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Updated: November 20, 2008, 4:09 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

Girls' Basketball - Grosse Pointe North



Depth is a key issue for the Grosse Pointe North girls' basketball team this season. Then again, coach Gary Bennett's team is used to running with a short rotation  in last year's Class A state championship game, the team won despite using just one player off the bench. Although two of his starters have since graduated, there is plenty of talent on the floor for this year's team  the question is how the Norsemen use it. "This team has to get to the point where they play hard for one another," Bennett says. "If we can match what we had last year, we're going to be pretty darn good." Talent-wise, the high expectations start with the tremendous play of junior forward Ariel Braker, who tore her ACL in the spring but should be near 100 percent for the start of the season. "She doesn't just shine in any one thing," Bennett says. "She's a great competitor. She plays with an urgency to get the job done." Braker, an ESPN RISE All-Area first team selection, will team with junior Kayla Womack, a point guard, who earns plenty of praise from her coach. "I'm very enthusiastic about her," he says. "I have all the confidence in the world in her." Senior Olivia Stander, better known for her soccer prowess  she has a scholarship to play on the pitch at Michigan State  is a defensive whiz. Seniors Jasmine Kennedy and Madie Kent should also contribute this season for the defending champs.



Boys' Skiing - Brother Rice


The Warriors have quickly become one of the more dominant ski programs in Michigan, even despite stiff competition from teams in the Upper Peninsula. Much of the team's success traces back to senior Zach Novak, who finished third last year at the Division 1 state tournament while helping his team to a state runner-up finish. This season, senior Joey Lunghamer joins Novak as the Warriors push for a return to state title glory.



Girls' Bowling - Tecumseh


The Arrows powered their way to a Division 2 state championship last year thanks to the brilliant efforts of two outstanding bowlers, Kara Richard and Tawnie Vollmer. Led by the team's two high rollers, Tecumseh posted the highest score of any team in the state final, topping Coldwater by 101 points. Richard, now a junior, and Vollmer, a sophomore, will hope for a similar effort in an attempt to lead the team back to glory this season.



Boys' Basketball - Pershing


In a thrilling overtime contest, Pershing edged Romulus by two points in the Class A semifinals before eventually falling to Saginaw in the state final. Whether or not the Doughboys return to the state title game will depend on the team's depth and chemistry. But based on talent, the team is off to a good start. Senior center Derrick Nix, an ESPN RISE All-Area first team selection, and junior guard Keith Appling, a third team pick, will lead the way for the Doughboys this season.



BREAK OUT TEAMS



GIRLS' SKIING  ROCHESTER ADAMS
Calli Stencel, a junior, has been one of the state's best since her freshman year.

BOYS' SWIMMING  CRANBROOK KINGSWOOD
Senior Matt Hogan may be the state's fastest sprint swimmer.

GYMNASTICS  TROY ATHENS
Led by senior Michelle Mather, the Hawks have the roster to improve at state.

BOYS' BOWLING  HEMLOCK
All-State senior bowler Justin Maher will look to rise to the top of Division 3.

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