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March 5, 2014

Sterling Heights High girls basketball team captures third division title in four years

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

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Sterling Heights High girls basketball team captures third division title in four years
The Sterling Heights High girls basketball team has won division titles in four of the last six seasons. Pictured is Stallions senior guard Dayshia Vance going in for a score during a Feb. 24 playoff game against St. Clair Shores Lake Shore. For a full photo gallery from the game, check www.candgnews.com.

HARRISON TOWNSHIP — The Sterling Heights High girls basketball team finished Macomb Area Conference Blue Division play with an 11-1 mark, strong enough to give the Stallions their second straight league title.

Members of the Sterling Heights team believe this championship is sweeter than last year’s, when the team shared the title with Macomb L’Anse Creuse North. The Stallions won the title outright this season.

Sterling Heights (19-3 at press time) has won division titles in four of the last six seasons.

“I hesitate to use the word ‘disappointed’ when you’re talking about sharing a league title,” Stallions coach Rick Repicky said. “But after you share a title, you want to win it outright. We put ourselves in a position where that was out of our control for a while (losing the first of two matchups to L’Anse Creuse North), but we took care of L’Anse Creuse North in the second matchup, then we got a little help (from Warren Fitzgerald, which took a game from L’Anse Creuse North).

“Our girls were as happy as could be to clinch the title outright. We’ve had a good group of kids come through here. Hopefully, we can win some more before they’re done.”

Two of those “good” players are junior forward Sadè Lemons and senior guard Dayshia Vance. Those two, along with senior forward Julianna Trombley, lead the Stallions on the court. Repicky said those three are the unquestioned leaders of the team.

Repicky said the three veterans have been the catalyst of the 15-game win streak Sterling Heights was on at press time, which included two wins in the Class A district playoffs.

The Stallions met Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse in a district final after press time.

“I really think that what’s going on with us now is just having confidence and always having five kids on the court who are sure of what their jobs are,” Repicky said. “It’s all instincts. There’s no more thinking, because we’ve gotten more reps together as a group.

“(Lemons, Vance and Trombley) have played a lot of varsity basketball. Nobody else has. So I think, at the beginning of the year, there was a bit of a struggle for us having the confidence and chemistry we needed to have on the court. All of that stuff has been better in recent weeks.”

Lemons said the team proved itself right, as it discussed winning an outright title at the start of the season. She said the group knew it could have stood alone atop the MAC Gold last season, too, which served as motivation.

“It’s good to know (the league title) is ours and ours alone,” Vance said.

Local girls hoops teams see mixed results in the playoffs

The Utica Ford II girls basketball team squared off with Romeo High in a 2014 MHSAA Class A district final after press time. To advance to the district title game, the Falcons knocked off Utica High 30-29 in a quarterfinal played Feb. 24 and bested Sterling Heights Stevenson 44-32 in a semifinal played Feb. 26 at Stevenson.

The Titans end the season at 6-15.

The Sterling Heights Parkway Christian girls basketball team saw its season come to an end in a 48-13 loss to Marine City Cardinal Mooney in a Class D district semifinal Feb. 26 at Cardinal Mooney.

The Eagles end the season at 9-8.

For continuous coverage of the 2014 state playoffs, check www.candg news.com and www.mhsaa.com.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jason Carmel Davis at jdavis@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1107. Twitter Follow Jason on Twitter.