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Published February 12, 2014

Southfield girls revving up play as postseason date with Mercy awaits

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Stormeigh Mattison, 21, and the Southfield team are in the Detroit Mumford district and begin the Class A tourney against Farmington Hills Mercy.

SOUTHFIELD — Here was another game, another effort of scratching and clawing.

Here, in the waning seconds of a Tuesday night league contest, was the Southfield High girls basketball team holding its own with a squad near the top of the standings.

Months ago, this may not have been the case, but of late, it’s become the norm.

“We’re playing much better,” coach Jamie Glinz said prior to the Feb. 4 home game against Royal Oak High. “The confidence is really coming along.”

His girls went out and played like it against a Royal Oak team still battling for the top spot in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

The Lady Jays played to an 8-8 draw after the first quarter, led 13-12 by halftime and 21-20 heading into the fourth.

The teams played to a 29-29 finish after regulation, but as Glinz said after the 35-29 loss, “the lid just went on the bucket for us in overtime.”

Southfield fell to 3-7 overall and 3-4 in league play, but the record does little to describe how far the team has come.

When the year started, freshmen and sophomores made up a good portion of the lineup, especially as injuries took some veteran starters from the court to the sideline.

Like injuries, the losses piled up at the start.

“I think, in a way, we started playing not to get hurt,” Glinz said. “But once we got past that, you could see them starting to turn the corner.”

In the season’s first meeting with Ferndale High, Southfield fell by 20.

In the second game, played last week, the Lady Jays led by three at halftime, eventually falling 49-46.

“I think as the season went on, the execution’s gotten better,” said senior and team leader Courtney Williams. “I like the way we’re playing lately. We’re not focusing so much on wins and losses. It’s more about how we play, how we work together and how much better we’re getting.”

“We’re attacking the basket more. The defense has been good all year, and continues to be,” Glinz added. “That tentative aspect has worn off. We’re a team that attacks more.”

The timing couldn’t be better, either.

The state playoffs are set to begin Feb. 24.

And looking ahead, Southfield knows it has to be at the top of its game to survive the first night.

The Lady Jays are in the Detroit Mumford district and begin the Class A tourney against a Farmington Hills Mercy team that had one loss at press time.

“That’s a good team,” Williams said with a smile, adding that she plays with many of the girls on Mercy’s squad on her AAU team. “They’re really good, but they’re beatable.”

“For us, all you can ask for is a chance to win,” Glinz said. “I want to be in a position to where we pull an upset with some of the teams battling for the top spot (in the OAA Blue). Then we can focus on Mercy. They have some of the better players in the area. It will be a great challenge.”

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