Warren Lincoln girls basketball playing with confidence

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Warren Weekly | Published January 17, 2020

 Warren Lincoln’s Daviana Leonard goes up for a layup in a Jan. 13 win over Hazel Park High. So far, the Abes have been one of the best teams in the Macomb Area Conference on both ends of the floor.

Warren Lincoln’s Daviana Leonard goes up for a layup in a Jan. 13 win over Hazel Park High. So far, the Abes have been one of the best teams in the Macomb Area Conference on both ends of the floor.

Photo by Erin Sanchez

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WARREN — The improved play of the Warren Lincoln girls basketball team under coach Jalen Ford has carried over from last season.

Under Ford, who is in his second year leading the program, the team finished 10-8 last season and second in the Macomb Area Conference Bronze Division. At press time, the Abes sat at 6-2 overall and 4-0 in the MAC Bronze. The program last won a division championship in 2006 — when the team played in the MAC Gold.

“We are playing much better and with more confidence than last year,” Ford said. “I still believe we are still not where we want to be as far as consistency.”

The Abes have been one of the top teams in the 36-squad MAC on both ends of the floor. Lincoln has averaged 49.1 points per game — good for sixth in the MAC. The Abes on defense allow 32.1 points per game — 10th in the MAC.

The Abes employ an uptempo style on offense. The team’s success on that end of the floor is a result of cohesion and trust. Depth has been key, too. Amari Davis-Dobbs carried the share of the offensive load last season, making it easier for teams to game plan for Lincoln. This season, Ford said, other players — Daviana Leonard, Jasmine Dunning and Valina Hudgins — have stepped up to give the team a more balanced attack.

On defense, the Abes like to show opposing teams multiple man and zone looks. Ford said the team likes to press full-court to keep the opposition from getting into their sets. Ta Shawna Williamson and Natoria Wise lead Lincoln on defense.

“The girls really have fun with (defense),” Ford said. “We scrimmaged against (Lincoln’s) boys freshman and JV teams, and it got intense on the court.”

Ford is hopeful the team can remain atop the MAC Bronze. He’d like to see the regular-season success carry over into the playoffs, with the team winning a district title.

“It’d mean a lot to the players,” Ford said, “because the school hasn’t won anything, and we want to turn that around.”

Lincoln’s next game is against Eastpointe High at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at home.

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