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Warren

March 15, 2012

Warren Lincoln coach, players reflect on subpar season

By Jason Carmel Davis
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Warren Mott senior guard Anthony Brooks, right, flies by as Warren Cousino junior Daymen Hardges puts down a layup during a Class A district semifinal March 7 at Warren Woods Tower. The Marauders needed overtime to down the Patriots, 72-68. The win put Mott in a district final with Warren De La Salle.

WARREN — At 5-15, 2-10 in the Macomb Area Conference Blue Division, you might think those associated with the 2011-12 Warren Lincoln boys basketball team would find few positives in the team’s recently ended season.

You’d be wrong.

“We competed every night,” Abes coach Jeff McGavin said following his team’s March 6 61-57 double overtime loss to Clawson in the opening round of a Class B district tournament.

“We really did fight hard all year. We just weren’t able to put everything together some nights.”

That fight showed in the district playoff loss to the Trojans. Lincoln pushed Clawson to the limit in the win or go home matchup. The effort was especially nice because the Trojans beat the Abes by 27 Feb. 24.

Lincoln’s record doesn’t show the team’s competitiveness, according to senior guard Jalen Stainback.

McGavin added the team showed resilience after it lost players at various points of the season.

“We have a team full of fighters,” said Stainback, a four-year member of the Abes’ varsity squad. “The way we fought (against Clawson in districts), I wish we could’ve done that all season.”

Next year may be a year of growing pains, as about half of Lincoln’s 10-man roster graduates this spring, according to McGavin. The coach added that he’s hopeful players on future squads step into leadership roles the way Stainback and senior Jalen Ford were able to this season.

“Those two guys took on such an important role this season and handled it really well,” McGavin said. “I hope the guys who’ll be back next year watched them, because we want leaders like them going forward.”

Ford, who will enroll at Ann Arbor’s Concordia University in the fall, said stepping into that expanded role is something that will serve him long after he leaves Lincoln.

Stainback, currently undecided on a college choice, said he’d miss the camaraderie built with his teammates.

“It’s just been fun to be around everybody,” said Stainback, who netted 14 points in his final prep game.

“Especially (McGavin). He’s helped me with so many things, like school and getting into colleges — things that aren’t even related to basketball. I don’t know where I’d be without him. Hopefully, the future players appreciate him as much as I do.”

Mott, De La Salle advance to district finals
Warren Mott ended Warren Cousino’s season in a 72-68 overtime win March 7. With the win, Mott improved its record to 12-9; Cousino’s season ends at 15-7.

Warren De La Salle knocked off Warren Woods Tower 66-47 in a Class A semifinal March 7. De La Salle improved its record to 18-3. Tower’s season ends at 11-10.

De La Salle and Mott squared off in a district final that took place after press time.

Warren Michigan Collegiate lost to Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett 68-46 in a Class C district quarterfinal March 5. Collegiate finishes the season at 8-12.

Warren Fitzgerald’s season ended in a 60-54 Class A district quarterfinal loss to Warren Cousino March 5. The Spartans ended the season with a mark of 11-10.

Center Line saw its season come to a close after a 70-38 defeat at the hands of Clawson March 7 in a Class B district semifinal. Center Line ended the season at 3-18.

Warren Macomb Christian fell 78-30 to Eastpointe Eaton Academy in a Class D district semifinal. The Crusaders ended the season with a 0-19 record.

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