Lady Dragons drop six games in a row on the court

Lady Dragons drop six games in a row on the court

Lake Orion junior Charlotte Peplowski drives past Oxford’s Lexie Yankee during the cross-town rivalry game between the Dragons and Wildcats on Jan. 30. Peplowski had a strong defensive game against the Wildcats and played her best defense of the season in the following game against the Stoney Creek Cougars, said head coach Bob Brydges. Photo by Jim Newell.

Team looks to rebound in next round through OAA Red

By Megan Kelley
Staff Writer
ORION TWP. — The Lake Orion High School varsity girls basketball team is going through a rough losing streak.
The team started the season 7-0 but has since been unable to snatch a victory after its first cycle through the OAA Red, falling to 7-6 overall and 0-5 in their division.
“It’s tough to be where we’re at after we started 7-0. A six-game slide – I’ve never had that in the six years that I’ve been the varsity coach here. The longest losing streak we ever had was three games, ever, and that was my very first year here. So, we haven’t gone through this before so this is tougher but at the same time, it gives you a chance to take a step back, re-balance and try and figure out where you’re going from that,” said head coach Bob Brydges.
It’s a tough turn for a team that won the district title last year and lost to West Bloomfield in the regional finals.
Last week, the Dragons hosted Oxford High School, falling to the Wildcats 48-33. Guard Ellie Britt led the scoring for the Dragons with 12 points, and Ryann Pawlaczyk added eight. Oxford junior Allison Hufstedler racked up 20 points alone in the Wildcats win.
The following night, the ladies hosted Kingston, a 13-1 division four team from the North Central Thumb Stars Division, losing to the Cardinals 61-44.
Senior captain Pawlaczyk scored 10 points while Britt and juniors Charlotte Peplowski and Izzy Wotlinski each added nine.
On Friday, Lake Orion headed to Stoney Creek High School to take on the second seed in the OAA Red. While the Dragons ultimately were defeated by the Cougars 38-32, there was a glimmer of hope in the Lake Orion defense.
“Our defense was way better. We played really good defense,” said Brydges. “It’s something we can look forward to and use in the future as well. Now, it’s on us as a coaching staff, and them as players, to continue to elevate from here. Now, it’s – okay, we found a balance, we found something that’s working for us but now we’ve got to build on that.”
Lake Orion is now preparing for their second round through the OAA Red division and is hoping for a rebound.
“Other than West Bloomfield, I don’t think there is anyone in the OAA Red that we can’t beat. Honestly, we should have beat Rochester, we can beat Clarkston, we should have beat Oxford – we just didn’t play well,” Brydges said. “I mean, we’re playing the OAA Red teams, let’s face it. There are two things with the OAA Red: one, they’re all good teams. Two, you play them so much they know how you play, so they’re going to exploit your weaknesses.”
While the Dragons will likely not win their division this year, the team looks forward to the district tournament which is set to take place in the second week of March at Waterford Mott High School, and includes Clarkston, Waterford Kettering and Pontiac High Schools.
Despite the current losing streak, Brydges has a lot of hope heading into the district tournament next month.
“Did we expect to win the OAA Red? No, we did not. Do we expect to contend in districts? Yes, we do. That goal is still there,’ Brydges said. “Both Waterford schools, Mott and Kettering, have already lost to an opponent that we beat by 35, so, we feel good about that. My expectation is that we’re playing that Friday night for a district championship against Clarkston at Waterford Mott High School.”
The ladies take on Groves High School at home on Tuesday after Review press time, a game that Brydges predicts will put an end to the losing streak.

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