By Mike Moore
Michigan Center — There’s not much about this season that has surprised Joe Lusk.
That’s not a bad thing, keep in mind, but when the 2017-18 winter season began for the Michigan Center girls basketball team, Lusk had a roster all-but-intact from last year.
That team, one should note, went 20-4 and reached a regional semifinal.
So when asked this week if he was expecting what’s played out so far this time around, Lusk didn’t hesitate.
“Yeah, I really did,” Lusk said of his squad, which is 13-2 so far. “We went 20-4 last year with a team of freshmen, a couple juniors and one senior. So we knew we had some great talent.”
The Cardinals started the year with a 45-27 win over Jonesville. In the second game, they led big at Springport, only to fall 48-47 to sit at 1-1 with more questions than answers.
Since then, it’s been dominance and smooth sailing.
“Not long after that loss we played an awesome Williamston team,” Lusk said. Williamston has lost once this year. “We hung with them (lost 67-59), and I’ve never seen us play that hard. I really think that got us going.”
The girls haven’t lost since that Dec. 22 tilt.
“We’re moving the ball well. We’re shooting it well, too,” Lusk said. “There’s a lot going our way right now.”
The Cardinals are averaging roughly 65 points per game.
On the flip side, and more impressively, they are only allowing about 38 points per game.
“We’re a very fast team, we like to play up tempo, and that helps,” Lusk added. “We’re able to attack, and that is tough on teams.”
Moving forward, Lusk and his girls still remember falling in last year’s regional semifinal.
“At this point, we’ve all but clinched a conference title, which is the top priority right now,” Lusk added. “But looking ahead our goal is to get to the regional again and find a way to win it.”
First things first, Michigan Center will faces either Jonesville or Hillsdale in a Feb. 28 district semifinal with a final match featuring Adrian, Onsted or Columbia Central.
“We scrimmaged Coldwater recently, an awesome team, and we played so well, better than we have in a while,” Lusk said. “I think we saw how good we can be when we play together. In the playoffs, that’s how you have to win. You can’t play selfish basketball. We’ll need every girl contributing and sharing the ball and playing as one.”
Mike Moore is a play-by-play commentator and Sports Writer for JTV Sports.
He’s also a Realtor with Real Estate One, specializing with buyers and sellers throughout Michigan, from the Jackson area to metro Detroit. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (313) 770-6365 with any inquiries.