Panthers ready to pounce

Roseville girls basketball battles in the Blue

By: Jon Malavolti | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 11, 2012

 Roseville High freshman Brianna Hodge looks up at the hoop with the ball during a preseason scrimmage. The Panthers are hoping to have some success in the MAC Blue Division as league play gets fully under way.

Roseville High freshman Brianna Hodge looks up at the hoop with the ball during a preseason scrimmage. The Panthers are hoping to have some success in the MAC Blue Division as league play gets fully under way.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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Heading into a long battle, Roseville High girls basketball coach Angela Houghton did what any leader would do — she sent her team through boot camp.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

In preparation of what’s expected to be some tough Macomb Area Conference Blue Division action, the Panthers played a challenging non-league slate to open the season.

“We scheduled a very tough non-league schedule this year to prepare us for a tough, competitive league,” Houghton said. “We feel like we have continued to improve each day and are entering league play focused and determined.”

Roseville, 1-3 overall before entering MAC Blue play, kicked off the 2011-12 campaign with a win over Royal Oak Shrine Catholic before losing to Troy High, Macomb L’Anse Creuse North and Utica Ford II. During that stretch, Houghton said her team “put forth a great effort” in “working hard to learn a new system.”

“Our goals heading into the MAC are to continue to work hard and to win,” the coach said before the squad’s league opener, which took place after press time. “We are going to show up every night prepared and ready to leave it all on the court.

Houghton said heading into league action, one of the team’s strengths has been its “ability to work together as a team.”

“The girls all have a strong bond with one another, and that shows on the court,” the coach added.

The strong chemistry starts with senior captain Marie Six, who Houghton said “leads the charge, day in and day out, providing constant communication on the court.”

Junior captain Aja Williams, who returns after missing most of last season due to an injury, echoes Six in leadership and effort, on and off the court.

Seniors Del’Cresha Kiekens, Latrice Livingston and Mariah Rubio also play key roles for the Panthers, while freshman Brianna Hodge has seen major minutes and “plays like a seasoned veteran” according to Houghton.

Lastly, the coach noted that the entire team will need to continue to work hard and focus together to reach its goals.

“We tell our girls at practice that we do everything for a reason,” Houghton said. “Every drill that we do, every section that we run, every action that we take on and off the court has meaning and is designed to make us better.

“As long as they understand that, they will be successful, not only on the court, but in the classroom and the community.”

Catch the Panthers in action when they host Port Huron High at 7 p.m. Jan. 12.


Support the team

Roseville’s girls basketball team will be hosting a bowling fundraiser at 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at Rose Bowl Lanes, located at 28001 Groesbeck, at the corner of Martin Road and Groesbeck Highway, in Roseville. The cost is $25 and includes pizza, pop, shoe rental and three games of bowling.
 

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