Shamrocks look to return to winning ways

By: Mark Vest | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published January 25, 2012

 East Detroit sophomore Tiffany Wilson goes up for a shot in a recent game against Clintondale.  Wilson is expected to play a big role in the Shamrocks’ attempt to make some noise in the second half of MAC Silver action.

East Detroit sophomore Tiffany Wilson goes up for a shot in a recent game against Clintondale. Wilson is expected to play a big role in the Shamrocks’ attempt to make some noise in the second half of MAC Silver action.

Photo by David Schreiber

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It’s no secret that times have been tough lately for the East Detroit girls basketball team.

Last season, the Shamrocks went 0-21, and are off to a 0-9 start to their 2011-2012 campaign.

Prior to this season, East Detroit handed the coaching duties over to former JV coach Krysta Kreyger in an attempt to right the ship. While she understands that there is work to be done, Kreyger believes that her Shamrocks team is trending upward.

“So far, it’s actually going pretty well,” she said. “Our record doesn’t show it, but we are definitely improving. Our non-league schedule was pretty tough, but now that we’re in the league, we’re really starting to compete. That’s reassuring. The kids are definitely ready to challenge every opponent coming along our way.”

East Detroit doesn’t have a single senior on its roster this season. And while many coaches may view that as a negative, in the case of the Shamrocks, Kreyger takes the opposite approach. She believes the lack of seniors on the squad may help East Detroit to start fresh and leave its past struggles behind.

“We have an entirely new squad,” Kreyger said. “We don’t have any negativity. We have talked about last year, but they firmly believe we are ready to turn our program around. We talked about how they were 0-20 last season, but we didn’t put too much emphasis on it. We are young, and they know we are going to struggle a little here and there. We’re not letting that affect us. We’re a new team.”

Kreyger believes that she has players who are capable of creating a better future for East Detroit basketball. Tiffany Wilson and La’Keiya Terry are two players who will be called upon to help re-establish the identity of the Shamrocks. Both are sophomore guards who have the potential to have a bright future.

“Tiffany Wilson has really, really expanded her game,” Kreyger said. “She started off this season a little slow and shy. We had a good conversation with her and pumped her up a little bit. Our sophomore point guard (Terry) is showing she’s a point guard now. Before she was really hesitant bringing the ball up, and now she’s commanding the floor. It’s definitely starting to come together.”

Coaches who have a roster that is void of seniors may sometimes have to worry about where their leadership is going to come from. But according to Kreyger, her team’s attitude is one of the best she has experienced during her time coaching at East Detroit.

And although the Shamrocks have not enjoyed the kind of success they would like to experience as of late, Kreyger believes her team is one that is driven and not intimidated by any of its foes in the MAC Silver Division. One of the reasons for that may be the leadership the Shamrocks have received from junior Christina Gandy.

“(She’s) one of our captains who has taken it upon herself to act as a senior leader,” Kreyger said. “She is very good at getting the team ready and pumped before a game. She’s calm on the floor, helps everyone else out if they need anything.”

While the Shamrocks have the potential to be a team with an exciting future ahead of them, Kreyger is not ruling out the possibility of turning some heads as soon as this season.

“We have a very, very good team,” she said. “Especially looking forward to next year, but we’re not letting this year slide by. We want to be very aggressive and prove to people just because we’re young, (it doesn’t mean) we’re not going to fight for a league championship. It’s definitely still in reach. I firmly believe that. We have had some injuries, and we’re getting those players back in the next two, three weeks. So that’s going to be a definite uplift for us.”

East Detroit plays next at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at home against New Haven.

 

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