Local boys, girls hoops teams set to compete for MAC tourney titles

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published February 1, 2019

 Sterling Heights Stevenson senior Ethan Peck looks to make a play in a Jan. 11 game against Roseville High. The Titans will play in the Macomb Area Conference Red/White Division tournament, set for Feb. 7 to Feb. 16.

Sterling Heights Stevenson senior Ethan Peck looks to make a play in a Jan. 11 game against Roseville High. The Titans will play in the Macomb Area Conference Red/White Division tournament, set for Feb. 7 to Feb. 16.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

 Utica Ford II sophomore Olivia Kubik looks to drive by a Troy High defender in a game earlier this season. The Falcons will play in the Macomb Area Conference Red/White Division tournament, set for Feb. 14 to Feb. 23.

Utica Ford II sophomore Olivia Kubik looks to drive by a Troy High defender in a game earlier this season. The Falcons will play in the Macomb Area Conference Red/White Division tournament, set for Feb. 14 to Feb. 23.

Photo by Sarah Purlee

STERLING HEIGHTS — For the third consecutive season, the top four teams in each of the Macomb Area Conference’s six divisions will have a chance to play for a MAC tournament title.

Teams from the Red and White divisions will match up, along with Blue/Gold and Silver/Bronze brackets. Three wins gets you a MAC tournament championship trophy.

The top seed in each division will open against the fourth seed in the opposite league, while the No. 2 seed in one division opens vs. the three seed in the opposite division.

On the boys side, the tournament begins Feb. 7 and championship games take place Feb. 16 at Sterling Heights Stevenson — Silver/Bronze at 1 p.m., Blue/Gold at 3 p.m. and Red/White at 5 p.m. The girls tournament begins Feb. 14, with title games set for Feb. 23 at Grosse Pointe North at times to be determined. Higher seeds will host opening-round games.

The fifth- and sixth-place teams in each division will play in a consolation bracket.

Locally, two teams look to have spots in the championship bracket locked up.

Stevenson boys basketball will battle in the Red/White pod, Cousino plays in Blue/Gold pod.

Sterling Heights Stevenson, 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the MAC Red at press time, sat in a tie with Macomb Dakota for second place in the division. If the standings hold, the Titans would face either Grosse Pointe South or Romeo High in an opening-round game.

Stevenson this season has not faced any teams from the MAC White. The MAC Red teams that will qualify are Stevenson, Dakota, Roseville High and Clinton Township Chippewa Valley. The MAC White contingent includes New Haven High, Warren Mott, Grosse Pointe South and Romeo High.

Titans coach Mark LaCombe said playing in a tough league prepares his team for this time of year, with the state playoffs following the conclusion of the MAC tournaments. 

Warren Cousino, 7-7, 5-4 MAC Blue at press time, sat tied for third with Utica High. The Patriots in the first round of the Blue/Gold tourney would match up with either Fraser High or Warren Woods Tower — both tied for first in the MAC Gold. Cousino would meet the second-place team.

The Patriots have no MAC Gold teams on their schedule, but average more points per game (65.1) than any MAC Gold team and are only behind Lake Shore (71.9) in the MAC Blue. The MAC Blue squads set to compete in the tourney are Lake Shore and Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse. The three and four seeds are up for grabs, as Utica and Cousino are one game ahead of 4-5 New Baltimore Anchor Bay. All three teams played Feb. 4, after press time.

Sterling Heights High (2-11, 2-7 MAC Gold) and Utica Ford II (1-13, 0-9 MAC White) will play in consolation bracket games.

Cousino and Ford girls could match up in the Red/White tournament

Cousino (7-4, 3-3 MAC Red) sits in third place in its division and looks to be matched up against Utica High (7-5, 5-2 MAC White) in the opening round. 

The Patriots have faced one MAC White team, earning a 57-34 win over Sterling Heights High early in the season. The Stallions (0-11, 0-6 MAC White) will play in consolation bracket games.

Ford (7-5, 3-4 MAC White) will likely open against MAC Red top seed Grosse Pointe North (12-1, 8-0). The Falcons have not faced a MAC Red team this season.

The MAC Red teams set to play for a tournament title are Grosse Pointe North, Cousino, Port Huron Northern and Grosse Pointe South. The MAC White contingent comprises Ford, Utica High, Romeo High and Port Huron High.

Finishing in the top portion of the MAC White and making the Red/White championship tournament was a goal Falcons coach Matt Joseph said he set at the outset of the season. Joseph looks at the divisional tournaments as a good way to prepare for the playoffs, when teams typically play three games in five days en route to a possible district title.

“We hope to be playing our best basketball come state tournament time so we can make a run and compete for a district championship,” Joseph said.   

Sterling Heights Stevenson (2-10, 1-5 MAC White) will play in consolation bracket games.

For updated bracket and matchup information, check macombmac.misd.net.