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Berkley High girls basketball coach reflects on season

By: Mark Vest | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published March 10, 2020

 Berkley High senior Emma Hamilton contends with a defender from Bloomfield Hills Marian during a district playoff game March 4. Berkley’s season ended with a 60-19 loss against the Mustangs.

Berkley High senior Emma Hamilton contends with a defender from Bloomfield Hills Marian during a district playoff game March 4. Berkley’s season ended with a 60-19 loss against the Mustangs.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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BERKLEY  — Berkley High girls basketball coach Kirk Carolan knew the Division 1 district at Bloomfield Hills Marian would provide its challenges.

After a first-round bye, Berkley fell to the host 60-19 in a semifinal March 4.

Marian also knocked the Bears out of the playoffs last season.

Berkley finished the season at 16-5 overall and 10-2 in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division.

For the second consecutive season, the Bears and Rochester High finished as OAA Blue co-champs.

“On the whole, we’re pretty excited that we’re co-champs again in the OAA Blue,” Carolan said following the loss to Marian. “Overall, I believe we were 5-1 outside the OAA Blue. That includes two teams from the ‘Red’ and three teams from the ‘White.’ … So, that for us was big, and we really felt good about that.”

With the success the Bears have had in the OAA Blue the past couple years, Carolan doesn’t expect them to be there next season.

“We expect we’ll probably move up to the ‘White,’” he said. “If we move up, every night will be a battle. … I think we can compete there.”

In the last two years, Berkley has won a total of 32 games.

“I think you look around the state, there’s not a lot of teams that are winning that many games, so we feel pretty good,” Carolan said. “Hopefully, the younger kids in our community are seeing what our girls are doing. We’re hoping that we can get more numbers to bring in.”

Carolan completed his third season as Berkley’s coach. The retired teacher and administrator has enjoyed having the time and opportunity to lead the Bears program.

“For me, personally, it’s been fun,” Carolan said. “I’ve got some great assistant coaches that volunteer time and stepped in. … So, we’ve got some great resources at our fingertips in them, and the kids have enjoyed them. It’s been really fun and exciting from that standpoint.”

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