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January 13, 2014

Younger Foley team making strides as season shifts into high gear

By Mike Moore
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Madison Heights Bishop Foley senior Kristin Doxen (23) drives to the basket during a recent practice.

MADISON HEIGHTS — The temperature had reached single digits, complete with swirling winds and a blustering snow that refused to stop falling.

School had already been canceled for two days, but Dave Joseph wanted to have a practice for his Madison Heights Bishop Foley girls basketball team.

With a game scheduled the following night, and practice the previous day already wiped out, he really had no other option.

But he made the workout 100 percent optional.

And attendance was perfect.

“Some came as far as Clinton Township,” Joseph said with a laugh following the hour-plus gathering Jan. 6. “But it shows how committed these girls are. This is the type of team we have.”

Earlier in the day, Joseph had talked about this group of Ventures: one loaded with youth and optimism.

He credited their work ethic and their drive to get better.

Practice spoke louder than any words.

“I love this group and their attitude,” he said.

He also mentioned their ability to learn on the fly, which has been a must this winter.

Since the 2011-12 season ended, the Ventures have bid farewell to 11 seniors, all of whom played significant minutes.

This year’s roster of 12 includes just four seniors, six girls brand new to the varsity level — two who have been injured most of the season — and one girl who can’t even play until later this month due to transfer rules.

“So we’ve been playing with nine,” Joseph said. “But it’s a group that can adapt.”

At press time, Foley was 3-3 on the season and 0-1 in the Catholic League East Division.

“So far, it’s a matter of coming together with this group,” said Kristin Boxen, one of the team’s four seniors. “We’ve struggled to score as much as we’d like, but we’re getting better, and we’re working at it.”

Asked if there’s been progress in the six games so far, Boxen said, “we still have plenty to improve, but you can see how far we’ve come.”

“No doubt,” Joseph added. “From the start of the season until now, they’ve come a long, long way.”

The goals are simple moving forward.

The team wants to finish in the top four of the division standings to earn a spot in the Catholic League playoffs and then shift focus to the district round, where six of the past eight seasons have included a regional appearance.

“The same thing the past few teams have done, we feel this team is capable of,” Joseph said. “We want to keep getting better, and if we do that, we’re capable of going on a nice little roll.”

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