Basketball

Published February 29, 2012

SOUTHFIELD — Even Southfield Christian boys basketball coach Josh Baker admits he’s a little surprised at the domination his team has shown this season.

Baker, who was an assistant with Class A power Romulus High the last nine seasons, has the Eagles 16-2 overall and 13-0 in the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference Blue Division.

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Published February 29, 2012

CLAWSON — In winning consecutive Macomb Area Conference Silver Division titles, the 11 seniors on the Clawson High boys basketball team have built a legacy they should carry with them even after they leave the program, according to coach Billy Shellenbarger.

“In accomplishing this, they’ve learned what you get when you put in hours of hard work and you develop toughness, you stick together, and you play hard every night,” said Shellenbarger, in his fourth year with the Trojans.

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Published February 29, 2012

With the boys basketball state playoffs right around the corner, the local St. Clair Shores squads are preparing for district tournament action. Each squad has its own set of challenges and storylines ahead of them.

District drought

Lakeview is hoping to snap a streak of not having won a district game since 2004. To do so, the Huskies hope to fine-tune their game and carry some of their momentum from a successful regular season into the postseason.

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Published February 29, 2012

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — A 17-4 second quarter helped the West Bloomfield High girls hoops team shoot its way into a district final for the first time since 2008, as the Lakers bested Walled Lake Western 56-42 in a Class A district semifinalFeb. 29 at West Bloomfield.

The win gives West Bloomfield a 9-12 mark and sets up a showdown March 2 with North Farmington, which  got past Farmington Hills Harrison 43-33 in the other district semi at West Bloomfield.

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Published February 20, 2012

FRASER — The Fraser High boys basketball team knows a few things about itself now that it didn’t two months ago.

The Ramblers know their strengths and their weaknesses.

They know what they’ve done and what they have to do.

With the postseason rapidly approaching, Fraser hopes to utilize its newfound knowledge for success.

“I think that we’ve learned along the way what gives us problems that prevents us from being successful, and we would like to fix that,” coach Marshall Wandrei said.

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Published February 17, 2012

As the postseason inches closer and closer, the Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse boys basketball team has a few wrinkles to smooth out.

“Over the next couple of weeks, our No. 1 goal is to execute offensively and defensively with more consistency,” Lancers coach John Haas said. “There have been many games where we did some things well, but fell apart executing in other areas.”

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Published February 9, 2012

With a couple of weeks before the postseason begins, L’Anse Creuse girls basketball coach Lisa Downey has an offensive checklist for her Lancers.

It includes improving scoring in transition, gaining cohesion and increasing balance on offense.

While the cliché says that defense wins championships, the Lancers are a little more focused on working on their offense as the one-and-done playoffs begin Feb. 27.

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Published February 8, 2012

With just a couple of weeks left in the regular season, Grosse Pointe North’s boys basketball team is hoping to turn back the clock a bit with the postseason on the horizon.

“We’ve been playing well. It’s been good team basketball, offensively and defensively,” Norseman coach Matt Lockhart said. “But the last couple of games, we’ve gotten away from that. We’re not making the extra pass. When we do those things, we’re a pretty good team.”

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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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