Bishop Foley boys basketball feeling confident about future

By: Mark Vest | Madison - Park News | Published March 6, 2020

 Madison Heights Bishop Foley junior Joey Kennedy puts  the ball up against Clawson High March 3. Foley coach Matt  Stefani said, “There’s a lot of hope for us right now.”

Madison Heights Bishop Foley junior Joey Kennedy puts the ball up against Clawson High March 3. Foley coach Matt Stefani said, “There’s a lot of hope for us right now.”

Photo by Deb Jacques

  Foley coach Matt Stefani is pictured during a break against Clawson. He said  his team is heading in the right direction as the playoffs near.

Foley coach Matt Stefani is pictured during a break against Clawson. He said his team is heading in the right direction as the playoffs near.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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MADISON HEIGHTS — Madison Heights Bishop Foley boys basketball coach Matt Stefani is feeling good.

“There’s a lot of hope for us right now,” he said.

If someone were to merely look at the team’s record, that comment might not make a lot of sense.

At press time, the Ventures were 8-11 overall and 3-7 in the Catholic High School League Intersectional No. 1 Division.

However, Stefani is thinking beyond this season. In particular, he is thinking about Foley’s freshman class.

“Our freshman team won the league title for the first time in a long time,” Stefani said. “We’re really excited about where we’re going. We think we play a fun brand of basketball, push the pace and let the kids be free; (we) run a lot of pick and rolls. Hopefully, that’s something that will attract more and more kids that want to come and play.”

Due at least in part to injuries and illnesses, Stefani has already seen some young players on varsity this season. He said Foley has been “working as a young group,” with three freshmen and a sophomore on varsity.

“We’re trying to work on consistency right now and keep building,” Stefani said. “The stuff we’re going through now we hope will benefit us down the road.”

Although there may be potentially brighter days ahead, as for this season, it has been a challenging one at times for the program.

“It’s the injuries and the illness,” Stefani said. “We never really have a set practice roster. … We’ve had at least one guy out since Christmas. … We’ve had three different kids from JV get varsity minutes this year. We’re just kind of triaging it right now, trying to patch it together.”

Trent Graves captains the team along with Owen Munk, Quinlan Grobbel and Joey Kennedy. He said they look to help the younger players in their development.

“I know my time here is limited, (and) so is theirs; but I know that I’ve got less time than them, so I want to help them as I can,” he said. “Help them be the best they can be and help my coach get some more wins.”

Despite the challenges, the playoffs can help set a brand-new tone. After a bye in the first round of a Division 3 district tournament, Foley plays at 5:30 p.m. March 11 at Detroit Loyola against the winner of Madison Heights Madison and the host.

The final is set for 6 p.m. March 13.

“I think we’re going to learn a lot about ourselves as we go into the playoffs,” Stefani said.

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