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Berkley's defense too much for Birmingham Seaholm WITH PHOTO GALLERY

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Game Info

Basketball - Girls - 1/31/2017 7 p.m.

Birmingham Seaholm 33
Berkley 44
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BIRMINGHAM – Two of the top teams in their respective OAA divisions battled it out in girls basketball on Tuesday night, but in the end, the gold shined brightest.

Berkley, which is in second in the OAA Gold, improved to 11-3 on the season with a 44-33 road win at Seaholm, which is leading the OAA Blue.

“Our confidence is definitely growing and it should be,” Berkley coach Jordan Gruppen said. “We have some big games coming up, so we can’t get too confident, but the girls should be proud of how they have played so far. They are working hard but having a lot of fun in the process and that is what is important.”

Defense was the key for the Bears during the contest as it was able to force Seaholm (5-9) into a lot of turnovers. The Maples had 15 turnovers in the opening half, which allowed Berkley to open up an 18-6 lead in the second quarter.

“It really comes down to defense for us,” Gruppen said. “When we bear down on the defensive end, we can stop a lot of teams. That’s what I challenge the girls to (Tuesday). There were times we let it go, but for the most part, we stepped up when we had to. I am proud of our effort.”

Seaholm was able to fight back before halftime, going on an 8-0 run which cut the Berkley lead to four. The Maples eventually went into the second half down 23-17.

Berkley would again push the lead to 12 points early in the second quarter and carry that lead into the fourth thanks to its transition scoring off the Seaholm turnovers.

“We needed to do a better job of getting back in transition defense. (Berkley) got a lot of easy scoring chances off of our turnovers because we struggled to get back on defense,” Hladki said. “(Berkley) does a great job of getting their hands on the ball on defense and that led to a lot of transition opportunities for them.”

Seaholm was able to cut the lead down to six points in the fourth quarter thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from Caroline Owens, but the Maples wouldn’t get any closer.

Owens finished with eight points for Seaholm while Dana Hoerman had 13 points with 12 rebounds and two blocks.

“We need more distribution among our scoring,” Hladki said. “Dana is carrying a lot of responsibilities. She’s our center, but sometimes she has to play point guard and then we lose her underneath the basket. We just need our secondary players to step up and be more consistent and not make Dana have to carry the load.”

Marshayla Denham, Olivia Dicarlo and Cali Weed each had 10 points to lead Berkley to the win.

Berkley will have a big OAA Gold game on Thursday when it travels to Groves, who is leading the division. Seaholm will also be back in action on Thursday when it travels to Troy.

Last Updated: 1/31/2017 10:16:13 PM EST

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