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Eastpointe High girls basketball off to fast start

By: Zachary Manning | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 13, 2019

 Eastpointe High’s T’ices Spicer dribbles by a Roseville High defender Dec. 6. The Shamrocks won 39-31.

Eastpointe High’s T’ices Spicer dribbles by a Roseville High defender Dec. 6. The Shamrocks won 39-31.

Photo by Donna Agusti

 Eastpointe High’s Riley Ellis, right, plays defense against Roseville High Dec. 6. At press time, the Shamrocks were 4-0 overall.

Eastpointe High’s Riley Ellis, right, plays defense against Roseville High Dec. 6. At press time, the Shamrocks were 4-0 overall.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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EASTPOINTE –– Eastpointe High girls basketball coach Daniel Kirkland said his squad has the chance to be something special this year.

They have a chance to change the narrative about Eastpointe athletics, specifically the girls basketball program, which hasn’t had much success over the years.

The Shamrocks haven’t had a winning season since 2007-08 and have won just eight games over the last three years. They won seven in Kirkland’s first year at the helm last season.

Now in his second year, he’s looking to take another step forward. The Shamrocks have opened the year 4-0 overall, including a win over rival Roseville High. The next step is to continue building on the success they’ve found.

“The ceiling is very high with this team. It’s a very special team, and they don’t realize it yet,” Kirkland said. “I hope they realize how special this season could be for them and just keep building off every day, getting better and better.”

The Shamrocks will be competing in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division, and if you ask anyone on the team, they will tell you it’s a realistic goal to come out on top.

However, despite getting off to an undefeated start and beating some teams in higher divisions of the MAC, Kirkland knows there is a lot of basketball to be played and isn’t crowning his team a champion just yet.

But with a heavy presence of veterans, the Shamrocks have a sense of urgency and are looking forward to competing for a title.

“We’re confident, but we still got a lot to work on,” junior Jayla Price said. “Even though we won the games, we still didn’t play our best.”

“We have a lot of confidence right now in ourselves, but we don’t let it get to our heads,” junior Hailey Emon said. “Last year, we won games and we had the big head, and we lost. So we’re good where we’re at, but we know we got to get better.”

With the football and volleyball teams finding success in the fall season and the girls and boys basketball teams finding success early in the winter, there is a new buzz around school.

More people are coming to games, and students are talking about athletics and getting excited about the success of the teams at school.

“It is crazy around here right now,” Kirkland said. “The staff support, the student support — we haven’t had big crowds like this before. We had a really big crowd for Roseville, we had a really big crowd for (Harper Woods) Chandler Park, and we’ve been rivaling what the boys are doing. The buzz is big around here.”

The Shamrocks will hit the court again at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 20 at home against Hazel Park High.

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