New GR girls coach hopes to build on success of 2018

Angela Cabalang

Tom Tigani

New Coach Sam Lamb is looking for the Gabriel Richard High School girls” basketball team to build on last year’s success.

The Pioneers won their district title last year and went to the regional semifinal game, where they lost to Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central.

This year’s varsity squad includes four seniors, three sophomores and one freshman.

“We have a unique blend of upper-classmen stability and new people,” Lamb said. “We’re trying to improve early on and get ourselves ready for league play.”

Lamb was boys’ varsity coach last year at Allen Park Cabrini High School and finished with nine wins and 12 losses on the season. He’s putting in a new offensive system at Richard.

“It’ll be a lot of read and react,” Lamb said. “Before, there were a lot of set plays. Now they’ll take some time to read screens and make decisions instead of, ‘Hey, the ball goes here.’”

Eight Richard players were all-league last year, and the Pioneers have some stability at their guard positions.

“That gives us a lot of leeway to bring up the young players,” Lamb said.

The Pioneers’ new mix will have its hands full this year against rivals like multiple Catholic League Intersectional II champions Royal Oak Shrine, Wixom St. Catherine and of course, Cabrini.

They’ll be led by point guard Angela Cabalang, one of last year’s all-league players, and Maddie Szczechowski. Both have played four years on the varsity team.

“Angela really sets up our offense,” Lamb said. “It runs through her. She’s a great leader for us.”

As for Szczechowski, “She’s just a knockdown shooter, an excellent defender and all-around good basketball player.”

Laura Lipinski also has been on the team for four years.

“She’s going to be vital,” Lamb said. “She does a lot of work and plays great defense for us. She’s a great kid and helps us a lot with the leadership aspect.”

Senior Kaitlyn Blaskiewicz  also will be counted on to “knock down some really great shots.”

“They’ll’ be the ones we lean on the most and will really determine where our season goes,” Lamb said.

Richard Varsity Girls Basketball

1- Laura Lipinski
2 – Madelyn Szczechowski
3 – Angela Cabalang
4 – Kaitlyn Blaskiewicz
10 – Alexis Peterson
11 – Isabella Assimacopoulos
12 – Allie Reyna
22 – Haley Hand

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