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March 5, 2014

Sopata praises RO girls after playoff loss

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

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Sopata praises RO girls after playoff loss
Sam Bartelotti (12) and the Ravens fell to Southfield-Lathrup in a Class A opener. Royal Oak ends the season 12-9.

LATHRUP VILLAGE — In a rematch of a district final from a year ago, there is a challenge still too tough to overcome for the Royal Oak High girls basketball team.

Southfield-Lathrup.

For the second straight winter, the Ravens had their season come to a close in Latrhup Village, falling to the Chargers 45-23 on the opening night of the Class A tournament.

“That’s a very good team,” coach Brian Sopata said with a smile after the game. “It’s very tough to simulate the way they can attack with their speed and quickness. They’re just so strong.”

Lathrup got up to a 14-5 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.

But, looking back on his own season and what his girls were able to accomplish, Sopata had nothing but praise for his team.

“This as a great group of kids,” Sopata said. “They worked so hard this year. We won 12 games, and we earned everything we got.”

The Ravens finished 12-9 overall and took third in the Oakland Activities Association Blue Division with a 9-5 mark.

“Our seniors, especially, what they meant to this program was something special,” Sopata added. “They were a blessing to work with.”

Asked what kind of team he had, Sopata was quick to answer.

“We defended. We knew how to grind,” he said. “We were 4-0 in overtime this year. We never just rolled the ball out and expected to win. We knew we’d have to work for everything we got.”

In other hoops action:

Royal Oak Shrine reached a Class C district final but fell to Madison Heights Bishop Foley 48-41.

The Knights close the season 6-15.

Clawson High lost its Class B opener 68-18 to Beverly Hills Detroit Country Day.

The Trojans end their season 3-18.

Hockey season’s wrapped

In Division 2 hockey action, Royal Oak fell to Berkley Unified 5-0 in a regional semifinal.

Shrine fell to Farmington High 6-1 in a D-3 opener.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mike Moore at mmoore@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1038. Twitter Follow Mike on Twitter.