METRO DETROIT — In the spring, a young athlete’s mind turns — at least in the Catholic League — to softball, tennis, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, golf and track.
But, for Royal Oak Shrine and Clarkston Everest Collegiate, the mindset is looking beyond to next winter’s basketball.
Both teams were eliminated Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the MHSAA post-season girls basketball playoffs.
Shrine lost to Flint Hamady, 56-34, and Everest to Kingston, 40-27.
Kingston used its height advantage under the basket to open the second quarter with an 11-1 run that pretty much decided the eventual outcome.
As she has been all season long, Grace Murray led the Knights (20-6) with 13 points. Grace Kruszewski chipped in two points.
They are the only seniors on the team. “We’re going to miss them,” said coach Wayne Gigante. “They have been great examples for our young kids.”
A half-dozen freshmen and sophomores will be among the 13 returning players, including juniors Regan Smith, who scored eight points, and Allison LaPointe, seven.
No complaints, Gigante added. The Knights won their first regional title since 1995 and the CHSL C-D championship for the third year in a row.
Over at Everest, coach Erin Van Wagoner consoled her squad, reminding them that “I don’t think anybody thought (at the beginning of the season) we’d be here in the quarterfinal.”
The Mountaineers (14-10) fell behind 13-3 late in the first quarter, but responded with a 16-4 run to take a 19-17 lead at the half.
The intermission cooled their momentum; Everest scored just 10 points the rest of the game. “We couldn’t get back in the groove,” Van Wagoner said.
Senior Serra Lowney had 9 points via three 3-pointers. Senior center Katelyn Allen finished with 7 points.
This was the furtherest Everest has gone in the state playoffs since winning the regional in 2014.