2014-03-12 / Sports

Mustangs snag district championship

COOKS – Scoring deep into their rotation, the Munising Mustangs won the Class D District 125 championship by defeating the Big Bay de Noc Black Bears 55-38 Friday night.

On one of those nights where nothing would fall for Big Bay, Munising struck early when Colin Immel opened the title game, hitting from three point range and the front end of a pair from the line to hold a 4-0 lead at the 7:01 mark in the first quarter.

Several minutes and missed shots later, the Bears cut the Mustangs’ lead in half off a bucket by Loren Swayer. That would be the last time Big Bay would find the bottom of the net in the first eight minutes of play. Up by seven, the Mustangs’ Austin Kelto hit a jump shot at the buzzer to go up 11-2 when the quarter came to end.

“I knew we had to play four solid quarters to compete with them and when they came out and went up 11-2, it was almost like that was the game,” Coach Angie LaLonde said. “They are fundamentally sound and disciplined and when you miss shots or turnover the ball, they make you pay, not many teams have found the trick to beat them this season.”

Trailing 15-2 early in the second, a pair of triples by Cole Potivn and one by Zach Pomeroy cut Munising’s lead to 20-14. But that would be as close as the Bears would get in the contest.

Battling under the net, Munising’s Ben Stasewich added four points late in the second quarter to give the Mustangs a 26- 16 lead at the half.

“I thought we played pretty good defense on Stasewich and on their shooters from the baseline, but they have that third and fourth guy that get you,” LaLonde said.

Looking to make a statement, the Mustangs came out strong in the third and quickly pushed their lead to 33- 18 off a three point basket by Noah Ackerman. Scoring at will from the paint, they held a 43-22 advantage when the quarter came to an end.

Trailing by 21 points, Big Bay continued to fight but could not overcome their inability to find the bottom of the net from the floor and the line in the final eight minutes of the contest.

Senior Cole Potvin, who was battling the flu all day, led the Bears in scoring with 20 points.

With the loss, first year coach Angie LaLonde finished the season 13-9.

“I thought our boys gave a 100 percent tonight,” LaLonde said. “They are a great bunch of kids, they gave a great effort all season and I am extremely proud of all 16 of them. I did not sub a lot, but they all hung in there, they were at every practice and helped make each other better.”

With the win, the Mustangs improved to 19-3. Munising lost to the number one ranked North Central Jets 54-46 in overtime Monday in regional action.

Big Bay- Potvin 20, Pomeroy six, Bryce Thompson five, DeMars three, Swayer and Dustin Clarkson two points each.

Munising- Stasewich 15, Immel 11, Kelto 10, Blank eight, Ackerman five, Hill four, Lindbeck four.

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