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 Utica Ford II junior Olivia Kubik pushes the ball up the floor March 10 during a Division 1 regional semifinal game against Macomb Dakota. The Falcons bested Warren Regina 28-12 March 6 to win the program’s first district title since 2017.

Utica Ford II junior Olivia Kubik pushes the ball up the floor March 10 during a Division 1 regional semifinal game against Macomb Dakota. The Falcons bested Warren Regina 28-12 March 6 to win the program’s first district title since 2017.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Ford II girls hoops coach looks back on season

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published March 18, 2020

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STERLING HEIGHTS — Two years ago, the Utica Ford II girls basketball team finished with four wins. This year, the Falcons walked away from the year with a Division 1 district championship.

Ford bested Warren Regina 28-12 in a March 6 district final to win the program’s first district title since 2017. The Falcons won their three district games by an average of 33.5 points per contest.

“To see them progress and develop the way they did makes me proud to be their coach,” Matt Joseph said. “The seniors showed great leadership, and I really wanted this for them.

“It makes me feel good when we can play great defense, because defense should never go into a slump. We caught Regina on a night where they did not shoot the ball really well and we were able to turn them over in the first half, especially to get some easy baskets for us. Our kids believe in our defense, and it is fun to watch when (they) are defending well.”

Ford would fall 50-40 to Macomb Dakota March 10 in a regional semifinal. The Falcons ended the season at 15-9 overall, a five-win improvement from last season.

“They gave me everything they had tonight and really all season,” Joseph said after the loss. “As a coach, I could not ask any more from them. (The seniors have given a lot) to the program these past four years, and I was really happy that they could finish their senior year with a district championship.”

The Falcons lose five players to graduation: Raven Tinsley and Angela Olejniczak, as well as starters Evgenia Koneva, Zahra Williams and Kelly Bartlett.

Utica Ford has 11 players eligible to return next season, including junior starter Olivia Kubik and sophomore starter Karlin Stepp.

“We return a lot of young players who got considerable playing time, so the program is in good shape,” Joseph said. “We will have a lot of young guards who are competitive and athletic, so that is exciting for me as a coach. We hope to keep the strong tradition we have built at Utica Ford in girls basketball and keep moving in a positive direction.”

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