Basketball

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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Published February 16, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — There are two important things on the North Farmington High boys basketball warm-up shirts.

The first is a number, 32. It represents the amount of minutes in a game and the amount of time the Raiders full-court press.

Then there is the word “tradition,” which is there to remind each passing class that they are a part of something larger than a single team.

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Published February 15, 2011

Clawson High’s girls basketball team is enjoying a turnaround, and the season is far from over.

The Trojans have improved their win total dramatically over from last season — posting 6-4 at press time in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, 7-8 overall — after going 1-20 overall last season.

With three key games left to play in the final stretch — Clinton Township Clintondale (Feb. 17), Marysville High (Feb. 18) and Madison Heights Lamphere (Feb. 22) — these games are must-wins to finish strong in the division.

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Published February 15, 2011

FARMINGTON — It’s not too often that a win in early February serves as grounds for celebration beyond a few high fives and pats on the back.

With the playoffs still a month or so away, no trophies were won or lost.

With division races still long from settled, bigger games certainly loom on the horizon.

But this wasn’t a typical win.

This wasn’t a typical Friday night.

Instead, this was one of those defining moments.

This was one win on one night that began redefining a program.

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Published February 15, 2011

When a team shares, it’s like the childhood lesson about how good things can happen.

At Utica Ford II, its girls basketball team is at its best when sharing the basketball.

“We pass the ball a lot, and not one of us hogs the ball,” senior Emily King said. “We play as a team.”

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Published February 15, 2011

C&G Newspapers

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Twenty seconds left, hanging on to a one-point lead in the game and a one-game lead in the division standings.

The Chippewa Valley boys basketball teams of the past used to win these games all the time. It was simply infused in their Big Reds blood. Yet in more recent years, the program has struggled to maintain its consistency and identity, slipping back in the standings.

But the Big Reds seemed to have recaptured their mojo, as their crucial Macomb Area Conference Red Division win over Utica Ford II Feb. 4 can attest to.

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Published February 8, 2011

C&G Newspapers

Utica Ford II hosts Utica Stevenson at 7 p.m. Feb. 15
The race for the Macomb Area Conference Red Division league championship is far from over. Ford II (6-3 MAC Red, 12-3 overall) battled Stevenson (6-3 MAC Red, 10-5 overall) in their first meeting Jan. 21 to a close 55-51 loss.

When the two meet Feb. 15, the Falcons will be seeking to atone for the earlier loss and challenge their crosstown rival for the MAC title. Catching this contest is worth the price of admission.

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Published February 10, 2011

Boys basketball Eastside Games of the Night:

Warren De La Salle at University of Detroit-Jesuit, 7:30 p.m., Feb. 11
De La Salle has already wrapped up the Catholic High School League Central Division title, but the Pilots (13-1 overall, 7-1 division) have some unfinished business with Jesuit.

The Cubs are the lone team to hand De La Salle a loss this season, edging the Pilots in double overtime 57-51 Jan. 25.

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Published February 10, 2011

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — University Liggett School girls basketball coach Wayne Gigante calls junior Madison Ristovski “a special player.”

“I wouldn’t take any other kid in Michigan high school basketball over her,” said

Gigante, who has coached Ristovski in AAU and high school. “When you have a kid who can not only score, but can dribble and create for other kids, you’ve really got something. She can deliver the ball at any angle at any time to anybody. And she can score whenever she wants.”

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Published February 9, 2011

ROCHESTER HILLS — On Feb. 4, the Cougars played a complete game and beat Ferndale High, one of the Oakland Activities Association White Division’s top teams, in an away game.

It was exactly what Rochester Hills Stoney Creek boys basketball boys coach Steve Norgrove was searching for all season.

“That’s a very good win for our program, and we won because we shared the ball, we played team defense, and we had a lot off passion and a lot of energy,” Norgrove said of the 71-64 victory. “We need to continue that.”

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Published February 9, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — The stage is a bit smaller these days, the lights hardly shine as bright.

On a good night, attendance figures may top out in the hundreds.

Practice is conducted after school and before homework, minus any television cameras, news conferences or media requests.

As he strolls into the Southfield Christian gym on a typical Tuesday afternoon, he doesn’t do so as the 13th overall pick of the 1993 draft or as the point guard that spent the better part of 12 years with the Detroit Pistons or as the two-time NBA champion he is.

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Published February 9, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — As soon as the buzzer sounded on his team’s 47-38 victory against Farmington High on Jan. 18, one goal was officially in the books.

While some close losses made sure the second goal wouldn’t be realized this winter, Tim Carruthers and his North Farmington girls basketball team have now shifted all focus toward the third goal of the season — winning a district title.

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Published February 9, 2011

FRASER — It’s been tough sledding for the Fraser High girls basketball team this season.

The Ramblers fell to 4-9 following a 36-30 non-conference loss to Port Huron Northern Feb. 3. They were 3-4 in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division at press time.

Despite the slow start, Fraser coach Dave Kuppe has seen some bright spots lately, including recently defeating Utica Stevenson, which was on top of the MAC Red, 44-40 in overtime and handing the Titans their second loss of the season.

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