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Rochester

January 23, 2013

Trifecta of elder statesmen has Adams as surprise team in OAA White

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Girls on the Adams hoops team have had plenty to smile about. Despite replacing all five starters, the team was 7-4 at press time and still in the hunt to defend the White Division title.

ROCHESTER — When the year began, Fran Scislowicz was, understandably, clueless as far as expectations were concerned.

Technically speaking, the Rochester Adams girls basketball coach was guiding the defending Oakland Activities Association White Division champs.

Literally speaking, he was working with a roster full of varsity rookies and forced to replace all five starters from last winter.

“We essentially had to start over,” he said with a laugh.

The results so far have been nothing short of brilliant, which begs the questions, just how are the Highlanders 8-4 overall and in the hunt in the White?

“It starts with our three seniors and the leadership they’ve put forth,” Scislowicz said of Brittany Boyle, Katie Milke and Lauren Finkelstine. “Their passion to get better has been a great example for every girl on this team. When you’re as young as we are, there’s only so many people you can really lean on. So we’ve asked those three to carry us in many, many ways, and they have.”

“We knew we had to accept that role,” Boyle said. “It’s something I think all three of us have embraced.”

The Highlanders kicked the season off with a 49-32 victory against Troy Athens, and went on to win three of their first four games.

The lone setback was a 40-38 loss to Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

A team that was supposed to be in full rebuild mode was suddenly turning some heads. As the season has progressed, the girls have only gotten stronger.

The 7-2 mark in the White Division has Adams two games behind Oxford High and one behind Farmington Hills Harrison with the second half of the league schedule set to go.

“We’re going to, hopefully, put together some solid game plans moving forward,” Scislowicz said. “Now that we’ve seen everyone, you kind of have an idea what to expect. Oxford and Harrison are very gifted teams, very athletic, but we like the way the schedule is set up. We won’t see those teams until the end, and the more time we have to prepare, the better.”

Boyle said she isn’t entirely surprised at how well the team has played thus far or at the opportunity to defend last year’s division title, which still exists.

“I think the thing that surprises me more than anything is how everyone has really stepped up. It’s been a total team effort,” she explained. “I don’t know if we truly wrapped our minds around how big a job it was going to be to replace everything we lost, but this is a very well-rounded team.”

While the three seniors have provided the leadership needed, sophomore’s Raiven Owusu (12.8 points per game) and Amber Jamison (10.8) are leading the team in scoring.

Finkelstine’s 7.7 average is third best.

When the season started, Boyle recalled a team meeting where one of the assistant coaches wrote a number on the board.

The girls were clueless to its meaning, until an explanation revealed it was the total number of points scored during last year’s season by girls who had graduated.

“We certainly knew there were some big shoes to fill,” Boyle said with a laugh.

So far, so filled.

“But I think we’re capable of even more,” she added.

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