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Southfield

January 29, 2014

Southfield-Lathrup and West Bloomfield High girls basketball teams play twice in six days

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Erica Longmire and the Southfield-Lathrup girls basketball team were in first place in the OAA Red at press time. The girls are set to face West Bloomfield High twice in less than a week’s span.

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The weather played a role in its version of basketball cancellations this winter.

Scheduling conflicts have now done the same.

And because of if, the Southfield-Lathrup and West Bloomfield High girls teams are about to get very acquainted with one another.

“That’s a team that comes to play hard and shoots the ball well,” Lathrup coach Michele Marshall said. “We don’t really know much about them just yet, though. We do expect a couple tough games.”

“The good thing about playing them that close together is having a real good idea of what they can do, especially the second time around,” West Bloomfield coach Zach Hilbers said. “Lathrup is a very athletic team that is going to make you work for everything. They are going to be tough to play against.”

The teams kick off the series at 7 p.m. Feb. 4 at West Bloomfield.

They then meet again at 7 p.m. Feb. 10 at Lathrup.

“With the schedules and the cancellations and everything else this year, what can you really do?” Hilbers said. “At the same time, when you’re not in the hunt for the league title, you want to get yourself prepared for the districts. Playing these games will certainly do that.”

That’s the main goal for the Lakers as the stretch run begins.

They are not going to contend for a Red Division title, but they can certainly boost their playoff readiness with some tough games against teams like Lathrup.

“Facing a team like Lathrup twice this late in the season is only going to make us better,” Hilbers said. The Lakers were 4-4 overall and 1-3 in Red play at press time. “They are a team that outsizes us. For us to be successful, we have to find ways to neutralize their size. That’s going to be key, as well, come postseason time. We’re going to see some teams like that if we’re successful.”

The games will be equally essential for Lathrup, especially for division implications.

At press time, the Chargers’ 4-1 mark was good for first place, but Clarkston High, Farmington Hills Harrison and North Farmington were all one game back.

“When we initially changed the schedule, I don’t think we realized they were going to be that close together,” Marshall said of the games. “You just have to adjust and make sure you’re focused with your kids. We actually have a few teams left on our schedule that we play twice, relatively close together, due to cancellations. So this will be good for us.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.