseville had a down year last season. She said getting acclimated to a new coaching staff, learning a new offense, and playing a tough schedule all played a role in the team’s struggles in 2011-12.

Last year, the Panthers finished tied for last in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division at 1-11. Roseville was outscored by 12.9 points per game last season.

Houghton believes the Panthers can turn their fortunes around, with five players returning, including senior Aja Williams and sophomore Brianna Hodge.

“We’re carrying a full roster this year with 15 players,” Houghton said. “We were very happy with tryout, and we believe that each girl brings a lot to the table, as far as their ability to play.”

Houghton said having a full roster would allow her to utilize a deep rotation. She said she would rotate players in and out frequently to ensure Roseville always has fresh players on the court.

Houghton added she and her coaching staff believe each player can contribute right away, and that everyone on the Panthers’ roster will see significant playing time.

“The girls have been working very hard at practice and have been improving each day,” Houghton said. “Our philosophy this year is, ‘Roseville hustles harder.’ We will not be outworked on the court.”

Williams, in her third year as a varsity player, will lead the charge, according to Houghton. Hodge will be looked upon to take on a bigger role, Houghton said. The Panthers’ coach said she would also count on Kristina Kiser, Shannon Blansett, Kelsey Russell, Mykina Scott and Megan Ritter to give major contributions.

“We have a special group of girls who are not afraid to roll up their sleeves and work hard,” Houghton said.

Roseville opens the season with a matchup against Warren Mott, set for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 4 at Mott.

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