Basketball

Published March 1, 2011


There’s a change that happens.

Whether it comes from the fans, players, coaches or referees, when it comes to playoff basketball, there’s a distinct feeling that there may be no tomorrow.

“It’s a faster game,” West Bloomfield boys coach Jeremy Denha said. “The kids are playing harder because they’re playing for their careers.”

Madison Heights Bishop Foley coach Marc West agreed.

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Published March 1, 2011


Several key numbers tell the story of the Sterling Heights High girls basketball team’s 2010-11 season.

There’s the number 3, denoting how many wins the Stallions clinched the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division by and signifying the number of championships the squad now lays claim to — MAC Silver 2009, MAC Gold 2011 and district 2010.

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Published March 1, 2011

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The journey to this point wasn’t always an easy one.
There were days of doubt and confusion, moments where it seemed a brighter future was just a mirage on the horizon.

Yet, West Bloomfield High girls basketball coach Steve Larkin maintained his stance. In the toughest of times, he showed his strongest of resolves.

When shaken by losing, he gathered his players and promised better days of winning.
Looking back now, he had no idea just how right he would be.

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Published March 1, 2011

EASTPOINTE — You know that old adage about defense winning championships?
Turns out, it’s true.

At least it turned out to be for the East Detroit boys basketball team, which recently wrapped up the Macomb Area Conference White Division championship.

The Shamrocks, longtime residents of the MAC Blue Division, moved into the MAC White after winning the Blue last year and returning several key players.

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Published March 1, 2011

C&G Newspapers

Chippewa Valley at East Detroit, 7 p.m.
What better way to kick off March than with the MAC Red and White divisions champions facing off.

The Big Reds (16-2 overall, 11-1 MAC Red) and Shamrocks (18-1 overall, 11-1 MAC White) have proven to be the two most dominant teams in the MAC this season.

This fantastic regular-season final week showdown could be a preview to a possible regional playoff game, should both teams win their districts next week.

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Published March 1, 2011

WARREN — The sun is setting outside — and on the boys basketball regular season. It’s getting late, close to dinnertime, and practice is ending.

But it’s not time to go yet.

The players walk off the gym floor and into a classroom. It’s time for another film session.

It’s here, in the dark, where Warren De La Salle earns its postseason success.

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Published February 25, 2011

The Norsemen (7-9, 5-5 MAC Red) captured the state title three years ago and became the first MAC team to do so since Utica High did it in 1999. Though none of the players from this year’s squad were part of the state championship team, three of North’s players have won two district and regional championships, so they have a core that knows what it takes to win.

Grosse Pointe North squares off against crosstown rival and reigning MAC White champ Grosse Pointe South (14-1, 10-1 MAC White) at 7 p.m. Feb. 28 at South.

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Published February 23, 2011

LATHRUP VILLAGE — When you’ve played in this many games, been through this many battles, and subsequently experienced this many wins over the past four years, there is a balancing act of celebration when accomplishments like a league title are obtained.

Without a doubt, it’s an achievement that must be recognized.

But with the bigger goal still lingering, one night of high-fives just about covered it for the Lathrup Village Southfield-Lathrup girls basketball team.

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Published February 23, 2011

It’s getting to be that time of the season, where finding even the smallest of advantages can translate into some of the biggest of rewards.

And most coaches admit, a solid scouting report on a playoff opponent can sometimes serve as the difference between extending the season and looking forward to next year.

For three local schools, much of that scouting already took place, on a very personal level.

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Published February 22, 2011

Growing pains are never easy, especially in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division.

Utica Eisenhower’s boys basketball team, which graduated 11 seniors from last year’s squad, has found that out the hard way.

But after starting 0-8 in the tough division, the young Eagles have begun to show signs that their trial by fire hasn’t gone completely up in smoke.

Instead, the Eagles seem to be heating up, and just in time for the postseason.

In a 10-day span stretching from Feb. 8-17, Ike won three games.

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Published February 22, 2011

What better way is there to scout a playoff opponent than by playing them a matter of days before the postseason begins?

It may not have been intended that way when the schedule was drawn up months ago, but that’s exactly the advantage, or dilemma, the Royal Oak High and Bloomfield Hills Andover girls basketball teams are facing.

“We’re going to be tired of seeing them by the time the playoff game is over,” Andover coach Jeff Rubin joked.

Or was he?

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Published February 22, 2011

Some recent results have given Utica Stevenson’s boys basketball team plenty of reasons to look forward to the upcoming state tournament.

The Titans were building up plenty of momentum and confidence at press time, having gone on a five-game win streak before falling in back-to-back close games against the top two teams in their division.

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Published February 22, 2011

As the regular season comes to a close, St. Clair Shores Lakeview’s boys basketball team is hoping to build up some momentum with the district playoffs right around the corner.

“One of our goals it to be better each day,” Lakeview coach Dean Haratsaris said. “We like to be better than we were the game before.”

After fighting hard but eventually falling out of contention for the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division title, the Huskies (5-6 division, 7-8 overall at press time) had set their sights on postseason hardware instead.

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Published February 22, 2011

They’ve pounded away on the hard courts for months, and now the stakes are rising at a time when every game truly matters.

The district tournament, which begins Feb. 28 across the state, is the first step toward the state finals.

Does a team from the Macomb Area Conference have what it takes?

Here’s a look at some of the more intriguing teams as they enter the postseason. For all the first-round matchups, see www.mhsaa.com.

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Published February 22, 2011

FRASER — Now that they’re up to speed, they’re hoping to pick up momentum.

With the playoffs around the corner, Fraser High’s boys basketball team hopes its young core has matured to the point that the Ramblers could become a dark horse to win the district.

The young team has come a long way from the start of the season, when it struggled against some tough competition. Fraser’s roster includes nine first-year varsity players, and it had few experienced returning players.

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Published February 22, 2011

Spring is in the air.

But the giddy feelings and overall uplifted spirits girls basketball coaches in the area are no doubt feeling has very little to do with the warmer weather.

It’s the playoff tournament that fuels the ultimate excitement.

At Berkley High and Ferndale High, a pair of rookie coaches will dive headfirst into playoff waters for the very first time next week.

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Published February 21, 2011

C&G Newspapers


Madison Heights Madison at Fair Haven Anchor Bay, 7 p.m.
The host Tars can wrap up the MAC Blue Division title outright if they can fend off the Eagles for a second time this season. Anchor Bay (10-1) beat Madison (9-2) 75-50 in a Jan. 28 meeting.

At worst, Anchor Bay will end up with a share of the title after Madison fell recently to Fitzgerald.

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Published February 16, 2011

C&G Newspapers

Marysville High at Clawson High, 7 p.m., Feb. 17
Clawson has a chance to make Marysville’s hour-long bus ride seem even longer if the Trojans can send the visiting Vikings back with a loss.

The MAC Silver title will essentially be on the line as Marysville (8-2 division) sits a half-game ahead of Clawson (8-3). The Trojans already dispatched the league’s other crown contender last week with a 75-69 win at Center Line (8-3) Feb. 11.

Marysville beat Clawson 41-35 in the teams’ earlier meeting Jan. 25.

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Published February 14, 2011

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — Gary Bennett admitted that it hasn’t been easy.

Of the dozen players on his Grosse Pointe North girls basketball roster, just three are seniors, as the bulk of the team comprises sophomores.

Besides youth, the Norsemen are working with just seven healthy players.

“We’ve had more injuries this year than any other year I’ve been coaching,” said Bennett, who’s coached for 34 years. “We’ve played a lot of games without key people.

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Published February 16, 2011

UTICA — Utica High’s boys basketball team is hitting its stride entering the final weeks of the season, and the Chieftains are hoping to capitalize on that momentum come tournament time.

“Right now, I think we’re taking steps forward just getting better,” Utica coach Gerry Kraemer said before a Feb. 10 practice.

“Our team chemistry is getting better,” the coach continued. “I think we’re feeling a little more comfortable with some of our lineups. Things are slowly coming together.”

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