St. Clair Shores Lake Shore sophomore guard Derrick Winn, right, looks to make a play against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s earlier this season. The Shorians were 8-6 overall at press time.

St. Clair Shores Lake Shore sophomore guard Derrick Winn, right, looks to make a play against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s earlier this season. The Shorians were 8-6 overall at press time.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Lake Shore boys basketball coach wants more from his team

By: Jason Carmel Davis | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 5, 2018

 St. Clair Shores Lake Shore senior guard Evan James, left, looks to drive past a defender in a game against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s earlier this season. The Shorians’ next game will be in the Macomb Area Conference Blue/Gold tournament at a time and date to be determined.

St. Clair Shores Lake Shore senior guard Evan James, left, looks to drive past a defender in a game against Orchard Lake St. Mary’s earlier this season. The Shorians’ next game will be in the Macomb Area Conference Blue/Gold tournament at a time and date to be determined.

Photo by Donna Agusti

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — At press time, the St. Clair Shores Lake Shore boys basketball team was 8-6 overall and 4-4 in the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division.

It’s a solid mark considering the team lost the majority of the major players from last year’s squad that won the program’s first district title since 1994.

Shorians coach Derrick Walton Sr. wants more, and he believes the team can give it to him.

“This team, this group of players, is more talented than last year’s team,” said Walton, who guided Lake Shore to division and district championships last season. “Last year’s group just had everything together and played harder. I need this team to play to its full potential. The talent is there.”

The talent may be there, but the experience isn’t. 

The Shorians have just one player, junior forward Caleb Bates, who saw significant playing time last season. Lake Shore’s roster features just two seniors: forward Evan James and guard Omari Ruffin. The roster also includes 10 juniors, one sophomore and one freshman.

Bates leads the MAC Gold in scoring with 25 points per game, along with 14.5 rebounds per contest. Walton said opposing coaches do all they can do to stop the junior forward. 

The young team has garnered a reputation as being a hardworking group. After a loss to St. Clair High, which is currently atop the MAC Gold, St. Clair forward Ben Davidson had high praise for the team.

“I know they’re not as experienced as last year, but they’ve got good players,” Davidson said. “Once they get some more games under their belt, they’ll be good.”

Execution has been an issue for the team thus far. Walton said opposing teams have been able to take Lake Shore out of its sets, and the team has struggled to improvise on offense.

“All of my players are hard workers. They just have to be able to run the sets,” Walton said. “I’ve watered things down a bit to help them out, but they have to get things right if we want to become a good team.”

The Shorians can put up points, though. At press time, Lake Shore was averaging 61.4 points per game — good for seventh in the 35-team MAC. Last year’s team, which went 20-4 overall, averaged 62.1 points per game.

“We see flashes of what they can do every night,” Walton said. “If we just play to our potential, we can be a dangerous team.”

Lake Shore’s next scheduled game is a matchup in the MAC Blue/Gold tournament Feb. 15 against an opponent to be named later.

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