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Southfield

February 5, 2014

Southfield High boys basketball continuing with young lineup

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Southfield High freshman Amauri Hardy goes up for a shot in a practice earlier this season. Hardy is part of a group of freshmen seeing significant time on the varsity level.

Southfield High boys basketball coach Gary Teasley is taking this season, one that he refers to as a rebuilding year, in stride.

“On Feb. 8, it’s my birthday. I’ll be 58 years old, and I’ve been around a lot of high school sports and I love it,” Teasley sad with a laugh. “I think my interest is in development more than anything else. … That’s why having a young team is an honor, and we’re taking it step by step and adding pieces.”

Southfield was 4-8 overall and 2-4 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division at press time.

Teasley calls the mark deceiving, with four of those losses coming by six points or fewer, including an overtime defeat and one that was lost at the buzzer.

Southfield lost eight straight games at one point but has now been a winner in the last two games after beating Rochester High and Pontiac High.

The coach said he’s starting two freshmen, a sophomore, a junior and a senior; the first man off the bench is another freshman. He added that he’s seeing the young group get noticeably better.

“They are not the same people when they started at Southfield High School in September. They have a wealth of experience from playing the teams we’ve played, and they’re just coming out of middle school,” Teasley said. “I can imagine me coming out of middle school, I would be biting my nails and terrified. These guys are showing a lot of courage and stamina.

“I’m not going to say it hasn’t been difficult, because we live in a win-now society, but they constantly bounce back and are resilient. Those are good signs for our program.”

Teasley said he purposely scheduled a tough slate, with perennial powers like Detroit Pershing and Southfield Christian in the nonconference portion.

“We really wanted to test and teach the younger guys what it will take to be successful in high school basketball,” Teasley said. “You’re either going to get better or get your feelings hurt. That lesson is really what life is all about.”

Southfield may be out of the race for a Red title, but the Blue Jays still have a Class A district title on the mind.

“We made a  commitment to always want to play our best basketball in March. We call the regular season quizzes, and the tournament is the final exam,” Teasley said. “I think there is some excitement in the near future, but it may just be the future without the near, but we’re on the road to get back to where we expect to be.”

Catch Southfield against Clarkston High at 7 p.m. Feb. 7 on the road.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Christian Davis at cdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1062. Twitter Follow Christian on Twitter.