Southfield Christian boys basketball enjoys another postseason ride
March 20, 2013
SOUTHFIELD — A season ago, Southfield Christian boys basketball never got the chance to hoist the Class D regional trophy it won.
Instead, following a forfeit from Detroit Westside Christian Academy, the Eagles were awarded the regional title, and then went on to win the school’s first state championship.
This time around, Southfield Christian got the drama and trophy ceremony it earned after beating Allen Park Inter-City Baptist 68-61 in overtime March 13 at Novi High. The Eagles played in a quarterfinal after press time.
“It does make it a little more special. We were disappointed we couldn’t play that game last year,” Southfield Christian coach Josh Baker said. “This one was great. Inter-City has been a great program and a powerhouse, so it was fun to get that.”
Inter-City and the Eagles met three times this year. During the regular season, each team won a game by a single point. Their meeting in the regional final needed an extra session to be decided.
The Eagles trailed by as many as seven points in the fourth quarter and were down four with around a minute remaining in regulation.
“It was just amazing to come back from the deficit we did,” junior Damarco White said. “We just came back and got the victory, but we’ve done that so many times this season, it was almost second nature to us to kick it into gear and do what we trained all year to do.
“We got what we deserved from the work that we put in.”
Hard work and early morning sessions have been a staple since Baker took over the program last season, which is partially why the Eagles have threatened to defend their state title with only two primary players back from last season.
“They come in an hour early every morning, just getting some shots in, and that kind of stuff makes a difference,” Baker said. “We just preach to the guys that it pays off.”
After starting the season 3-4, the Eagles were 20-4 at press time. Baker said that, while the team has gotten healthier and improved, so have the coaches.
“We don’t run the same stuff, because we don’t have the same players. So we’re trying to make some adjustments for these guys,” Baker said. “Last year, we had three of the best shooters that I had ever coached. … So now we have to figure out how to get it to the basket more, to get it inside more. Those simple adjustments.”
Adjustments aside, White feels the expectations of what it means to be part of the program have led to the school’s second straight regional title, and possibly more.
“We work hard. Our coaches don’t give us a choice but to work hard,” he said. “They expect the best of us, and we try to play our best.”