Prime-time preps: South Lake vs. Clawson girls hoops, 7 p.m. Feb 9

By: Mark Vest | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 3, 2012

 South Lake’s NaKyra Jordan battles to put the ball up in a recent game against Marysville. South Lake coach Shay Lewis is hoping Jordan can help lead the Cavaliers to victory against Clawson on Feb. 9.

South Lake’s NaKyra Jordan battles to put the ball up in a recent game against Marysville. South Lake coach Shay Lewis is hoping Jordan can help lead the Cavaliers to victory against Clawson on Feb. 9.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


One of the more interesting races taking place in the Macomb Area Conference this season is in the Silver Division.

At press time, four girls basketball teams from the MAC Silver were within striking distance of a division title. Two of the teams right in the thick of things are Clawson and St. Clair Shores South Lake.

As the regular season draws closer to an end, the picture in the MAC Silver should become much more clear, and one of the games that could help to determine the final order of the standings will occur at 7 p.m. Feb. 9, when South Lake travels to Clawson to take on the Trojans.

At press time, Clawson was 6-2 in MAC Silver play (8-5 overall), while the Cavaliers were 5-3 (6-6 overall). Lamphere was also 6-2 in league action (8-5 overall), with all three of those teams looking up in the standings at Marysville (8-0 MAC Silver, 11-2 overall).

When South Lake and Clawson met the first time this season Jan.17, things did not go the Cavaliers’ way. South Lake scored only one point in the first quarter of that game, and trailed 22-8 going into halftime before eventually falling to the Trojans 47-36.

South Lake coach Shay Lewis expects a better performance from her team this time around.

“I’m aware that it’s a big game,” she said. “They’re (South Lake’s players) aware that it’s a big game. And not only that, but we have a little bit of something to prove the next time we go in and play them. The first time just wasn’t a good showing for us from tip off. I think if we come out and play in this game against Clawson the way we did in the second half (of the first game), the outcome will be much different — much more in our favor.”

Clawson coach Kelly Horne also recalls that the Cavaliers came on strong in the second half of their first meeting, before the Trojans were able to pull away. She also observed a contrast in the two teams’ style of play.

“They’re pretty young, but very athletic,” she said. “(They’re) kind of the opposite of my team. We are very strong inside, and we utilize our inside players with Ryann May and Alli Costine. Our goal every time down the court is to get a touch inside.

“Not to say our guards aren’t strong, but our stronger players are on the inside. Her stronger players (are) on the outside, so a little bit of give and take between the two teams. It should be another good matchup.”

Although there may not have been too many bright spots for South Lake in its first game against Clawson, from Lewis’ perspective, one of them was that her team was able to hold Costine to seven points. And aside from containing Costine for a second time come Feb. 9, Lewis is also hoping she can get some big performances from Jala Sanderfield, Devin Wehrwein, NaKyra Jordan and Nyshah Brown.

Lewis believes the game could go a long way toward shaping the MAC Silver standings.

“I think the second-place battle is going to be between us and Clawson, and I think the game’s going to be huge,” she said. “They want to go into Clawson and prove scoring one point in the first quarter, eight points at half time, that’s not us. Not only is it something on a personal level — because we want to show Clawson and our fans that we’re better than that — but also we know the implications.

“My team knows I expect nothing less than second place in the MAC Silver, and anything less would be disappointing. Big game. We’re excited about it. We’ve got that marked on our calendar.”

Horne shares similar sentiments.

“This is the first of a three game stretch that our very, very important for us,” she said. “We play South Lake, Lamphere and Marysville back-to-back-to-back. Absolutely, a big game; something that we have marked on our calendar. It’s going to be a great atmosphere in our building that day.”