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Clinton Township, Macomb County, Madison Heights, Metro Detroit, Oakland County, St. Clair Shores, Sterling Heights, Warren

Published January 13, 2014

Jump Ball: Stevenson/Ford matchup highlights full slate of Jan. 14 basketball battles

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Utica Ford II boys basketball coach Jeff Olson, in his first year as Falcons head coach, will look to pick up a key divisional win when Ford II hosts Sterling Heights Stevenson at 7 p.m. Jan. 14.

The boys and girls basketball teams in Macomb County are now entrenched in the 2013-14 season.

Positioning for division titles in the Macomb Area Conference, Catholic High School League and Michigan Independent Athletic Conference will be affected with each passing league game and bragging rights will be battled for in crossover matchups.

Each Monday and Thursday throughout the remainder of the regular season, we will highlight matchups with strong implications — be it in the standings or for those bragging rights.

For games slated to be played Jan. 14, we start with a rivalry matchup in Sterling Heights.

Boys basketball

Sterling Heights Stevenson (5-2, 1-0 MAC White) at Utica Ford II (3-3, 1-0 MAC White) — 7 p.m. Jan. 14

Stevenson and Ford II enter the contest representing two of the three unbeaten teams in the MAC White. It's early, but every win counts. Defending league champion Warren Mott has already suffered a loss after going undefeated in division play last season, so a victory here would give the Titans or Falcons an early two-game edge in the standings.

Warren Fitzgerald (3-0, 1-0 MAC Blue) at Port Huron Northern (2-3, 1-0 MAC Blue) — 7 p.m. Jan. 14

A win for Port Huron Northern would give Fitzgerald its first loss of the season and equal the Spartans' number of setbacks in league play from last season. Fitzgerald, the defending MAC Blue champion, features one of the MAC's stingier defenses, as the Spartans yield just 41 points per game. That number is 8.9 points lower than last season's average.

Warren De La Salle (4-2, 1-0 CHSL Central) at Madison Heights Bishop Foley (1-4, 0-1 CHSL AA) — 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14

Two teams that have had great success recently will square off in this CHSL crossover matchup. Bishop Foley may have struggled early on, but the Ventures should bounce back. Bishop Foley has won the last three CHSL CD championships, while the Pilots won three straight from 2009-11.

Girls Basketball

Port Huron Northern (5-4, 2-0 MAC White) at Warren Cousino (3-4, 1-0 MAC White) — 7 p.m. Jan. 14

This will be the first of two matchup between the squads that shared the MAC White title last season. Cousino has won the last two league titles after having not won a division title in about 30 years. Port Huron Northern went 11-1 in the MAC White in its first season in the league. Both teams enter the contest struggling a bit. Port Huron Northern through its first nine games is allowing 5.3 more points per game than it did last season. Cousino on defense is surrendering 7.3 more points per game than it did in its division and district title-winning 2012-13 campaign.

Warren Regina (5-2, 0-2 CHSL Central) at Livonia Ladywood (0-6, 0-2 CHSL Central) — 7:30 p.m. Jan .14

This is a pivotal game for each of the these teams. Birmingham Marian has jumped out to a 3-0 mark in league play. Neither of these teams can afford to start divisional play at 0-3 if it hopes to have a realistic shot at a division title.

Statistical data courtesy

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