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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Woodhaven girls alone at top of DRLPHOTO

Salina Shubik and the rest of the Woodhaven Warriors are standing alone at the top of the Downriver League after a dominating 65-46 victory over Anderson last week. The loss was the Titans first in the DRL.

Last season, the Woodhaven and Anderson girls’ basketball teams met in district play and the Titans suffered a tough loss.

Since then Coach Larry Sakalas and his team have been using the Warriors as a measuring stick and were looking for revenge when the two met on Jan. 8.

But the Warriors had other plans.

Both teams went into the contest undefeated in the Downriver League, but a dominating Warrior start led Woodhaven to a 65-46 victory.

“Our girls were absolutely ready to play, obviously,” Woodhaven Coach Doug Simons said. “They showed it in the first quarter.

“We got the tone in the locker room, too. There was like a quiet confidence about them tonight. They knew Southgate’s undefeated in the league; we’re undefeated in the league. It was a big game for us and we came out with such energy.”

Energy seemed to be an understatement for the Warriors who took a 25-11 lead after the first quarter.

The team saw seven players contribute points in the first quarter alone, including five three-pointers from five different girls.

The Warriors knocked down four more triples in the second quarter and the Titans found themselves down 47-23 at the half.

“It’s gonna be tough to win a basketball game being down 24 at the half,” Anderson assistant Coach Bob Lothian said. “They play a fast tempo game.

“As much as we tried to keep up with them, they definitely dictated the pace of the game, and that was the difference.”

The Titans did take control in the second half and outscored the Warriors 23-18, but were unable to complete a comeback.

Woodhaven ended the game with 11 three-pointers from eight different players.

Cassie Breen led the Warriors with 21 points and three rebounds. Brianna Brennan had nine points and seven rebounds, and Whitley Currie finished with six points and nine rebounds.

Simons was pleased with his team’s effort.

The two teams will meet again near the end of the season as well as in Districts and the Titans are hoping for a different outcome.

“We’ll have another opportunity to play them in the league next month (and) we’re definitely looking forward to that,” Lothian said. “We have to match the intensity that we had in the second half.”

Simons knows the next time the teams meet will be an equally exciting game.

Both teams are pushing themselves, and also each other.

Over the holiday break, both teams went to the Roundball Classic Tournament, knowing that in order to get better, they have to face better teams.

“I feel like we’re pushing each other to get better,” Simons said. “It’s one of those where yes, it’s a rivalry, yes, we have to play them in districts and all that, but at the same time they just bring out the best in us.

“I know it’s the same way in reverse. We bring out the best in them. And they showed that last year. I expect it to truly be a battle.”

On Friday, the Warriors improved to 9-1 with a 74-39 victory over the Trenton.

Both teams battled hard, but in the end it was Woodhaven’s depth and experience that made the difference.

Breen again led with 25 points and six assists.

Brianna Brennan scored 11 points and had nine rebounds and Whitley Currie finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.

Lyndsay Brenna and Salina Shubik each contributed six points to the Warrior effort, Allison Manning had five, and Hailey Liedel added four.

Trenton was led by Paige Machnacki with 12 points and six rebounds.

Stephanie Galczyk had nine points and 12 rebounds, and Kaylie Crowell finished with seven points.

Barb Czarnacki continued her strong efforts, handling the pressure from Woodhaven and contributing four points.

Megan Benoist had seven rebounds and two assists.

The Trojans finished the week 1-2 after a win and a loss earlier in the week.

On Jan. 7, the team lost to Monroe in a close game, 35-32.

Galczyk led the way with a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Aevah Hebda followed with 10 points and five rebounds.

The following night, Trenton dominated Lincoln Park 68-27.

Machnacki led the way with 22 points and six rebounds, followed by Crowell with 13 points.

Hebda and Shelby Kohler each contributed eight points, Rachel Arnold had seven points and seven rebound, and Gawczyk finished with six points and 10 rebounds.

Czarnacki had another good defensive game with four steals and three assists.

It was a team scoring effort and the most complete game of the season the team has played according to Coach Rob Sauter.

After losing to Woodhaven, the Titans turned things around Friday night with a 60-19 crushing victory over Lincoln Park.

“One of the things we wanted to do was come out after our performance on Tuesday and fix a couple things and run our style game,” Coach Larry Sakalas said. “And we did that right from the get go.”

Anderson took an early lead after the first quarter, and they never looked back.

Corley led the team with 20 points and Jaciuk added 13 points.

“We were able to control the game and control the tempo,” Sakalas said. “We pressed them and we were able to force them into our tempo. We were able to just kind of run our offense and run our style and work.

The difference from Tuesday to Friday’s game, according to Sakalas, was his team slowing the game down and not rushing everything.

“We kind of rush everything,” he said. “(We want to) let the game slow down and let it come to us. On Friday we were able to do that.”

This week the Titans have two strong Downriver League games.

Last night, Anderson hosted Roosevelt in what most see as the most anticipated game on the schedule.

Last season when the two met, Anderson took a shot at the buzzer for the tie, and won in overtime.

“They’re probably wanting payback for that,” Sakalas said. “So we’re gonna have to be prepared and ready to play.”

The Titans hope to control the tempo once again, but know records do not matter when they face their biggest rival.

“It’s a rivalry game so records don’t matter,” Sakalas said. “It’s one our girls look forward to and I know the coaches do as well.”

On Friday the Titans will be looking for revenge when they travel to Allen Park.

The Jaguars defeated Southgate in the last Downriver League game of the season last year, knocking the Titans out of their tie for first place.

“They always seem to play well against us,” Sakalas said. “So we have to be prepared to play.”





Last Updated: 1/15/2013 4:18:35 PM EST

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