Stops, staying out of foul trouble key for South Lake girls hoops down the stretch

St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 12, 2014

 Cavaliers junior Kamarie Jones takes a jumper during a Feb. 4 game against Madison Heights Madison.

Cavaliers junior Kamarie Jones takes a jumper during a Feb. 4 game against Madison Heights Madison.

Photo by Roy Feldman

ST. CLAIR SHORES — When the St. Clair Shores South Lake girls basketball team is running on all cylinders, it’s tough to stop.

When the Cavaliers are struggling, it’s usually at one end of the floor, according to coach Danielle Johnson.

“When we’ve played poorly, it seems to always be because of a defensive breakdown and too many fouls,” said Johnson, whose team sat at 7-5, 5-3 Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, at press time. “When we commit to doing the right things defensively and stay out of foul trouble, we usually have good results.”

Johnson said those issues are tied together because of South Lake’s players’ tendencies to reach on defense instead of moving their feet. She said that, at one point, it looked like the Cavs had turned a corner defensively. Since then, the defensive effort has been up and down.

Johnson said making improvements on defense is something the team will work on the rest of the regular season. The state playoffs begin Feb. 24.

“We play great defense one game, and we’re in foul trouble the next,” Johnson said. “We have to win games with defense. We need to finish strong and win the rest of our games this season.”

South Lake is in the hunt for its second straight MAC Silver title. Johnson said a repeat is questionable because of some early league losses to first-place Madison Heights Madison and third-place Madison Heights Lamphere.

Johnson said junior forward NaKyra Jordan continues to lead the team. Jordan is the reigning two-time MAC Silver MVP and has played at a high level this season. Junior forward Moet Dickinson and sophomore center Khadajah Williams have made solid contributions, as well, Johnson said.

“I know nothing’s over until it’s over,” Johnson said. “If the top teams in our league end up with some more losses, then we’ll still have a shot.”

The Cavs next hit the court for a tilt against Madison Heights Lamphere, set for 7 p.m. Feb. 14 at Lamphere.