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Basketball

Published December 8, 2015

FARMINGTON HILLS — He spent some brief time in the main chair, one year to be exact, as a varsity head coach.

But for Allen Walker, the majority of his 17 years of coaching have been as an assistant.

Not anymore.

“It’s a little change of pace,” Walker, the new Farmington Hills Harrison girls basketball coach, said last week. “It’s different. The atmosphere is different than what you’re used to, meaning the structure is different. But these kids are outstanding. Every kid I’ve encountered is outstanding.”

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Published December 7, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS — It’s the second year that Marc West is leading the Birmingham Groves boys basketball program, and he feels like the Falcons are ready to make their move.

Last season, Groves finished 1-9 overall in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division and have since been moved to the OAA Gold.

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Published December 7, 2015

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Utica Eisenhower coach Michael Satawa believes he has his fastest and most athletic team to take the floor in his four years as coach of the Eagles.

That means the Eagles are playing a new style of ball as well, a more up-tempo approach as opposed to the half-court style of previous seasons.

“We’ll find out if that translates into wins, but we’ll create a lot of havoc and a lot of chaos,” Satawa said.

Eisenhower returns six players from last year’s team that advanced to a district final.

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Published December 4, 2015

ROYAL OAK—Royal Oak High and Royal Oak Shrine girls basketball share similar storylines early in the season.

Both teams had highly successful 2014-15 seasons. Both teams graduated a majority of their starting lineup from the 2014-15 season. Both teams have a roster dominated by young talent in 2015-16.

But only one could emerge victorious a crosstown rivalry matchup Dec. 4 at Royal Oak High School.

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Published December 3, 2015

C&G Newspapers

Last season was a historic one for the women’s basketball program at Macomb Community College.

Aside from finishing first in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association Eastern Conference, the Monarchs also won a state championship, which was a first in program history.

Head coach Jay Ritchie reflected on last season’s accomplishments.

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Published December 2, 2015

Southfield-Lathrup boys basketball coach Desmond Denham calls them football players playing basketball, and the six new faces to the team are bringing grittiness to the Chargers that the coach hasn’t seen in his four years leading the program.

“My new kids, they’re making the basketball players tougher. That’s all they know how to play, tough,” Denham said.

The Chargers carry 12 on the roster, evenly divided between six players who were on varsity last season (no starters) and the six from the gridiron.

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Published December 1, 2015

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB TOWNSHIP—The Dec. 1 season opener between Warren Fitzgerald and L’Anse Creuse North girls basketball lasted the standard 32 minutes.

But what mattered most were the final three seconds.

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Published December 1, 2015

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Since 2010, the girls basketball team from Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett has won six consecutive Michigan Independent Athletic Conference championships, as well as six Class C district titles, advancing at least as far as a regional final in each of those seasons.

In 2011 and 2012, the Knights made two consecutive appearances in the state final game.

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Published November 30, 2015

BERKLEY — Berkley High boys basketball coach David McGlown laughs when he says it out loud: The Bears graduated between 75 and 80 percent of their scoring from last season. 

But McGlown also sees the potential to fill in that scoring gap with the players he now has on the floor, namely in senior point guard Jerome Cobb.

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Published November 30, 2015

UTICA — Tom McDonald’s 25th season as head coach of Utica High’s girls basketball program has the potential to be another special one.

That is because the Chieftains return 10 players, including all five starters, from a team that won last year’s Macomb Area Conference White Division title.

“I just think if we keep the same mindset we kept last year, show up every day and try to get better, then we’ll let everything fall into place and take care of itself,” McDonald said.

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Published November 25, 2015

C&G Newspapers

WARREN — “We’re not as big as other teams, but we can definitely run them up and down the court.”

Those are the sentiments of Warren Regina senior wing Teresa Diehl, of St. Clair Shores, as it relates to how her team can rack up wins this season.

The Saddlelites, who finished 8-11 overall last season and lost to Warren Cousino in a Class A district quarterfinal, open the season against Grosse Pointe North at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at North.

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Published November 24, 2015

ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak High girls basketball has had a great amount of success over the last few years, but with a high level of success comes a new set of challenges.

The Ravens were the 2014-15 Oakland Activities Association Blue Division champions, a culmination of six straight winning seasons. Royal Oak finished the season with a record of 13-8 overall and 8-2 in the OAA Blue.

As a result of winning the league championship, the Ravens are moving to the OAA White this season, alongside Bloomfield Hills, North Farmington, West Bloomfield, Troy and Lake Orion.

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Published November 23, 2015

LATHRUP VILLAGE — This has been her baby since she was 23, the only program she’s coached and the only district she’s taught in.

Michele Marshall has invested plenty in the Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup girls basketball program, building it to a power on a yearly basis.

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Published November 20, 2015

ROSEVILLE — The Roseville High girls basketball team has seen its number of wins increase in each of the last three seasons.

So what needs to happen for that streak of improvement to continue?

“We just have to keep working hard and keep on training — making sure we’re working every day to get better,” said junior forward Nija Collier, who is a three-year starter for the Panthers. “We have to stay strong all season long.”

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Published November 19, 2015

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Last season was a banner year for the Macomb Lutheran North girls basketball team, and this year’s group is eager to build upon that success.

Six players return from a team that in the 2014-15 season won division and district titles. That group comprises seniors Hannah Harris, Mandy Lietz and Emily Weir, and juniors Ashleigh Thomas, Emily Schomaker and Madi Desmet.

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Published November 19, 2015

STERLING HEIGHTS — The Sterling Heights High girls basketball team has been one of the more successful Macomb County squads in recent years, and the group is working to make sure its run continues.

Ten players return from last season’s district championship team. The Stallions, who went 15-10 overall and 8-4 in the Macomb Area Conference White Division in 2014-15, have won three straight district titles and have played in consecutive regional finals. The team also won division titles for three straight years from 2012 to 2014.

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Published November 16, 2015

FRASER — The girls basketball team from Fraser High is preparing to embark on a fresh campaign, as practice sessions have begun for the defending Macomb Area Conference Blue Division champions.

Last season’s MAC Blue title was the first for the program in what head coach Dave Kuppe said had been “at least eight, 10 years.”

Kuppe discussed how nice it was to come away with a championship.

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Published November 5, 2015

C&G Newspapers

Oakland University held its Basketball Media Day Oct. 28 at the Athletics Center O’rena, where coaches and players had the opportunity to discuss the upcoming season.

Oakland’s men’s team was selected to finish second in the Horizon League preseason poll, with Valparaiso receiving the most selections to come away as the league champion.

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Published October 2, 2015

WARREN/EAST LANSING — The Michigan State University men’s basketball team took a trip overseas this summer to play four games in Italy.

Finding out about the trip would have been good enough news for any of the players on the squad. Kenny Goins, a 2014 Warren Mott graduate who turned down scholarship offers from schools such as Central Michigan University and the University of Detroit to walk on at MSU, got even better news when the team returned from the trip in early September.

Spartans coach Tom Izzo offered Goins a scholarship.

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Published September 10, 2015

C&G Newspapers

ROCHESTER — Oakland University has released the schedule for its 2015-16 men’s basketball season.

Last season, in what was just its second in the Horizon League, Oakland finished in third place in the league standings with an 11-5 record. Oakland ranked first in scoring offense and last in defense.

The Golden Grizzlies finished with an overall record of 16-17.

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