Young L’Anse Creuse North girls basketball team growing up

By: Jason Carmel Davis | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published January 29, 2020

 Macomb L’Anse Creuse North sophomore guard Brooke Daniels draws contact during a Jan. 21 win over St. Clair Shores Lakeview. The Crusaders have a top-10 offense and defense despite having just one senior on the roster.

Macomb L’Anse Creuse North sophomore guard Brooke Daniels draws contact during a Jan. 21 win over St. Clair Shores Lakeview. The Crusaders have a top-10 offense and defense despite having just one senior on the roster.

Photo by John McTaggart

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MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Macomb L’Anse Creuse North girls basketball coach Bob Johnston said he can see his team growing and getting more mature each day.

There’s been no better example of that than the team’s Jan. 21 game against Macomb Area Conference Blue Division foe St. Clair Shores Lakeview.

North trailed 23-10 at the half before storming back to win 48-38.

“I wanted to see how our kids would respond,” said Johnston of the halftime deficit. “You can see the maturity growing in them every day. They pay great attention in practice and are trying to absorb everything (coaches) are teaching.”

The Crusaders are in search of their first division title since 2013. At press time, North was 8-3 overall and a division-leading 5-1 in the MAC Blue.

The Crusaders are young, with just one senior on the roster. Johnston said his squad has moments of brilliance and some not-so-brilliant play. Consistency has been a work in progress.

Despite that, North statistically fields one of the best teams in the 36-squad MAC.

The Crusaders average 47.5 points per game, which is sixth best in the conference. On defense, North allows 37.2 points per contest — good for ninth in the MAC.

Offensively, Johnston places an emphasis on ball movement. He said his players exhibit high basketball IQs, which helps.

The Crusaders have put in a lot of work on the defensive end, too.

“You can see the results,” said Johnston. “So much of it is effort on the kids’ part, and we are pleased with how they’ve responded to what it is we ask of them.”

Leading the way for North are sophomore guard Brooke Daniels and junior forward Kelsey Duffey. Both were All-MAC selections last season.

Johnston called Daniels one of the best players in the county — a two-way player who competes hard at both ends of the floor. Duffey’s rebounding and defense have improved from last season, Johnston said.

With Daniels and Duffey leading the way, and a strong supporting cast, Johnston likes his team’s prospects moving forward.

“We have a chance to win the league and to compete for a MAC tournament title,” said Johnston. “So I like where we’re at. We host a district this year, and it might be one of the toughest districts in the state (with Macomb Dakota, New Baltimore Anchor Bay, Port Huron High and Port Huron Northern), so we’ll see.”

North’s next game is against Warren Fitzgerald at 7 p.m. Jan. 30 on the road.

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