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Lady Colts hoopsters off to 4-1 start

Senior guard Jasmine Connor CHUCK JOHNSON, DPS PHOTO

Senior guard Jasmine Connor
CHUCK JOHNSON, DPS PHOTO

By Harry M. Anderson, Jr.
Special to the Michigan Citizen

After finishing with a 9-9 record last season and falling short to University Prep in the 2012 district final in the MHSAA State Playoffs, the Detroit College Prep at Northwestern Lady Colts are on a mission this year to turn things around.

This season the Detroit Public School League now has two basketball divisions: Division I and Division II. The Colts have been reassigned to Division II with Communication Media Arts, Mumford, West Side Academy, Central, Denby and Osborn. The Lady Colts are off to 4-1 start with victories over East English Village (41-23), Jalen Rose Academy (56-25), Western International (61-18), Cody (51-22) and West Side Academy (54-10). In their most recent victory against Cody, junior guard Martazia Walker-Scott scored 14 points while teammate Jasmine Connor chipped in with 11. The Lady Colts’ only defeat was a very close 53-50 loss to Troy Athens.

“We lost a tough one in the district finals last year at the buzzer,” said head coach Orlando Watkins. “Our girls are really focused this season not just to win the (PSL) Division II Title, but get back to the district final, win it and advance to the regional.”

Watkins said he’s fortunate to have a “very athletic and smart team this season.” “Our girls are a fast team who run the floor well. They also get along well on and off the court,” he said. “The girls are studying hard … our overall GPA this season is a 3.1. If the girls have to get ready for an exam, we’ll cut practice short and have them prepare for the exam. School is just as important as basketball.”

Leading the way for the Lady Colts are Connor, who sets the tempo of the offense; Walker-Scott, who’s not only a great ball handler but very powerful and determined player who’s a strong offensive and defensive player on the inside and a decent perimeter shooter; senior forward Alissia Pinkston, an all-round hard worker; and twin sisters Iresis and Icesis Chandler-Poole, a pair of center/forwards who are ‘double-trouble’ for their opponents.

“I’m pretty confident of our team because they have a lot of potential,” Connor said. “The team is young and has time to develop.”

“We’re going to be a good squad because everybody is dedicated and is aiming to take this season all the way,” said Walker-Scott.

If we continue to work hard, we can be (PSL Div.II and state district) champions,” said Icesis Chandler-Poole. Her twin is just as confident. “I feel we’re going to make something with our team,” said Iresis. “Everybody does their share and care for one another. We’re going to keep our heads and speed up.”

Watkins is pleased with his team this season and is also looking forward to a championship win.  “I’m very happy to have a good group of girls with plenty of experience that practice hard,” Watkins concluded. “I think we’re going to have a pretty good season.”

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