Clinton Township Clintondale boys basketball coach Rob Townsend talks with his players during a Nov. 20 practice. Townsend said he expects this year’s team to be one of the best in Macomb County.

Clinton Township Clintondale boys basketball coach Rob Townsend talks with his players during a Nov. 20 practice. Townsend said he expects this year’s team to be one of the best in Macomb County.

Photo by Sean Work


Clintondale boys basketball optimistic about new campaign

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published December 7, 2018

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CLINTON TOWNSHIP — Clinton Township Clintondale boys basketball coach Rob Townsend says experience is a valuable resource to have in high school sports.

“And we have a lot of it,” Townsend said.

The Dragons return 11 players from last year’s team. Townsend said that’s the most in his 12 years leading the program. It helps, Townsend said, because the players know what he expects.

“I expect a strong start, for us to build some confidence and continue to grow,” said Townsend, whose team sat at 2-0 at press time.

Leading the way for the Dragons is senior wing Richard Washington.

Washington is primed to have a big season, according to Townsend. The senior guard has a chance to end the season as Clintondale’s all-time leading scorer and steals leader. Washington is also close to setting the program record for 3-pointers made and will finish in the top five in assists.

“I think (Washington) is the most underrated player in the state,” Townsend said. “Since he did not play on the AAU circuit, he’s not ‘ranked,’ but that does not mean he’s not outstanding.

“I’d argue he’s the best player in the county after (New Haven High senior) Romeo Weems. (Washington) provides so much for the team on both ends of the court. He’s probably the best player Clintondale has ever had.”

Washington said hearing Townsend’s glowing remarks only makes him work harder. The wing doesn’t want his coach to be proven wrong about him, Washington said.

“It just makes me want to develop more as a player,” Washington said. “I know I can be the No. 1 player in the county. I just have to work at it.”

Townsend made it clear that Washington will not be a one-man show.

Clintondale, Townsend said, has several talented players. That includes senior guard Nate Whitfield and senior forward Frank Majewski, the Dragons co-captains. Junior guard Darrell Walker and 6-foot-6 senior center Kijuan Mathis are also expected to contribute.

“Teams will not be able to stop us by stopping (Washington),” Townsend said.

There will be no change in the Dragons’ attack, Townsend said. Clintondale, which put up 59.7 points per game last season, will continue to put pressure on opposing teams on both ends of the floor. That comes from having several outstanding athletes on the roster, Townsend said.

“But we will also have the ability to slow it down some or use a big lineup,” Townsend said. “I don’t want us to be one-dimensional. I want us to be able to be successful playing several styles.”

Townsend believes this season gives the Dragons a chance to add to their trophy case. He’s unsure of how the Macomb Area Conference Silver Division will play out, but he expects his team to be in the division title race. A MAC Silver/Bronze tournament title and a district championship are not out of the question.

Washington said the team has practiced hard so far this season. That effort should carry over into live game action, he said.

“This team has to avoid complacency. Being good cannot be enough,” Townsend said. “My job is to push them to work and improve even when it seems everything is going well. We have the potential to earn a lot of championships this season.”

Clintondale’s next game is against Eastpointe High at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at home.

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