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Healthy Dakota girls hoops squad playing with purpose

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published January 14, 2020

 Macomb Dakota senior forward Cam Grant swoops to the hoop Dec. 10 in a win over Romeo High. The Cougars have an average margin of victory of close to 17 points per game.

Macomb Dakota senior forward Cam Grant swoops to the hoop Dec. 10 in a win over Romeo High. The Cougars have an average margin of victory of close to 17 points per game.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — A couple of big injuries somewhat derailed the prospects of last year’s Macomb Dakota girls basketball team. Now healthy, the Cougars are showing opposing teams what they can do.

Dakota — 7-0 overall and 2-0 in the Macomb Area Conference Red Division at press time — is beating opponents by an average of nearly 17 points per game. The Cougars have a top-four offense and a top-10 defense in the 36-team MAC.

The catalyst of the strong start is senior forward Cameron Grant, who is signed to play at Ball State University next season. Grant, according to Dakota coach Phil McCune, is playing at a level he’s not seen from her previously. Grant missed a big chunk of last season  (11 games), as the Cougars finished 12-9 overall and 3-7 in the MAC Red.

Senior Dena Moyer, junior Jennifer Zaprawa and sophomore Ella Burger have also made great contributions for the team.

“We know our strength is in the post,” McCune said. “So we will try to utilize the post. We also know that other teams understand that this is our strength, so our guards need to be ready to hit the outside shots that we know will be there.”

Defensively, Dakota plays hard and physical. McCune said the team is a work in progress on that end of the floor and working hard in practice to improve.

That improvement must come if the team is to have a shot at a division title. The Cougars last won it in 2018.

“With some of the best players in the state, year in and year out, along with some of the best coaches in the state, there are no off nights in the MAC Red,” McCune said. “We won’t look ahead this year — only game to game. If we stay healthy and improve every day, it can be a special year for us.”

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