Hartland girls basketball coach Don Palmer spent his team’s off day Tuesday watching Northville, tonight’s opponent, play Brighton as part of preparations for tonight’s game with the Mustangs.
“I was impressed by both teams,” he said today, “but the thing that stuck out to me about Northville was they have numerous kids who have the ability to go to the basket and break down the defense. It seems like everyone was very good off the dribble, and that’s a concern if you play man-to-man defense like we do.”
Forty-eight hours later, the Eagles will see the fruits of their preparations tonight, in a game that will be broadcast on The Livingston Post at around 7 p.m.
The loss was the first of the season for Northville (4-1, 0-1 KLAA Gold), while Hartland (3-2, 0-1) is trying to both end 2017 on a winning note and nip a two-game losing streak in the bud.
“You want to avoid a skid,” Palmer said. “A loss tonight would make it three in a row. But we’ll see what happens. We’ve been practicing well. Our young kids are getting better, but it hasn’t shown in wins yet.”
Over the course of four decades of coaching, Palmer has been known in most years for a slow-down style on offense, and he wants his Eagles to be deliberate tonight as well.
“We’re not going to play as fast as (Tuesday’s game) was,” he said. “They press pretty effectively, they come at your hard and we’re going to have to get some stops. We’re going to have to rebound effectively. We’ll have a size advantage (in the paint), but we have to make sure we use that advantage. We’ll have our hands full, but we’re excited to play.”