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Jason Schmitt is the editor of, the high school sports website for The Oakland Press. He has served as the sports editor for a number of newspapers, including the Daily Tribune in Royal Oak and the Macomb Daily in Mount Clemens. In his time in the industry, he has covered every high school sport and has served a a beat writer for boys and girls soccer, boys and girls tennis, hockey, wrestling, bowling and cross country.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Three Times a Lady (Lakers)

Consistency is what you like to see in any program. And that's certainly what the Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes girls basketball team has provided over the last three years. In 2010, the Lakers finished 22-5. A year ago, they again finished 22-5. And this year they finished a game better, at 23-4.
And the biggest sign of consistency? A state title all three years.
Of all three championships, this one was the most impressive. Lakes beat Athens (21-6) 53-37. Coach Steve Robak's team shot nearly 56 percent from the field, 50 percent from 3-point range. If not for an uncharacteristic 21 turnovers - most early in the game - this one could have gotten real ugly.
It's funny, as a journalist, you always look for story angles. Many times, they may change as the game goes on. You get one in your head and then something changes. Scrap it. Plan B, please.

Not in this game. I spoke with our girls basketball beat writer Matt Mowery before the game about doing a post-game video wrapup, discussing the balance the team has displayed this year, in particular the play of its top four players (Carlee Cottrell, Ava Doetsch, Tori Duffey and Lexie Robak).
So what happened? Cottrell got things going with a couple early buckets and Doetsch exploded for nine of her 13 points in the first quarter. Act two was performed by Robak, who hit back-to-back 3s late in the second to pretty much blow open a close game. She finished with eight of her 12 points in the quarter.
Then, in the third quarter, Duffey put the nail in the coffin. She hit three-straight 3s to put the game out of reach. Nine of her 13 came in that quarter.
Balance, balance and more balance.
This was a fun bunch to watch. It's tough to say what the rest of the state will have next year. But with Robak and Doetsch, along with Jessica Parry and Anna Robb returning, don't count the Lakers out for making a run at No. 4 in 2013.
I wouldn't.

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