Richard girls hanging tough in competitive league

Angela Cabalang has been Gabriel Richard’s leading scorer and assist leader this season. Photo by Larry Caruso.

Tom Tigani
– RIVERVIEW REGISTER

The Gabriel Richard High School girls’ basketball team stands at 7-6 overall on the season and 2-4 in the Catholic League Intersectional 2 League, good for third place.

The Pioneers had lost five straight to bring their record to 5-5, but beat Ann Arbor Greenhills Jan. 28 and Allen Park Cabrini Jan. 16 in league play.

“It’s really competitive in our league right now,” Coach Sam Lamb said, noting a Jan. 30 loss to Royal Oak Shrine and an earlier loss to Wixom St. Catherine, which has just one defeat. “Being only a five-team league, there’s no gimme games.”

He remains optimistic, however.

“The girls have been coming along,” Lamb said. “We knew the middle of the schedule was much tougher than beginning. We had a rough game against Shrine, but they’re a very good team.”

He said he was proud of the Pioneers in their 47-30 win over Cabrini, led by Angela Cabalang’s 24 points. She’s the team’s leading scorer, averaging 14 points a game, and also leads the team in assists. 

Maddie Szczechowski is averaging12 points a game.

“She’s just been phenomenal defensively,” Lamb said. “She also leads us in steals. Both guards have been tremendous leaders for us and for our program, and for the kind of team we want to become.”

Szczechowski and Cabalang have given Lamb “more than I could ever ask for.”

He’s added that he is proud of the effort from all of his players, who are still adapting to a new offensive scheme.

“I’m their third coach in four years, and they don’t question anything,” Lamb said. “They work hard, and I couldn’t ask for anything better than that.”

The Pioneers have two more league games, Feb. 6 at Cabrini and later in the week against St. Catherine, before the league playoffs. Both of those teams are fighting for the No. 2 seed in the district.

The Monarchs have had better scores against other opponents, Lamb noted, adding that his team has beaten them four times in a row, but he still regards the upcoming game as “something very special.”

“I guarantee we’ll get their absolute best, and we’ll give it our best,” he said. “We’re just trying to get ready for both games and for the state tournament,” Lamb said. “We knew all the way we’d have a very tough schedule, but the girls are just focused on getting better and trying to improve.”

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