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Bloomfield Hills High girls basketball flexes depth as it enters season

By: Jacob Herbert | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published December 9, 2019

 Bloomfield Hills High’s Jordan Banks pushes the ball up the floor Dec. 6 against Pontiac High at home. Banks is one of three seniors leading the Black Hawks this season.

Bloomfield Hills High’s Jordan Banks pushes the ball up the floor Dec. 6 against Pontiac High at home. Banks is one of three seniors leading the Black Hawks this season.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Last season, in a year riddled with injuries, the Bloomfield Hills High girls basketball team finished 12-10 overall and 6-6 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

With some of his players having to miss time due to injury, coach Jeff Rubin had younger players step up and gain valuable experience.

In that regard, last year’s struggles have turned into this year’s strengths for the Black Hawks, as Rubin said the team now has 10-12 players who can contribute on a nightly basis.

“I don’t think we have a lot of kids on this team who are intimidated or nervous being at the varsity level,” Rubin said. “As a whole, the experience they were able to get last year while still being very competitive, that gives us a little bit of a mental advantage.”

Rubin also warned of his team’s double-edged sword situation when it comes to having that depth. The coach mentioned that at this point in the season, he only has two or three girls who are permanent starters. The key going forward for Bloomfield Hills will be watching for players to separate themselves from the pack by playing consistent basketball.

Two players who have cemented themselves into the team’s core are seniors Jordan Banks, who was an All-State honorable mention last season, and Angelina Savaya.

Both girls are three-year varsity players and were named team captains along with junior Eme Johnston.

Rubin noted that both Banks and Savaya have taken on larger roles and have upped their game from both a leadership and a production standpoint.

The depth that the Black Hawks boast this season has also facilitated other strong suits of the team.

“We’re pretty athletic as a whole, and I think that we are fairly guard oriented,” Rubin said. “Getting up and down the floor and being aggressive on defense are some areas that we should have success in. We have a bunch of players who can play different positions, and we don’t have to be concerned about foul trouble with the depth that we have.”

With every strength that a team has there is often room for improvement, especially so early in the season. According to the coach, the Black Hawks lack size and consistency from players outside their top two.

Establishing consistency is important for every team, and it’s especially crucial to the Black Hawks because of the league they play in.

The OAA Red holds Southfield A&T, Royal Oak High and Clarkston High. Southfield won the Red last season with an undefeated record and made an appearance in the Division 1 state final. In its first season in the league, Royal Oak finished 10-2 overall, with both losses coming to the league winner.  

With the difficulty that the OAA Red presents this season, Rubin admitted that a league championship isn’t at the top of the to-do list. The Black Hawks have three goals this season that Rubin wants to see accomplished.

The coach wants the team to be playing its best basketball when it matters most, to find consistency from certain players in terms of knowing what he’s going to get out of each player on any given night, and to at least be competitive in the division by making sure there are no off nights.

“I feel that if we take care of those three things, it will set us up for the ultimate goal, which is a little more success in the state tournament,” Rubin said.

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