At the outset of the 2012-13 season, Sterling Heights High girls basketball coach Rick Repicky set a goal for his team to win a championship of some kind.
“We weren’t able to win a league, a district, or anything like that in (2011-12). So We wanted to come back and get that done,” Repicky said.
The Stallions were able to accomplish two of those goals this season, winning the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division and a Michigan High School Athletic Association Class A district title. Sterling Heights (20-3) knocked off Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 68-53 March 1 at Sterling Heights High to capture the district title.
The Stallions shared the MAC Blue title with Macomb L’Anse Creuse North. The league title was the third in five years for Sterling Heights, which went 11-1 in MAC Blue play.
The Stallions won with defense, allowing 38.9 points per game over the course of the season, including the playoffs. That number was good enough for 10th in the 36-team MAC. Sterling Heights was no slouch on offense, either, netting 55 points per game — good for third in the MAC.
“Winning a league and district title is a big deal for this group. They’ve been great competitors all year long and they deserved something so show how hard they worked,” Repicky said.
The Stallions nearly completed a comeback in their March 5 regional semifinal against Macomb Dakota, but fell 64-56, ending their season.
The Stallions were down 18 at halftime, but used a fullcourt, trapping defense to get back into the game. A lay-up from Sterling Heights sophomore guard Sadé Lemons tied the game at 52 about halfway through the fourth quarter.
Dakota (20-3 at press time) sealed the win with a 12-2 spurt of its own. During that game-clinching run, the Cougars went 7-for-8 from the foul line. A 3 by Dakota senior guard Miranda Bates, who netted 16 points for the Cougars, pushed a Cougars lead to 59-54 with 2:25 to play.
“I’m really proud of how the girls fought. They played their hearts out,” Repicky said after the March 5 loss, “but the hole we dug ourselves was too big.”
Repicky reiterated how proud he was of his team. He said a lot of teams would have folded in that situation, adding making that comeback showed the character of his players.
The Stallions’ coach was complimentary of the eight seniors he loses, including starters Maxine Salloumi and Allison Erickson. Repicky said this senior class accomplished a lot and has a lot to be proud of.
Repicky added Sterling Heights has some talent returning, including junior starters Dayshia Vance, Lemons and Julianna Trombley.
“The senior class is so tough. They battle through everything,” Repicky said. “And we’ve got some things to build on next year. Hopefully, we can follow up with more success.”
Ford II falls in regional semi
The Utica Ford II girls basketball team saw its season come to a close in a 48-30 loss to Clarkston High March 5 in a 2013 MHSAA Class A regional semifinal.
The game was played at Waterford Kettering High.
Ford finishes the season at 19-5. The Falcons knocked off Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 40-22 March 1 to clinch a Class A district title.
On its way to the district crown, Ford II bested Rochester High 55-48 in a district quarterfinal and downed Utica High 49-25 in a district semi.