Southfield Christian girls basketball continuing to grow

By: Zachary Manning | Southfield Sun | Published February 5, 2020

 Southfield Christian’s Maddie Kragt tries to get around a Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest defender Jan. 31. At press time, the Eagles were 6-8 overall.

Southfield Christian’s Maddie Kragt tries to get around a Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest defender Jan. 31. At press time, the Eagles were 6-8 overall.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Southfield Christian’s Ti’Syn Callahan carries the ball up the floor against Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest Jan. 31. The Eagles fell 74-31.

Southfield Christian’s Ti’Syn Callahan carries the ball up the floor against Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest Jan. 31. The Eagles fell 74-31.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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SOUTHFIELD — Throughout Sarah Johnson’s time leading the Southfield Christian girls basketball program, it’s been all about growth.

She is now in year five with the program, and the Eagles are coming off of a double-digit-win season and a second-place finish in the Michigan Independent Athletic Conference Red Division.

That success was good enough to get the team bumped up to the MIAC Blue this season, where it has struggled to find its footing. At press time, Southfield Christian was 6-8 overall and 0-5 in the division.

Despite that record, Johnson has seen her group take steps in the right direction and continue the building process that started a few years ago.

“I feel like we’re just starting to hit our point here where we’re together,” Johnson said. “This is a tough league, and I think, for our youth, it’s definitely kind of tough for us, but we’ve got determination to pull it together.”

Much like last year’s group, the Eagles are young. The roster features eight players who are either freshmen or sophomores, along with a few veterans.

But even with that youth, it’s hard to miss the progress the team has made while playing competition in a higher division. Last year, the Eagles averaged 35.1 points per game, while this year’s group has scored 41.4 per contest.

Sophomore Ti’Syn Callahan and freshman Rachel Cairo are usually the leading scorers for the Eagles, which has given a glimpse into how the future of the program might look.

The defensive end of the floor is where the Eagles have had some struggles. They are allowing opponents to score 42.9 points per game compared to last year’s 33.5.

But even with the struggles on the defensive end, there is no quit in the Eagles. They are as determined as ever to finish the season on a high note and enter the postseason with confidence.

“We definitely want it. We definitely want to win,” Callahan said. “The competition is there. We just have to have that extra push to pull through in the games.”

With the way the group has played, there is clearly room to grow, but most people inside the program are optimistic about what the future holds.

The young core has some big aspirations going forward. It may not be this season, but before graduating, they’d like to help bring a state championship trophy to Southfield Christian.

“Everyone wants a ring, and I feel like we want it a lot more than a lot of people,” Callahan said. “We’ve all been talking about it after school and all of that, but our work ethic is ring worthy.”

The Eagles will take the court again at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at home against Madison Heights Madison.

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