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Basketball

Published March 15, 2011

C&G Newspapers

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Clinton Township Chippewa Valley bested Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse 45-39 in a March 14 Class A regional semifinal at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore despite a slow start.

Chippewa (21-3 overall) advanced to take on East Detroit (21-2) in the regional final at 7 p.m. March 16 at Lake Shore. The winner of that game is scheduled to advance to a March 22 quarterfinal at the University of Detroit Mercy’s Calihan Hall.

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Published March 15, 2011

C&G Newspapers

SOUTHFIELD — Rochester Adams boys basketball beat Pontiac High 71-68 March 14 at Southfield High in a Class A regional semifinal.

Trailing by three points in the final seconds, Adams senior Nick Zekaj hit a 3-pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime.

“There was only a few seconds left. I got the ball, ran down the court, knew the time, threw it up and prayed to God that it went in,” he said.

It was the 11th victory in the Highlanders’ last 12 games.

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Published March 15, 2011

C&G Newspapers

ST. CLAIR SHORES — With his team trailing 45-43, East Detroit’s Johnnie Mills stepped up to the free-throw line and made both to send the March 14 Class A regional semifinal between the Shamrocks and Warren De La Salle into overtime.

East Detroit, which trailed most of the game, won 50-47 to cap off an exciting night of local boys basketball regional semi action.

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Published March 11, 2011

The boys state basketball tournament began March 7 with the district round kicking things off.

Several local teams were in action March 7 and 9 in opening-round and semifinal games, respectively.

Utica Ford II advanced to the Class A district final it hosted to take on Chippewa Valley after press time.

The Falcons earlier ousted Utica Stevenson and Utica Eisenhower to reach the final.

On the other side of the bracket, Chippewa Valley edged Sterling Heights High and Utica High.

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Published March 11, 2011

GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The Utica Ford II girls basketball team saw its season end with a 49-47 loss in the regional final to Warren Regina March 10 at Grosse Pointe North.

Try as they might, the Falcons could not match Regina on the offensive glass, which made the difference in the end.

“To get this far and have a game of swings like we had, it’s tough,” Ford II coach Matt Joseph said. “It’s tough for our seniors and for all our kids. They competed hard for 32 minutes.

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Published March 11, 2011

ROCHESTER HILLS — When it was all said and done, Dave Joseph was left with a laugh. Really, what else could he do?

This was the regional round of the Class C state playoffs.

This was an opponent ranked among the top teams all season long.

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Published March 11, 2011

MADISON HEIGHTS — Madison Heights Bishop Foley boys basketball coach Marc West wouldn’t let himself get worried as his squad found itself down by 14 points in the second quarter of the Catholic High School League C-D championship.

Not only were the Ventures trailing Detroit Loyola Feb. 27 at Calihan Hall in Detroit, but it was against a team that had beaten them five straight times over the past three seasons, including last year’s championship game.

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Published March 11, 2011

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GROSSE POINTE WOODS — The Warren Regina girls basketball team won a Class A regional championship March 10, defeating Utica Ford II 49-47 at Grosse Pointe North.

The Saddlelites (13-10) advance to a state quarterfinal at 5 p.m. March 15 at University of Detroit Mercy against Detroit Renaissance.

With Regina’s season hanging by a thread, senior Stephanie Berge made the biggest shot of her life converting a layup with 24 seconds left in the game to give her team the advantage and Regina its first regional basketball title since 2001.

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Published March 10, 2011

CANTON — The difference in the first meeting was 20.

The difference this time around was 12.

In both instances, the Farmington Hills Mercy girls basketball team couldn’t solve the Class A power that is Canton High.

On March 10 at Canton, the Marlins were eliminated from the state playoffs 47-35 in a regional final.

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Published March 9, 2011

Seena Allen will never forget this one.

The result had much to do with it, but it was more than just a win that the Southfield Christian girls basketball coach embraced.

It was the way her girls battled.

It was their dedication and will to succeed.

Most of all, it was the way her fans came out in droves and turned a road game into the friendliest, and at times, craziest of atmospheres.

And snapping a 28-year district-title drought didn’t hurt either.

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Published March 8, 2011

CANTON — The start wasn’t exactly as he'd planned it, but once coach Gary Morris saw his Farmington Hills Mercy basketball team “wake up,” the game was theirs to run away with.

Despite trailing 11-2 in the opening moments, Mercy got on track in the second quarter and never looked back, cruising past Hartland High 52-29 in a Class A regional semifinal March 8 at Canton High.

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Published March 8, 2011

CLAWSON — At the midway point of the league schedule, the Macomb Area Conference boys basketball Silver Division standings were a jumbled mess.

And Clawson High was right smack dab in the middle of it all — not too far from the top, yet equally close to the bottom.

The Trojans knew they would have to win to emerge from the crowd.

So they did just that.

They won and kept on winning.

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Published March 8, 2011

When Royal Oak Shrine girls basketball coach Bill Legault watched his team work — dominate, for that matter — in its summer league against everyone it faced, he understandably had some high hopes coming into the 2010-11 season.

But then a few key girls decided not to rejoin the team, forcing Legault to spin his wheels and muster up a backup plan.

Instead of feeling sorry for themselves, the Knights united. And by the time things were all said and done, they were understandably gratified with all that had been accomplished.

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Published March 8, 2011

It’s become a long-running tradition by now, a certain routine that seems to play itself out almost every year.

Or at least every year since 1997.

Yet, as common as a district title has become for the Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day girls basketball program, long-time coach Frank Orlando said he never has, and never will, take any of it for granted.

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Published March 8, 2011

Both local teams saw their seasons come to a close in the district round of the girls basketball state tournament.

In Class A, Utica Eisenhower defeated Sterling Heights High (14-7) in a Feb. 28 district opener 66-47 at Utica Ford II to advance to the March 2 semifinal. The Eagles (12-11) won their semifinal over Clinton Township Chippewa Valley 56-54 and played in the March 4 final against Ford II, which they lost in a narrow 59-54 decision to end their season.

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Published March 8, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — Just days after winning the program’s first Catholic League title in 28 years, girls on the Farmington Hills Mercy basketball team had already readjusted their priorities.

One goal, while long overdue, was in the books.

Now, all focus shifted to the next.

On March 4, at Farmington High, the Marlins saw that second dream become a reality, defeating Farmington Hills Harrison 46-24 in a Class A district final, the first for Mercy since 2009.

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Published March 8, 2011

BERKLEY/FERNDALE — In his own words, Jeff Fleming would have preferred a different ending to the 2010-11 season. Then again, the Berkley-Ferndale Unified hockey coach and his team didn’t exactly have the most favorable of circumstances heading into their pre-regional opener against Birmingham Unified Feb. 28.

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Published March 2, 2011

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Grosse Pointe South’s girls basketball team saw its season come to an end following a 40-38 overtime loss to rival Grosse Pointe North in the opening round of districts Feb. 28 at home.

Despite bowing out of the state tournament, South has plenty to be proud of, including winning its third straight division title by claiming the Macomb Area Conference White Division championship.

South previously won the MAC Blue in 2008 and 2009.

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Published March 1, 2011

They’re back, and they’re glad to be back.

Chippewa Valley’s boys basketball team is back on top of the Macomb Area Conference Red Division after a several-season lull.

The Big Reds, champions of the division from 2002-2004, finished in first this season after a six-year drought that included three second-place finishes.

“It feels great. It’s something we attempt to do every year,” Chippewa coach Kevin Voss said. “We were close a number of times; we just didn’t get it done.”

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Published March 1, 2011

FARMINGTON HILLS — If searching for Gary Morris anytime near the end of fall or throughout the winter season, it’s a safe bet he’s somewhere within the confines of the Farmington Hills Mercy gymnasium.

Whether he’s drawing up a defensive scheme, perfecting a zone offense or just giving his girls one last pep talk, the Marlins’ basketball coach’s home away from home is on the hardwood.

It’s also a safe bet he’ll make a stop or two to that same gym this summer.

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