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Bathers hoops builds around role players with new coach at the helm

By: Sue Teggart | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published January 19, 2011

 Mount Clemens High new head coach Jason Monk, who was the assistant coach with the boys program for five years, talks strategy with his players during a Jan. 5 game. Monk aims to get the Battling Bathers back to their glory days.

Mount Clemens High new head coach Jason Monk, who was the assistant coach with the boys program for five years, talks strategy with his players during a Jan. 5 game. Monk aims to get the Battling Bathers back to their glory days.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WARREN — The Mount Clemens High girls basketball team is looking to battle back in its 2011 campaign under new head coach Jason Monk.

Monk moved over to the girls program after serving five years as an assistant with the boys, under coach Kurt Wilson.

“I always wanted to be a varsity coach, whether it was boys or girls,” Monk said. “When I took over the team, I told the girls that we’re going to leave it all on the floor every game. The wins and losses are going to take care of themselves.”

The Battling Bathers, who finished last in the MAC Blue Division last season, are hoping to rebound in the MAC Gold Division after realignment.

After playing eight games — including the squad’s first MAC Gold game, which ended in a 51-39 loss to Warren Mott Jan. 11 — Monk said the Bathers have some work to do before they function like a well-oiled machine.

“Now that we’ve gotten some games under our belts, they’ve gotten used to me,” Monk said. “We’re really striving to come together as a team.”

The Bathers have had to adjust to playing specific roles, which Monk thinks will help them thrive in the long run.

“Everybody’s got a role,” he said. “I’ve got shooters; I’ve got a defensive player; and I’ve got a rebounder. Once they understood their role, everybody started coming together. They started looking for each other on the court and not playing outside of what their role is.”

“Everybody has something to bring to the team and has a role. That’s why we’ve been so successful as a team, because all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together,” said senior Dashanna Turner, whose team is off to a 5-3 overall start.

Three starters return to help Monk in his debut. Dashanna Turner returns as the leading scorer; her sister, junior Dominique, will run the offense from point guard; and junior Sheyna Deans is the squad’s inside threat.

With just eight players on the roster, depth could be a problem; however, the Bathers are making up for small numbers by being well-conditioned.

“One of the most important things is that we have to outlast our opponents,” Monk said. “I do a very rigorous conditioning program. I only have eight girls, but they all really have gotten in shape. I have four girls who can now play 32 minutes a game.”

“I’m not used to playing as much as I do, but because we have a small team, it’s making me step up and learn a lot more,” Dominique Turner said.

Ultimately, Monk’s goal is to get Mount Clemens back to the point it was when it won back-to-back MAC Gold (2004 and 2005) and MAC Blue championships (2006), and amassed a 61-11 record in three seasons.

“Mount Clemens’ girls program was a powerhouse back in the day,” he said.

“My goal is to bring the program back to its glory days. I’ve got to improve the program as a whole — doing that from the elementary level to the middle school level, all the way up to the varsity level. Everybody loves being a part of a winner. I want to bring that winning attitude back to the Lady Bathers.”
 

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