Big Reds hope to build off of district championship

By: Mark Vest | Royal Oak Review | Published March 18, 2013

 The Big Reds are pictured after capturing a Division 1 district title with win over Sterling Heights.

The Big Reds are pictured after capturing a Division 1 district title with win over Sterling Heights.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Chippewa boys basketball completed its season with a 43-41 loss to Macomb L’Anse Creuse North in a Class A regional semifinal contest March 11 at Grosse Pointe North High School.

Chippewa earned a spot in regionals with a 51-32 victory against Sterling Heights March 8 on the Big Reds’ home court in the district final.

Chippewa was able to capture that district title, despite struggling in the first half of the season and losing senior point guard Brandon Ramirez to an injury earlier in the campaign.

Although he would have liked to have seen his team advance even further in the postseason, Chippewa coach Kevin Voss is able to reflect positively on the turnaround his team showed in the second half of the season.

“We had a really fine second half to our season,” he said. “At one point, we were 5-7 and struggling, (and) the end of the season, we went 8-3. We did a pretty good job in the second half, and kind of righted the ship.”

Although Voss doesn’t know exactly what the key was to the improvement his team showed, he does have a pretty good idea as to what he saw from his players when things weren’t going as well as they could have been.

“The kids were resilient,” he said. “The kids came in every day and they practiced. They didn’t give up. They came in and kept working at it. Finally, the things we were teaching (them) started to click a little better.”

Xavian Edwards, Jerry Taylor, Ramirez, Jon McWherter and Justin Young are Chippewa’s five senior representatives. Though the seniors will be tough to replace, Voss thinks there is reason to be optimistic about Chippewa’s program going forward.

“We’ve got a lot of young players coming back,” he said. “We started a freshman (Steven Lloyd) the second half of the year. Some of our juniors started to really play well for us; they’re coming back. Our JV team was 15-5. Our freshmen were 17-3. We’re thinking that there’s pieces there with what we have coming back, and the new pieces coming in, that we’ll be even more competitive next season.”