It’s not easy to remain focused during a long season, but Royal Oak girls basketball is doing just that, beating Bloomfield Hills 46-31 on the road Monday night.
Remaining level-headed after losing its first game of the season against Southfield A&T just last week hasn’t been all that difficult for Royal Oak (14-1, 7-1 OAA Red) because of the level of competition in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.
“When you’re in the OAA Red, you’re playing good teams every night,” Royal Oak coach Brian Sopata said.
Sopata has a point. More than half of the division has a winning record and Bloomfield Hills (9-7, 5-4) was riding a six-game winning streak heading into Monday’s game.
Luck seemed to be on Bloomfield Hills’ side early, but Royal Oak buckled down defensively and took a seven-point lead into the second quarter and never looked back.
“(Bloomfield Hills) came out and banked a 3-pointer to start the game and I was like, ‘here we go,’” Sopata said. “They’re capable of scoring in bunches.”
Bloomfield Hills would go on to hit nine 3-pointers, led by Jordan Banks who finished with 13 points, but Sopata was pleased with how well his team defended on the interior, particularly against leading scorer Maryam Hashim. Royal Oak held her to just six points.
Royal Oak’s veteran-laden team knows that a rematch with an unbeaten team, Southfield A&T, will come, but for now it’s all about getting better before that Feb. 28 showdown.
“We know every single night you practice and every single night you play, it’s about tightening up,” Sopata said.
More girls basketball
Dearborn Heights Annapolis 50, Garden City 23: Asia Cochran scored 27 points for Annapolis. Rylan Dolan had 11 for Garden City (2-13).
Madison Heights Lamphere 46, Warren Tower 19: Evy Brisbikis and Nydia Shumate each scored 10 for Lamphere (7-9). Tower is 1-15.
Riverview 66, Grosse Ile 32: Shannon McAlinden scored 21 and Rayah Kolbusz 16 for Riverview (9-5, 5-4 Huron). Helena Formentin scored nine to lead Grosse Ile (4-9, 2-7).
Bloomfield Hills 45, Birmingham Seaholm 33: Collin Hecker and Robert Goldsberry each scored 11 for Bloomfield Hills. Alex Lonze led Seaholm (5-13) with 14 points.
Dearborn Heights Annapolis 59, Garden City 45: Marquise Schumake scored 16, Preston Kelly 11 and Avery Ismail had 10 points and eight rebounds for Annapolis (8-10, 4-8 WWAC). Alphonso Butler scored 12 for Garden City (4-13, 2-10).
Detroit West Side Academy 72, Inkster American International 59: Jamale Williams scored 24 and Alonzo Fears added 14 for West Side Academy (3-12). Chris Kirksey had 33 points for International Academy.
Novi Christian Academy 66, Oakland Christian 54: Blake Banks scored 17 while Mackenzy Blackwell and Blake Goodman each had 15 for Novi (10-6, 6-2 MIAC Blue). Kyle Barba had 14 points and Luke Isham 12 for Oakland (8-11, 4-4).
Rochester Hills Stoney Creek 59, Troy Athens 47: Alex Reiter scored 15, Patrick Ghaly had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Trevor Smith Jr. scored 10 for Stoney Creek (8-8, 5-5 OAA White). Davis DiGiovanni had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Josh Seifert scored 10 for Athens (4-13, 2-9).
Woodhaven 54, Dearborn Edsel Ford 52: Josh Warren scored 17 and Brandon Wilkinson 11 for Woodhaven (14-4). Jalal Baydoun led Edsel Ford (14-4) with 16 points.