Opinion: Skyline’s latest win more proof the Eagles are the real deal  

 

The Skyline boys’ basketball team is on one of those special runs.

Teams like Wayne Memorial and Detroit Pershing couldn’t put an end to it. City rivals Pioneer and Huron, as good as they are, didn’t stand a chance.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Michigan State commit Gabe Brown and his Belleville Tigers fell by the wayside. And on Saturday night, Mark “Rocket” Watts and Detroit Old Redford came up short in their attempt to derail this speeding train.

It’s been a fun ride so far. All aboard!

“We want to play everyone who we feel is going to give us a good game,” Skyline Coach Mike Lovelace said after his team’s big win Saturday in Belleville over Old Redford. “Our conference also is very good.

“In the summer, you get to meet different coaches and get some things going. We definitely try to play the better teams to see where we match up against the best teams in the state.”

Right now they rank either right with or higher than the best teams in the state. The Eagles had huge expectations coming into the season and many people expected them to be among the best. But to run off 10 straight wins against that quality schedule is opening a lot of eyes around the state.

And they opened a few more with a 71-63 win over Old Redford in the third annual Fastbreak Invitational on Saturday. And it came after beating Saline just 24 hours earlier.

“It showed we can win in back-to-back days,” Lovelace said. “We beat a tough Saline team and then to come out and hold on for four quarters was impressive.”

It proves they can win back to back in January. The Eagles hope they can prove it again in March in Lansing.

The Eagles also proved that if a couple of the big guys get into foul trouble, they can go small and still be successful. But Lovelace is hoping the big fellas can keep the fouls down which brings up the options Skyline can use on the floor.

Skyline is geared for big things this season. They have the senior leadership in the backcourt. There isn’t a better or more experienced one-two punch at the guard position than Brandon Wade and Jack Ammerman – both of whom recently topped 1,000 career points and it’s only January of their senior year.

They also have other weapons so trying to double team Wade will get you single coverage on Ammerman or Ryan Wade or sophomore Kabir Bergin. Brandon Wade has that killer instinct and wants the ball in his hands at the end but he also isn’t afraid to hit the open man. He has plenty of confidence in the other four Eagles on the floor.

Skyline also has versatility on the defensive end. They can go man or zone depending on the opponent and the situation.

The Eagles’ road to 10-0 hasn’t been easy – which is exactly the point.

After non-league games with Novi and Sterling Heights Stevenson, Skyline knocked off Monroe before an impressive 76-56 win over a very good Huron team.
The Eagles then took on some of the best teams in the state – in a row.

A few days before Christmas Skyline knocked off Belleville. Right after Christmas the Eagles edged Pershing 61-60 in the Motor City Classic. Skyline scored an 87-67 win over city rival Pioneer and followed it up with a 78-73 win over a very good Wayne Memorial team – in their gym.

They won 60-50 over Saline before Saturday’s 71-63 win over Old Redford Academy.

Playing good teams and battling good teams in close games is what it’s all about this time of year. It’s about preparing for later in the year.

“We practice (close game) situations all the time,” Lovelace said. “It is good to be in these games and execute things that we’ve worked on in real game situations.

“Right now our top three are locked in every game and we continue to see the supporters getting better and gaining more confidence as we move along.”

This train keeps a rollin’ – all aboard!

 

 

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