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Four-year player Nicole Urbanick and the Divine Child girls' basketball team feel as though they have some unfinished business from last year.
Basketball - Girls
GIRLS' BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Last year's loss in D2 district finals still rankles DC (PHOTOS)
Guard Riley Blair will start for the second straight season for Coach Mary Laney's Divine Child Falcons
Three years ago, the Divine Child girls' basketball team won the Class B state championship.
Two years ago, the Falcons went back to the Final Four.
Last year, they lost the district championship game to River Rouge on their home floor.
“We have unfinished business,” said DC coach Mary Laney with a look to the upcoming season. “That was not the norm. We feel that was a fluke and, this year, we've got to do everything we can to not let it happen again.”
With three returning starters and eight veterans back in the lineup, the Falcons have to potential to atone.
“I'm very excited about this group,” said Laney. “We've got a lot of depth and a lot of speed. I'm optimistic about our ability to score in transition. It all starts on the defensive end and this group has a ton of intensity and a lot of passion, which is what I love to see.”
Senior Nicole Urbanick is the lone holdover from the state championship team and the University of Detroit Mercy-bound guard returns for her fourth year on the varsity.
“Nicole is a huge offensive threat,” said Laney. “She can drive and finish, she has a good mid-range game and she can shoot 3-pointers.”
Junior Riley Blair returns for her second year as a starter at guard and junior Hannah Brefeld is back for her third year in the paint.
Senior Lindsey Brewis is back at guard, along with junior Ellayna Iaquaniello and senior Carly Divis. Junior Haley Case moved up from the junior varsity toward the end of last year and will also see action at guard.
“We don't have a true point guard,” Laney said, “but all of them have speed and can push the ball. All of them can get it up the floor and get us into our offense.”
The other returning forwards are junior Maddy Barnauskas and senior Julie Bonk.
Junior Maureen Butler will likely be the first forward to sub in off the bench, while junior guard Kelsee Kinder is, “faster than anyone I've ever coached,” according to Laney. Both joined the varsity at the end of last season after a big year on the jay-vee.”
The two newcomers are junior center Hannah Gaynier and junior guard Mariel Dunn. Laney said Dunn will likely be the “sixth man” in the rotation after a strong jay-vee performance.
DC will once again compete in the Central Division of the Catholic League against ancient rivals Marian, Mercy, Ladywood and Regina.
“It's going to be as competitive as usual, but Marian and Mercy are probably going to be the toughest to beat,” Laney said. “Marian is loaded and Mercy has nine seniors who have been playing together since they were sophomores.
“We'll be in there fighting for one of the top spots and then we'll see what happens in the playoffs.”
DC will open the season Tuesday at Westland John Glenn and then head to Chelsea on Friday. The home opener is Monday against Plymouth Salem.
Last Updated: 11/29/2013 12:51:53 PM EST