Basketball

Published February 9, 2011

The last time Clawson High’s boys basketball team won a championship, some of the current Trojans weren’t born yet. And the ones that had been were doing a different type of dribbling.

So with a few weeks remaining in the regular season, Clawson is focused on securing its first title in nearly two decades.

“Clawson has not won a championship in 17 years, and we want that to change,” Trojans coach Billy Shellenbarger said. “And we know we have the ability to do that.”

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Published February 9, 2011

BERKLEY — When he got his first real look at just what he’d be working with, Jordan Gruppen found himself somewhat pleased, as the first-year Berkley High girls basketball coach felt he’d inherited a solid crop of talent.

He knew he had some girls with some basketball savvy, and he felt with the right tutelage, he could piece things together and produce a successful season.

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Published February 9, 2011

It’s the halfway point of the boys basketball regular season, and West Bloomfield High coach Jeremy Denha likes what he sees.

“I think we’re a little ahead of where I expected us to be,” he said Feb. 1. “The kids are picking it up faster than I thought, and we still have an opportunity to have a special regular season.”

The Lakers still have a chance for a special season because they put themselves right in the middle of the Oakland Activities Association Red Division Race.

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Published February 9, 2011

Talk about little margin for error.

Six of St. Clair Shores Lake Shore’s boys basketball team’s first seven division games have been decided by an average of 2.7 points.

Fortunately for the Shorians, the team recently began having more success in navigating the tightrope-walking act that is playing in the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division, winning three games in a row from Jan. 19-27. The wins — all by two points — moved the team back into contention for the title, improving its record to 4-3 in the league, 5-6 overall at press time.

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Published February 7, 2011

C&G Newspapers

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Longtime Chippewa Valley boys basketball coach Kevin Voss recently reached a major milestone — winning his 400th game Feb. 1 at Romeo High 53-45.

There was a small ceremony after the Big Reds returned home and topped Utica Ford II Feb. 4 47-46. Chippewa players presented their coach with a basketball signed by all of them noting the milestone in front of the home crowd.

“He’s a great coach. He knows a lot,” Jax said. “He’s been coaching for a long time, so he knows his stuff.”

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Published February 7, 2011

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Chippewa Valley’s boys basketball team won a crucial Macomb Area Conference Red Division game against Utica Ford II 47-46 Feb. 4 at home.

The Falcons nearly left the Big Reds’ gym as the victors, but couldn’t convert a few last-second attempts nearby the basket.

A free throw by Chippewa senior Dre’ Simmons broke the 46-46 tie with 40 seconds to play. Ford, after taking a timeout with 20 seconds left, could not convert on its set play, and ensuing rebounds and put-backs as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

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Published February 3, 2011


TROY — As life-long friends, they can’t help but root for one another, but as competitors they revel in the opportunity to best each other.

Since they were 8 years old, Karin Moss and Sinclair Russell have shared a love for basketball, and more often than not, they did so on the same team.

It started with the Pontiac Bears, an AAU team, and continued from one season to the next. Eventually, they teamed up at Smith Middle School in Troy, forging a deadly one-two punch as seventh- and eighth-graders.

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Published February 3, 2011

GROSSE POINTE FARMS — Maybe they had to take a fall before rising to the top.

After three straight early season losses — to Dearborn Divine Child, Grosse Pointe North and Bloomfield Hills Marian, respectively — the Blue Devils girls basketball team was looking for a positive streak just in time for league play.

Grosse Pointe South bounced back by going on a seven-game winning streak at press time, posting a 6-0 record in the Macomb Area Conference White Division, 9-3 overall.

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Published February 3, 2011

C&G Newspapers

In the first meeting of the season, a 14-point halftime lead quickly evaporated to five.

In the second meeting, one team is looking for more of the same, while the other hopes things play out much differently.

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Published February 3, 2011

SOUTHFIELD — Though it was a loss, Southfield High boys basketball coach Gary Teasley knew the experience would pay off.

The Blue Jays fell to defending Class B state champion Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day 79-59 Jan. 25 at home and allowed DCD’s 6-foot-10-inch center Amir Williams to score 28 points.

“We just have to continue to work and stay on course,” Teasley said following the game. “It was wonderful to have a team like Country Day come to us with a player like Amir, who is an exceptionally talented player inside.

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Published February 3, 2011

ROCHESTER — At first glance, it’s an opportunity of enjoyment for the 30-or-so athletes that lace up the shoes and charge onto the court.

But, with a closer look, this spectacle is an event celebrated by players, coaches, parents, students, fans and the entire community alike, one that continues to grow from one year to the next.

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Published February 2, 2011

Midway through division action, Utica Ford II’s boys basketball team is checking itself out in a mirror.

Sometimes, the Falcons like what they see, and other times, it becomes clear they’ve got some work to do.

Ford was 7-4 overall and 3-2 in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division at press time.

“We need to be more consistent with our performance and shoot an even better percentage from the free-throw line,” Ford coach Mark Bray said. “We have been up and down since Christmas.”

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Published February 2, 2011

Nearing the midway point of the division season, Clintondale’s boys basketball team knows it has some ground to make up.

And Dragons coach Rob Townsend knows his team has the talent to do it. They just have to continue working hard.

“I think we are working hard and getting better, but we have not performed up to my expectations,” Townsend said. “We need to take the effort in practice and apply it to games.”

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Published January 26, 2011

The Utica Stevenson girls basketball team is liking its view from the top.

Besides posting a 4-0 record in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division, 7-2 overall, at press time, the Titans have already eclipsed their record from last season.

Last year, Stevenson also started its season with a four-game winning streak, but then lost a close game to Grosse Pointe North. Coach Troy Marks said that’s when “the wheels fell off,” and the team finished 4-6.

Marks said the Titans are striving for consistency in games and practices.

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Published January 27, 2011

TROY — Troy High boys basketball coach Gary Fralick knew it had to be better this time around.

Last season, whatever could go wrong, did just that. Whether it was injuries or an illness, the Colts struggled along to an unlikely 6-15 record.

“Last year was just a tough year,” the coach said during a break from practice Jan. 20. “It was really a Catch-22.”

Fast-forward to this past summer, and Fralick saw signs that things would be better. The Colts won 15 of their 20 scrimmages against tough competition.

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Published January 26, 2011

FERNDALE — Watching film from the previous night’s game, Ferndale High boys basketball coach Tom Staton took a second to admire a drive to the hoop and bucket.

“That’s what we call the ‘give it to them and take it away,’” he said with a laugh Jan. 19.

The Eagles have been doing a lot of giving and taking this season. Ferndale was 6-3 overall, 4-2 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division, at press time. It won its first three games, lost the following three and has won the last three.

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Published January 26, 2011

BEVERLY HILLS — For the first time in a while, Frank Orlando has a Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day basketball team that many would consider anything but typical.

There’s no sure-fire All-Staters.

There are only two starters back from a year ago, and his roster is comprised of a group of girls who have spent the better parts of their careers waiting in the wings.

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Published January 26, 2011

From a distance, Sterling Heights High’s boys basketball team’s record is nothing special.

But upon closer examination, the Stallions’ résumé reveals reason for excitement.

After starting the season 1-4, the team went on a four-game winning streak to kick off Macomb Area Conference Gold Division play. At press time, the squad was 5-5 overall, 4-1 in the league.

It’s not that Sterling struggled before finding its stride, but that the Stallions simply started the season against a slate of talented opponents.

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Published January 26, 2011

Defense doesn’t just win championships, it also wins games.

That’s what the Mount Clemens High boys basketball team has learned.

The Battling Bathers dropped their first two games of the season before picking up their play on the defensive end.

“Our kids believe defense is the way to win,” Mount Clemens coach Kurt Wilson said. “So I am very pleased with our performance.”

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Published January 26, 2011

Two things have turned out to be consistent for the Madison Heights Madison boys basketball team so far this season.

Through eight games, the Eagles have played tenacious defense. And through eight games, the Eagles haven’t lost.

After allowing an average of about 60 points a game the past two seasons, Madison has stepped things up on the defensive end, holding opponents closer to 50 points a game.

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