Basketball

Published February 6, 2012

CLAWSON — Clawson High senior guard Kentrail Holt said coach Billy Shellenbarger gives his squad a simple motto to live by when playing defense.

“Coach always just tells us to be relentless,” said Holt, whose team is tied with Marysville High (43.5) for lowest points-per-game allowed in the entire 36-team Macomb Area Conference.

“He says playing defense is more mental than physical, because you have to want to do it. We do want to do it, and that’s why we’ve won a lot of games this year.”

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Published February 3, 2012

MADISON HEIGHTS — The 2011-2012 season has been pretty kind to Madison Heights Lamphere's girls basketball squad so far.

After finishing 3-18 last season, the Rams have rebounded and put themselves in a position to contend for a MAC Silver title.

Lamphere's remarkable trend upward continued on Friday night,  defeating crosstown rival Madison Heights Madison 68-35.

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Published February 3, 2012

One of the more interesting races taking place in the Macomb Area Conference this season is in the Silver Division.

At press time, four girls basketball teams from the MAC Silver were within striking distance of a division title. Two of the teams right in the thick of things are Clawson and St. Clair Shores South Lake.

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Published February 1, 2012

SOUTHFIELD — They call it their “Daily 150.”

Every morning, players from the Southfield Christian boys basketball team stroll into the gym with the intention of making 100 3-pointers and 50 free throws before school begins.

“We know when we’re coming in at 7 a.m., no (other team) is coming in, and we’re getting shots up. It just gives us confidence in the game,” senior Gavin Toma said. “You have to have drive to come into the gym that early. A lot of people want to sleep the extra hour, but it’ll pay off.”

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Published February 1, 2012

TROY — It’s a time like this — a 49-42 loss to Rochester High in a battle for first place in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division — when Troy Athens boys basketball coach Dave Scott sees the additional benefits of carrying 16 players, mostly seniors, on the roster.

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Published February 1, 2012

ROYAL OAK — As the rain and snow of winter continue to fall, it’s the wins that continue to pile up with the Royal Oak High girls basketball squad.

Through press time, the Ravens have taken to the court 13 times during the 2011-12 season, and in 12 of those, they’ve exited victorious.

If you ask coach Brian Sopata, or any of his girls for that matter, they’ll tell you the key to that success goes back a few months. The genesis of those wins comes from much, much warmer months.

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Published January 25, 2012

It’s no secret that times have been tough lately for the East Detroit girls basketball team.

Last season, the Shamrocks went 0-21, and are off to a 0-9 start to their 2011-2012 campaign.

Prior to this season, East Detroit handed the coaching duties over to former JV coach Krysta Kreyger in an attempt to right the ship. While she understands that there is work to be done, Kreyger believes that her Shamrocks team is trending upward.

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Published January 25, 2012

ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak High boys basketball coach Mike Massucci calls it “AEO” — attitude, excellence and others.

“I always look, are we living our mission? Do we have great attitudes? Are we committed to excellence, and do we think of others? If we can say yes to those three things, then I think that’s success,” he said. “That’s been our mission this whole season, from start to finish.”

According to the coach, senior captain Brandon Fredrikson has exemplified a great attitude.

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Published January 23, 2012

Entering this season, the expectations were high for Clinton Township Clintondale’s girls basketball team.

The Dragons were last year’s Macomb Area Conference Silver Division champions, and coach Pete Romano, along with his players, believed that they were more than capable of accomplishing the same feat in this 2011-2012 season.

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Published January 18, 2012

TROY — The wins will come, sooner or later, the law of averages says so.

Lindsey Noble knows that.

Her players do as well.

Right now, though, the focus for the Troy Athens girls basketball coach and program centers less on the final result from one game to the next, but instead on the steps being taken each and every time the sneakers hit the court.

This is a young team.

This is an inexperienced team.

And, as Noble said, this is a team learning “a ton” on the fly.

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Published January 18, 2012

CLAWSON — Coaches of the Clawson and Marysville High boys’ basketball teams said they don’t want to overstate the meaning of the teams’ first Macomb Area Conference Silver Division matchup even if it pits the two teams that last year shared the league title.

“There are some really tough teams in the division this year, so we’ll be challenged every night,” Trojans coach Billy Shellenbarger said.

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Published January 18, 2012

Travon DeSaussure, a third-year varsity basketball player at St. Clair Shores South Lake, said one key component is lacking early in the Cavaliers’ 2011-12 campaign.

“It’s chemistry. We need to become one,” the junior guard said.

DeSaussure, along with seniors Demarco Ritter and Duane Brown, are the only three returnees — and are all starters this season — from last year’s team that finished 4-17 overall, 1-11 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division.

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Published January 18, 2012

When consideration is given as to which teams are most likely to contend for the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division title in girls varsity basketball this season, the two that seem to be getting most of the attention are Sterling Heights High and Macomb L’Anse Creuse North.

Given that the Stallions and the Crusaders were the top two teams in the division last season, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that they are the ones stealing the spotlight in the 2011-2012 campaign. But the team most likely to sneak in under the radar just may be Warren Lincoln.

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Published January 12, 2012

It may be relatively early in the season, but the Mount Clemens girls varsity basketball team has already achieved half of its four team goals.

The first goal was to get off to a good start by winning their first game of the season. The Battling Bathers did just that, defeating Detroit Denby in their opening game.

Mount Clemens also wanted to make sure it came away with a victory against perhaps its biggest rival, the Clintondale Dragons. It can mark “mission accomplished” next to that goal, as well.

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Published January 11, 2012

CLAWSON — Clawson High School senior guard Tywaun Watkins and his teammates held Marine City High scoreless for the first 5:29 of a Macomb Area Conference Silver Division matchup Jan. 11 on their way to a convincing 60-39 home win.

“We know the importance of locking down on defense,” said Watkins, who recorded five steals for the Trojans and led the team with 18 points. “We’re just patient (on defense) and we read things right and try and translate that into offense.”

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Published January 11, 2012

TROY — It’s a challenge that he and his team will face almost every night of league play, one he’s grown accustomed to in his less than two years on the Troy High bench.

It is one, in fact, he’s taken a certain appreciation to.

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Published January 11, 2012

SOUTHFIELD — The faces of the starting lineup are different at Southfield High, but according to coach Gary Teasley, the standards remain the same.

The Blue Jays come into this boys basketball season without a returning starter from a core that took them to the state semifinals the past two seasons.

“It hasn’t been a major adjustment, because I enjoy coaching. Southfield is the same high school, but different faces. We have an expectation,” Teasley said during practice Jan. 4.

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Published January 11, 2012

Warren De La Salle’s basketball team is out to make history this year.

In the more than 85 years since the historic and competitive league has named a champion for its top division, only once has a school won four titles in a row. Novi-Detroit Catholic Central, back when the school was actually in Detroit, finished first every year from 1949-1952.

De La Salle, the current three-time defending champions, will look to win its fourth and join the Shamrocks in the record books as the Pilots enter Catholic High School League play this week.

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Published January 11, 2012

MOUNT CLEMENS — A change in personnel isn’t enough to sway Mount Clemens High School boys basketball coach Kurt Wilson’s thinking that his team can repeat as champions of the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division.

“We have scorers this year, guys who can get us points even when their jumper isn’t falling and guys who can jump over the rim,” said Wilson, in his sixth year with the Bathers.

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Published January 11, 2012

Heading into a long battle, Roseville High girls basketball coach Angela Houghton did what any leader would do — she sent her team through boot camp.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

In preparation of what’s expected to be some tough Macomb Area Conference Blue Division action, the Panthers played a challenging non-league slate to open the season.

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