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December 12, 2012

Southfield High boys basketball returns nucleus of team

By Christian Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Southfield High’s Paris McCurdy rises above a defender in a game earlier this season.

SOUTHFIELD — As the boys basketball season begins to get in gear, there’s an air of confidence filling the Southfield High gym.

The Blue Jays return seven players from a squad that finished 12-12 and won a district title last season. Of the seven, four are returning starters.

“This is my favorite time of year,” Southfield Coach Gary Teasley said with a grin as his team warmed up before the start of practice Dec. 3. “The kids will, hopefully, pick up on that energy, and we’re all excited.”

Senior point guard Jeff Greear shares that enthusiasm.

“We all have high expectations. It’s from the chemistry that we have, and we play hard,” he said. “(We want) championships. That’s all.”

Seniors Quinton Arnold, Earl Swift and Darnell Butler join Greear as returning starters. Last season’s sixth man, senior Brandon Bean, is also back on the roster, giving the Blue Jays experience to draw from.

“We’re looking forward to the season. We’ve been working hard, doing a lot of scrimmaging. Some of the guys now have been running our system for a couple years, so we’re excited about getting off to a good start,” Teasley said.

The coach added that his squad is looking to pressure on both sides of the ball, from baseline to baseline, to wear down its opponents.

What will be key is how the team fares in the paint, on both ends of the floor. It has some size, with its two tallest players standing 6 feet 5 inches, but not a lot of size after that.

“We’re hoping we can find ways to compete on the glass to get second shots and limit teams on their second chances,” Teasley said.

The Blue Jays have won at least a district title for three straight seasons, capturing two regional championships in that time. With the experience, athleticism and propensity for success, Southfield is looking to make it four in a row.

“We just have to get experience playing the game the right way,” Teasley said. “Basically … make it fun to watch, compete and get as many opportunities to come out on top.”

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