Warriors control own destiny in OAA Red and state playoffs

By: Mike Moore | Southfield Sun | Published February 14, 2018

 Southfield A&T girls basketball coach Michele Marshall is pictured at a practice earlier this winter. The Warriors were 10-1 in the OAA Red Division at press time.

Southfield A&T girls basketball coach Michele Marshall is pictured at a practice earlier this winter. The Warriors were 10-1 in the OAA Red Division at press time.

Photo by Donna Agusti

SOUTHFIELD — There wasn’t a lot to like and, in all honesty, not a lot it would seem the Southfield A&T girls basketball team had to play for after a brutal start to the regular season.

Yet, somehow, Michele Marshall kept things glued together, and her girls dug in and dug out.

That 0-4 start has long been forgotten.

The Warriors took another giant step toward an Oakland Activities Association Red Division crown on Feb. 12, using their suffocating defense for a 50-33 victory over Rochester Hills Stoney Creek.

The win pushed Southfield A&T to 12-5 on the season and 10-1 in the Red at press time.

“This is a team that’s shown the best turnaround I’ve ever seen,” Marshall said. “I’m so proud of their grit and their determination.”

The 12-1 run since the rough start is one thing, but a chance to win the Red is the first goal for Southfield A&T now.

“Having a chance to win the Red is a big deal,” she said, noting that there are two divisional games left.

Clarkston High (7-1 in the Red) is the only other team with a shot of catching Southfield A&T. 

The Wolves handed the Warriors their lone loss, a 55-50 decision on Dec. 22. Southfield A&T defeated Clarkston 47-36 on Feb. 1, holding the Wolves to their lowest point total of the season.

“Defense triggers everything for us,” Marshall said. “That’s what’s changed with us. When the girls really figured out how to play that type of defense, it’s been something that’s really propelled us.”

Of course, if there’s just a few games left to decide a conference and division champ, that must mean the postseason is just around the corner.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Marshall said of the playoffs, which begin Feb. 26.

Southfield A&T reached the Class A semifinals last winter.

“The goal is Calvin College (state semifinals),” Marshall said. “We’ve come a long, long way. We’re in a great spot, but we still have some work to do. We still have plenty to accomplish.”