CHSL and Macomb showcase basketball talent at ‘Calihan Challenge’

METRO DETROIT — The idea was to show off the basketball talent of two of the most formidable conferences in southeast Michigan.

The Macomb Area Conference has 36 members spread across Macomb, Oakland, Wayne and St. Clair counties.

The Catholic High School League has 27 members (22 Catholic schools, five non-Catholic) in the same counties plus Washtenaw.

CHSL director Vic Michaels approached John Hartley, athletic director at St. Clair Shores Lake Shore High School, about setting up a public and private school showcase event for the CHSL and MAC.

“Playing at historic Calihan Hall at the University of Detroit Mercy clinched the deal,” Michaels said.

Each conference selects five of its top-notch girls teams and boys teams. In the first three years of what has been dubbed the “Calihan Challenge,” the CHSL girls teams hold an 8-7 edge over their MAC rivals, while the CHSL has a substantial 11-4 lead in the boys games.

The fourth installment takes place Sunday, Dec. 8, with a slate of girls games. The boys games will be held the following week, Sunday, Dec. 15. (Admission is $10; parking $5).

Here’s the girls schedule:

  • 12:30 p.m., New Baltimore Anchor Bay vs. Royal Oak Shrine.
  • 2 p.m., Romeo vs. Warren Regina.
  • 3:30 p.m., Grosse Pointe North vs. Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes.
  • 5 p.m., St. Clair Shores Lakeview vs. Bloomfield Hills Marian.
  • 6:30 p.m., Grosse Pointe South vs. Farmington Hills Mercy.

The Lakeview-Marian match will hold plenty of interest. Lakeview (19-6) reached the Division 1 state quarterfinals a year ago. Reportedly, it has virtually its lineup back.

CHSL champion Marian (21-2) went as far as the state regional finals.

Both teams cruised through their season-opening games this week. Lakeview trounced St. Clair Shores Lake Shore 60-17, nearly identical to the 69-11 thrashing Marian handed to Warren Cousino.

Coach Mary Cicerone has eight players returning, including 6-foot-3 sophomore Sarah Sylvester and 5-foot-11 junior Shannon Kennedy. Olivia Moore, the Mustangs’ four-year point guard, graduated.

“Right now I’m looking at (seniors) Sophia Mancini and Lauren Licari,” Cicerone said. “I’m happy with both. This is going to be a fun team to watch and play.”

Mancini (13 points), Licari (10) and senior Amanda Timmis (10) led the offense against Cousino.

The boys games line up this way for the following Sunday:

  • 12:30 p.m., New Haven vs. Detroit Loyola.
  • 2:00 p.m., St. Clair Shores Lake Shore vs. Novi Detroit Catholic Central.
  • 3:30 p.m., Warren Woods Tower vs. Warren De La Salle.
  • 5:00 p.m., Sterling Heights Stevenson vs. University of Detroit Jesuit.
  • 6:30 p.m., Roseville vs. Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Prep.