South Lake girls basketball team wins MAC Silver title

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published March 6, 2013

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The St. Clair Shores South Lake girls basketball team saw its season end in a 58-43 loss to Harper Woods Chandler Park Academy Feb. 25 in a Michigan High School Athletic Association Class B district quarterfinal, but the Cavaliers reached one goal on their road to the playoffs: winning the program’s first division title since 2005-06 season.

The Cavaliers went 13-1 in winning the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division (13-7 overall), shrugging off a 0-6 non-league record to capture the district crown.

“(Winning the league title) is huge for us. Anytime you can (accomplish) a goal, it’s an awesome feeling,” said South Lake coach Shay Lewis, in her second year with the Cavs.

“I’m so proud of each and every one of my players. They’re a great group of girls who worked really hard to have a successful season. I’m glad we could bring some excitement to South Lake, and I want to thank our fans for their tremendous support this season.”

The return of six players, including reigning MAC Silver MVP NaKyra Jordan, a sophomore, led to South Lake breaking through in the Silver after finishing second last year. The Cavs returned five starters, including Jordan.

South Lake’s offense (53.5 points per game) ranked sixth in the 36-team MAC. The Cavs’ defense improved in 2012-13, as well, allowing 44.1 points per contest — down from 48.8 points allowed last year.

“Even though we finished second in the league last year, we weren’t close … but it was a step in the right direction,” Lewis said. “The fact that we were able to clinch the (division title) at home (Feb. 19 vs. Center Line) made it that much sweeter. We celebrated on our home court right underneath where the banner will go up. It was an awesome feeling for my girls.”

Raising that banner was a goal Lewis and her players set at the outset of the season. A one-point loss Feb. 5 at Madison Heights Madison was the only thing that came between the Cavs going undefeated in league play.

Lewis cited seniors Nyshah Brown and Taylor Pitts, who averaged 15.1 and 10.2 points per game, respectively, as standouts on a “team full of MVPs.” Lewis also said senior Chantell Harris (9.3 rebounds per game), junior Lauren Guirlanda (77 percent free-throw shooter) and Jordan (13.4 points per game) as standouts.

“South Lake has been under the radar for a while. … Now, we’re a target,” Lewis said. “Teams are gunning for us, and people aren’t dismissing us.

“I want to continue to build that excitement. ... We have to all put in a lot more work in the offseason and come back stronger.”

In other local playoff news:

St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s girls basketball team bowed out in the Class A District semis in a 69-31 loss to Grosse Pointe South Feb. 27. The Huskies knocked off Detroit Southeastern 56-19 Feb. 25 in a Class A district quarterfinal.

The St. Clair Shores Lake Shore girls team saw its season end in a 59-45 loss to Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse Feb. 25 in a Class A District quarterfinal.