Warren Cousino guard Mackenzie Cook pushes the ball up the floor in a game earlier this season. The Patriots will once again play in the MAC Red Division, where they have won two of the last three league titles.

Warren Cousino guard Mackenzie Cook pushes the ball up the floor in a game earlier this season. The Patriots will once again play in the MAC Red Division, where they have won two of the last three league titles.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Girls basketball division races have begun in the Macomb Area Conference

By: Mark Vest | C&G Newspapers | Published January 4, 2019


MACOMB COUNTY — The majority of girls basketball teams in the Macomb Area Conference have already begun the journey of trying to finish at the top of their respective divisions.

Inter-division games wrap up Feb. 5, with each team scheduled to play 10 games within its division (with the exception of the MAC Bronze, which has an eight-game schedule).

In the following breakdown of the conference, each of the teams in the six divisions of the MAC will be included, detailing how they fared last season and which programs have moved to a new division.

Coaches from all of the divisions have also shared their insights.

Each team’s division record from last season is listed in parentheses.

Port Huron Northern (4-6), Grosse Pointe North (8-2), Utica Eisenhower (10-0 MAC White), Warren Cousino (7-3), Grosse Pointe South (1-9) and Macomb Dakota (8-2) are the teams that make up the MAC Red.

Last year, North advanced further in the postseason than any other team in the MAC, as the Norsemen made it all the way to the semifinal round of the state playoffs.

With senior and Michigan State University commit Julia Ayrault back in the mix, North could be a strong contender again this season.

After winning the MAC White last year, Eisenhower moved up a division.

Amy Mitchell leads Cousino’s program this season. She took over for Mike Lee, who helped lead the Patriots to unprecedented success, including a Class A state championship in 2016.

Mitchell shared her evaluation of the MAC’s top division.

“The MAC Red is always a tough league,” she said. “You’ve got a lot of good teams, players and coaches in the league, so you have to be ready to go every night.”

MAC White
The White comprises Romeo High (2-8 MAC Red), Utica High (7-3), Sterling Heights Stevenson (4-6), Utica Ford II (1-9), Port Huron High (4-6) and Sterling Heights High (4-6).

Eisenhower dominated the division last season, and with its departure, things could get more interesting.

After finishing second last year, Utica coach Tom McDonald would like for his team to take the next step up in the division.

“(The) MAC White will be very competitive this season,” McDonald wrote via email. “Romeo dropping from the MAC Red will be very tough; Port Huron is young and very talented. Stevenson and Ford return talent at the guard position. … I believe if we can defend the way we hope (to), we can compete in the division.”

MAC Blue
With the return of Fraser High (7-3), St. Clair Shores Lakeview (10-0), New Baltimore Anchor Bay (5-5), Macomb L’Anse Creuse North (2-8), Clinton Township Chippewa Valley (6-4) and Warren Fitzgerald (0-10), the Blue comprises the same teams as last year.

Lakeview has won the division each of the last two seasons, going 19-1 during that span.

Fraser coach Dave Kuppe would like for his team to be the one to overtake Lakeview.

“We finished second last year,” Kuppe said. “We couldn’t beat Lakeview, so this year our goal is, like each year, to win the division. We know we’ve got (to) beat Lakeview to do that.”

MAC Gold
After going 10-0 last season, Marysville High looks to defend its MAC Gold title.

What has potential to add intrigue to the division is the addition of St. Clair High, which went 10-0 in the Silver last year.

The teams that make up the rest of the division are Marine City High (7-3), St. Clair Shores Lake Shore (3-7), Center Line High (4-6) and Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse (5-5).

“The MAC Gold will be extremely tough this season,” said Lake Shore coach Josh Banks. “The class of our division has been Marysville and Marine City. This year, St. Clair has come up from the Silver Division, which makes the competition even tougher.”

MAC Silver
Perhaps the most interesting storyline for the division this year is the addition of Clawson High.

The Trojans have won two consecutive Bronze titles, going 16-0 in division play over the last couple of seasons.

Warren Mott has also joined the division, after going 1-9 in the Gold last year.

The teams that are back from last season are Madison Heights Lamphere (5-5), Roseville High (1-7), St. Clair Shores South Lake (6-4) and Warren Woods Tower (3-7).

“The league’s tough this year,” said Roseville coach Andy Houghton. “Lot of good coaches. We’ve got two new teams coming in, so we’ve just gotta stay on task and just play as hard as we can.”

MAC Bronze
With the departure of Clawson, other teams in the division can breathe a sigh of relief.

The squads that will try to seize the top spot are Warren Lincoln (6-2), New Haven High (4-4), Eastpointe High (0-8), Clinton Township Clintondale (2-6) and Madison Heights Madison (3-7 MAC Silver).

Although he wasn’t part of the Bronze last season, Madison coach Greg Raspberry has taken time to size up the competition that his team is up against.

“Lincoln might be the team to beat in the Bronze, them or Clintondale, in my opinion,” Raspberry wrote via email. “If we can figure a few things out, we can possibly push for that (third) spot.”

Sports Writers Jason Carmel Davis, Jacob Herbert and Zachary Manning contributed to this report.