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2017 LUDINGTON ORIOLES LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

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LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS

| FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

www.ludingtondailynews.com

CONTENTS

2016-17 LUDINGTON BOYS BASKETBALL

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Regular season, by game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-6, 8 Shank becomes LHS’ best . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 What it means to these Orioles, in their words . . . 9, 12 Statement made . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10-11 Districts, by game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Regionals, by game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Quarterfinal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 A history with River Rouge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15-16 State semifinal recap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17-18 State final recap . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18-19 Contributors to this edition are as follows: SPORTS EDITOR: David Bossick. CAPSULES AND STORIES: David Bossick, Greg Gielczyk, Ed Papes and Lloyd Wallace. PHOTOGRAPHS: David Bossick, Mitch Galloway and Jeff Kiessel of the Daily News plus Russ Miller and other Daily News file photos; John Morin for the Daily News; Russ Miller Studio; and reader submissions. ILLUSTRATIONS: Judy Lytle.

Special thanks to our advertisers who helped bring this commemorative edition to our readers.

ON THE COVER Ludington’s boys basketball team gets ready to take the floor of the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing ahead of the Class B state championship game. (Mitch Galloway photo)

That was then…

JEN COLLINS | COURTESY PHOTO

Many members of the 2016-17 Ludington boys basketball team were playing together, and winning big, when they were younger. Members of this AYBT national tournament team included, from left, Ethan Leavitt, Noah Laman, Jakob Rowe, Jared Collins, Cameron Doan, Cameron DeKuiper, Calvin Hackert, Cameron Bandstra, Sam LaDuke and Zac Schoon.

Congratulations Orioles!

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FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

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GAME 3: LHS VS. OAKRIDGE

LUDINGTON 86, OAKRIDGE 51

Ludington’s Joshua Laman tries to get a rebound against Muskegon Heights’ Anthony Jones during a game, Jan. 6, at Hawley Gym in Ludington. JEFF KIESSEL | DAILY NEWS

GAME 1: LHS VS. WMC

LUDINGTON 66, WESTERN MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN 30

| GAME 2: LHS AT REETHS-PUFFER | LUDINGTON 73, REETHS-PUFFER 47

Ludington went on a scoring binge the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a while in taking a runaway 66-30 victory against Western Michigan Christian in the Lakes 8 and season-opening contest for the Orioles at home in Hawley Gymnasium. “I thought that we really played good defense in the first half, but we had some balls pop out on us to shooters that could have been easily gone the other way,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “First through third quarter, we were darn good on defensive end.” The half didn’t do anything to cool the Orioles. Ludington out-scored Western Michigan Christian, 22-2, in the third quarter thanks to a litany of miscues by the Warriors. All told, it was a 33-0 run that started with 4:11 left in the second and ended with 48 seconds left in the third quarter.

MUSKEGON — Ludington’s boys basketball team continued its sharing ways in a 73-47 non-conference rout of Muskegon Reeths-Puffer in Muskegon. “We really did a nice job of sharing the ball. We had 20 assists on 27 of our field goals,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “They were mixing up their defenses all night long, but our kids continued to share the ball all night long.” Ludington got out to a 21-12 lead after the first quarter and it only grew to 37-18 by halftime. The quick lead was thanks in part to sophomore Joshua Laman, who scored six of his 11 points in the first quarter. He also finished with eight rebounds and three steals. His brother, senior Noah, had a team-high 14 points to go with 10 rebounds for a doubledouble. His all-around game included four assists and four steals.

MUSKEGON WESTERN MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN (30) Fles 1 0-0 2, Mines 2 0-0 6, Kraker 2 0-1 5, Hartley 1 1-2 4, Ray 3 0-0 7, Butrick 0 0-1 0, Fairfield 0 2-2 2, Waller 2 0-1 4. Totals: 11 3-8 30. LUDINGTON (66) Collins 5 0-0 12, LaDuke 5 3-7 15, J.Laman 3 0-0 6, J.Bandstra 2 2-2 6, Hackert 3 2-4 8, N.Laman 4 1-1 10, Sadler 2 0-0 4, Vela 1 1-2 3, Whipple 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 9-16 66. Muskegon WMC . . 13 3 2 12 — 30 Ludington . . . . . . . . 14 18 22 12 — 66 3-point goals—Western Michigan Christian (5): Mines 2, Kraker, Hartley, Ray. Ludington (5): Collins, LaDuke, N.Laman. Team fouls—Western Michigan Christian 16, Ludington 12. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—Western Michigan Christian: VanBeek.

LUDINGTON (73) Chasse 1 0-0 3, Collins 6 0-1 13, LaDuke 2 2-2 7, J.Laman 5 1-3 11, Bandstra 3 1-2 8, Hackert 4 2-2 12, N.Laman 4 6-7 14, Sadler 0 1-2 1, Vella 2 0-0 4. Totals: 27 13-19 73. MUSKEGON REETHS-PUFFER (47) D.Ware 2 0-0 5, Fulton 4 3-6 12, White 0 1-3 1, J.Williams 3 0-2 6, Lofgren 0 1-2 1, Nelson 0 0-2 0, J.Ware 1 0-0 2, E.Williams 3 2-2 14, McHugh 1 1-2 3, Humphrey 1 1-2 3. Totals: 17 9-21 47. Ludington . . . . . . . . 21 16 18 18 — 73 Reeths-Puffer . . . . 12 6 17 12 — 47 3-point goals—Ludington (6): Chasse, Collins, LaDuke, J.Bandstra, Hackert 2. Reeths-Puffer (4): D.Ware, Fulton, E.Williams 2. Total fouls—Ludington 17, Reeths-Puffer 17. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

Well done! We are happy for your success!

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| GAME 4: LHS VS. MUSKEGON HTS.| LUDINGTON 60, MUSKEGON HEIGHTS 44

Ludington played a devastatingly good third quarter in breaking away from Oakridge in an 86-51 non-conference victory at Hawley Gymnasium in Ludington. “We always emphasize coming out and winning that first four minutes of the second half,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “The kids did a pretty nice job of extending our defense.” The Orioles owned a 39-25 lead at halftime, and that lead exploded in the third quarter. Ludington forced 12 Eagles turnovers alone, scoring on a variety of layups. Ludington shot 10 of 20 from the field in the quarter while limiting the Eagles to 10 shots total and they only made two. Six players scored in double figures, led by Calvin Hackert with 14 points and six assists while Sam LaDuke had 14 points and seven steals.

Ludington’s boys basketball team had a fun time in the ol’ Hawley Gymnasium thanks to a surprising 60-44 Lakes 8 Activities Conference victory against visiting Muskegon Heights. The Orioles were able to clamp down on the Tigers defensively while showing the ability to cut through Muskegon Heights’ defense to get out to as much as a 30-point lead. “Defensively, we did very, very good tonight. We extended our defense, but at the same time, for the most part, we kept them in front of us,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. It was keyed in large part by Calvin Hackert. The senior scored eight of his 23 points in the second quarter. Noah Laman was steady throughout. He had 10 points through the first half, and he finished with 14 to go with 14 rebounds to complete the double-double.

MUSKEGON OAKRIDGE (51) Chase 0 0-1 1, Shoop 6 4-9 17, Thompson 1 1-2 4, Wilkerson 1 0-0 2, Ruel 2 0-0 5, Meinders 5 0-0 14, Messerschmidt 2 1-2 5, Depender 1 0-0 2, White 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 6-14 51. LUDINGTON (86) Chasse 1 0-0 2, Collins 4 2-2 12, Thompson 1 0-0 3, LaDuke 4 6-6 14, J.Laman 5 0-0 10, J. Bandstra 5 2-3 13, Hackert 5 3-4 14, N.Laman 2 7-11 11, Sadler 2 0-0 4, Whipple 1 1-1 3. Totals: 30 21-29 81. Oakridge . . . . . . . . 13 12 6 20 — 51 Ludington . . . . . . . . 19 20 26 21 — 86 3-point goals—Oakridge (7): Shoop, Thompson, Ruel, Meinders 4. Ludington (5): Collins 2, Thompson, J.Bandstra, Hackert. Team fouls—Oakridge 21, Ludington 18. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—Oakridge: bench, Wilkerson.

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS (44) Trotter 2 1-2 5, Moore 1 1-2 3, Anth.Jones 2 3-8 7, S.Briggs, 1 0-1 2, Anto.Jones 2 0-1 4, Cummings 2 2-2 7, Watson 2 0-2 4, Chambers 3 0-0 7, Kendricks 1 0-0 2, A.Briggs 1 0-2 2. Totals: 17 7-20 44. LUDINGTON (60) Chasse 0 0-1 0, Collins 1 2-3 4, LaDuke 2 1-6 5, J.Laman 4 0-0 8, Hackert 8 4-7 23, N.Laman 6 2-2 14, Sadler 0 1-2 1, Whipple 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 10-21 60. Muskegon Heights . . 5 12 4 13 — 44 Ludington . . . . . . . . 13 18 16 23 — 60 3-point goals—Muskegon Heights (2): Cummings, Chambers. Ludington (3): Hackert. Total fouls—Muskegon Heights 21, Ludington 17. Fouled out—Muskegon Heights: Anto.Jones, Cummings. Technical fouls—none.

Congratulations on your achievement

ORIOLES!


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| FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

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GAME 5: LHS VS. SHELBY

LUDINGTON 77, SHELBY 36

| GAME 6: LHS AT MANISTEE

Ludington’s boys basketball team pushed its record to 5-0 after scoring a blowout 77-36 non-conference victory against Shelby in Ludington’s Hawley Gymnasium. The Orioles went on a 19-0 run in the first quarter and owned a 26-7 lead by the break. Ludington had a slight scoring edge in the second quarter, and the Orioles really put the clamps down on the defensive end in the third quarter to push the 22-point halftime lead out even greater. “We never really played loads of zone in this program, but with our length and our ability to get in the passing lanes, they thrive in it,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. Ludington forced 14 Shelby turnovers in the third quarter alone and limited the Tigers to seven shots while the Orioles took 22 of their own. SHELBY (36) Kelley 3 0-0 7, Rabe 1 3-3 5, Felt 1 0-0 3, Schouten 1 0-0 2, Oberlin 0 2-2 2, Puente 0 0-2 0, McConnell 1 0-0 5, Zaverl 0 2-3 2, Brown 4 2-2 10. Totals: 11 9-12 36. LUDINGTON (77) Chasse 1 0-0 2, Collins 5 1-3 12, LaDuke 5 1-1 11, J.Laman 3 0-0 6, J.Bandstra 3 0-0 6, Hackert 6 3-4 16, N.Laman 5 2-4 14, Sadler 1 0-0 2, Vela 3 2-2 8. Totals: 32 9-14 77. Shelby . . . . . . . . . . . 7 13 6 10 — 36 Ludington . . . . . . . . 26 16 19 16 — 77 3-point goals—Shelby (3): Kelley, Felt, McConnell. Ludington (4): Collins, Hackert, N.Laman 2. Total fouls— Shelby 11, Ludington 16. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

LUDINGTON 64, MANISTEE 22

| GAME 7: LHS AT CADILLAC

MANISTEE — Bursting out of the gate for a 10-2 lead less than halfway through the first quarter of its game with Manistee, the Ludington boys’ basketball team steamrolled the Chippewas for a 64-22 Lakes 8 Conference win. “We’re blessed with a lot of good players on this basketball team,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “It’s kind of fun to get the opportunity to coach them. They play their tails off, and they play extremely well together.” Sam LaDuke and Calvin Hackert got the Orioles off to a quick start when they nailed consecutive 3-point buckets, and the offense never stumbled after that. The Orioles ended the first quarter with a 19-8 lead. It was 35-18 at the half. Manistee scored just four points in the second half, two each in the third and fourth quarters. The game was the 225th all-time in the series that dates back to the 1910-11 school year. LUDINGTON (64) Collins 2 0-0 4, Thompson 1 0-0 2, LaDuke 4 0-1 10, J. Laman 1 0-0 2, J. Bandstra 3 0-0 6, C. Bandstra 1 1-2 3, Hackert 11 4-5 28, N. Laman 3 0-0 7, Sadler 0 1-6 1, Vela 0 1-2 1. Totals: 26 5-16 64. MANISTEE (22) Kniedl 1 0-2 2, Harrigan 1 0-0 2, Gustad 5 2-2 12, Szabo 2 0-0 4. Totals: 11 4-10 22. Ludington . . . . . . . . 19 16 21 8 — 64 Manistee . . . . . . . . . 8 10 2 2 — 22 3-point goals—Ludington (5): LaDuke 2, Hackert 2, N. Laman 1. Total fouls—Ludington 11, Manistee 10. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

| GAME 8: LHS VS. MUSK. CATHOLIC|

LUDINGTON 55, CADILLAC 37

LUDINGTON 69, MUSKEGON CATHOLIC 43

CADILLAC — The undefeated Ludington Orioles boys basketball team used a fast start and balanced scoring to take a 55-37 nonconference win over the Cadillac Vikings. After one quarter, Ludington had already mounted a 17-5 lead. “We have some really quick hands on defense,” said Shank. “We caused some turnovers early on and got out in transition. Tonight, we also had great balance scoring on the outside and on the inside. Cadillac is not as big as they have been in the past. We wanted to emphasize getting the ball inside. And our perimeter players did just that, while our inside players had great games.” Senior guard Cameron Bandstra, playing in just his second game of the season, came off the bench to lead a balanced Ludington scoring attack with 11 points. Sophomore Joshua Laman followed with 10 points.

Ludington’s Calvin Hackert needed just 10 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau for his career, and he wasted no time in getting there at Ludington’s Hawley Gymnasium. Hackert, the senior transfer, helped to lead the Orioles to a runaway 69-43 Lakes 8 Activities Conference victory. The Orioles senior scored eight of those points inside the first four minutes of the game, and he finished with 15 for the game. He played his first three years for Meade County in Brandenburg, Ky., and would have played his junior year for Ludington had his mom, former Ludington girls coach Dina Hackert, would have remained as Ludington’s varsity boys coach. Instead, this year is Hackert’s first not wearing the colors of the Green Wave but those of the Orioles. And point No. 1,000 came at the free throw line with a standing ovation following his tosses.

LUDINGTON (55) Collins 2 0-0 5, LaDuke 1 1-2 4, J. Laman 5 0-0 10, J. Bandstra 1 0-0 2, C. Bandstra 4 1-2 11, Hackert 4 0-0 9, N. Laman 3 0-0 7, Sadler 3 1-1 7. Totals 23 3-5 55. CADILLAC (37) Brooks 6 1-2 13, Benson 1 0-0 3, Zdrodowski 1 0-1 2, Cochrane 0 1-2 1, McDaniel 0 1-2 2, Fisher 1 0-0 3, McCarthy 4 2-2 10, Baker 1 0-0 2, Mickleson 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 5-9 37. Ludington . . . . . . . . 17 15 12 11 — 55 Cadillac . . . . . . . . . . 5 14 10 8 — 37 3-point goals—Ludington (6): Collins, LaDuke, C. Bandstra 2, Hackert, N. Laman. Cadillac (2): Benson, Fisher. Total fouls—Ludington 16, Cadillac 12. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

MUSKEGON CATHOLIC (43) Scott 3 4-4 10, Christoffersen 2 0-1 5, Jackson 3 0-0 8, Morgenstern 1 2-2 5, Johnson 5 2-4 12, Schulte 1 1-2 4. Totals: 18 9-14 43 LUDINGTON (69) LaDuke 5 2-4 15, J.Laman 3 0-0 6, J.Bandstra 4 0-0 8, C.Bandstra 2 2-2 6, Hackert 4 5-5 10, Meeker 1 0-0 2, N.Laman 2 0-0 5, Sadler 3 0-0 6, Vela 3 0-0 6. Totals: 27 9-11 69 Musk. Catholic . . . . . 3 13 6 21 — 43 Ludington . . . . . . . . 20 20 15 14 — 69 3-point goals—Muskegon Catholic (5): Jackson 2, Schulte, Christoffersen, Morgenstern. Ludington (6): N.Laman, Hackert 2, LaDuke 3. Total fouls—Muskegon Catholic 10, Ludington 19. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

Sweet!

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GAME 9: LHS AT T.C. CENTRAL

LUDINGTON 55, TRAVERSE CITY CENTRAL 46

| GAME 10: LHS AT WMC

LUDINGTON 68, WESTERN MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN 30

TRAVERSE CITY — Ludington’s boys basketball team got exactly what it needed in a non-conference clash at Traverse City Central: a close, competitive game for four quarters. The Orioles remained unbeaten for the season with a 55-46 victory against the Trojans, but they needed to work hard for all four quarters to take the victory. “It’s a great thing,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said of the victory. “We haven’t experienced a lot of things with a time and score situation like we need to this year. We definitely learned a lot.” One of those things was to dig out of a 11-5 first quarter rut. The Orioles took a 25-21 lead at halftime, and the see-saw battle was on. Traverse City Central had the game cut down to one point at a few times in the second half. The key in the 96th all-time meeting between the schools, though, to getting a lead was the defense of Ludington’s key disrupters, Jared Collins and Sam LaDuke. LUDINGTON (55) Collins 2 1-2 7, LaDuke 5 3-6 14, J.Laman 1 3-5 5, J.Bandstra 1 0-0 2, C.Bandstra 3 0-0 6, Hackert 1 6-6 9, N.Laman 4 2-3 10, Sadler 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 15-24 55. TRAVERSE CITY CENTRAL (46) Doud 1 1-1 4, Norton 1 0-2 2, Schwannecke 4 2-5 11, Briggs 4 2-3 10, Turner 1 0-0 3, Vincent 2 2-2 8, McCray 2 0-0 4, Bostwick 1 0-0 2, Sherwin 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 6-10 44. Ludington . . . . . . . . . 5 20 13 17 — 55 TC Central . . . . . . . 11 10 14 11 — 46 3-point goals—Ludington (4): Collins 2, LaDuke, Hackert. Traverse City Central (5): Doud, Schwannecke, Turner, Vincent 2. Total fouls—Ludington 15, Traverse City Central 22. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

GAME 13: LHS VS. BIG RAPIDS

LUDINGTON 70, BIG RAPIDS 38

| GAME 11: LHS AT T.C. WEST

MUSKEGON — Ludington’s boys basketball team reached the halfway point of the 2016-17 season with an unblemished 10-0 record thanks to a 68-30 Lakes 8 Activities Conference victory at Muskegon Western Michigan Christian. The last time Ludington got to 10-0 to start the season was the 1993-94 season under Dan Neil. That year, the Orioles finished 19-3 and lost in the MHSAA Class B district. “I think we’ll know a lot more about ourselves in the next two weeks. We play at the Big North leaders at Traverse City West next week, we host a top 10-rated team in Big Rapids and we head down to Muskegon Heights for a big conference game,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. Dante Vela led the Orioles in scoring with 11 points off of the bench, including hitting the game’s concluding 3-point shot. MUSKEGON WESTERN MICHIGAN CHRISTIAN (30) Glass 1 0-0 3, VanBeek 4 0-1 9, Larson 1 2-2 5, Ray 1 2-2 4, Butrick 2 0-0 5, Fairfield 1 0-0 2, Waller 1 0-1 2. Totals: 11 4-6 30. LUDINGTON (68) Chasse 0 0-1 0, Collins 4 0-0 10, Thompson 1 0-0 2, LaDuke 3 0-0 9, J.Laman 2 2-2 6, J.Bandstra 2 1-2 5, C.Bandstra 1 3-4 5, Hackert 3 3-3 9, Meeker 1 0-0 2, N.Laman 2 0-0 4, Sadler 2 1-2 5, Vela 4 2-3 11. Totals: 25 12-17 68. Muskegon WMC . . . 0 4 14 12 — 30 Ludington . . . . . . . . 15 26 8 19 — 68 3-point goals—Ludington (6): Collins 2, LaDuke 3, Vela. Western Michigan Christian (3): VanBeek, Larson, Butrick. Total fouls—Ludington 14, Western Michigan Christian 17. Fouled out—Ludington: Collins. Technical fouls—none.

LUDINGTON 59, TRAVERSE CITY WEST 56, OT

| GAME 12: LHS VS. ORCHARD VIEW|

TRAVERSE CITY — Ludington’s senior guard Calvin Hackert hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in overtime to lift his Orioles to a hard-earned 59-56 win over the home-standing Traverse City West Titans. The non-conference win kept the Orioles’ season record unblemished. “In overtime, we held the ball and killed the last minute and 20 seconds,” said Orioles veteran coach Thad Shank. “Cameron Bandstra had the ball and he had a decent shot, but he passed to Calvin in the corner for a better shot. It was a great decision. And it represents the way we have looked for the open guy with a better shot all season.” In the 4-minute overtime, the Orioles out-pointed the Titans, 6-3. It was the first match-up between the schools since December 2008, and the Orioles last won at Traverse City West in February 2004. LUDINGTON (59) Collins 3 2-2 10, LaDuke 3 1-3 8, J.Laman 2 2-4 6, C.Bandstra 1 2-2 5, Hackert 8 2-4 21, N.Laman 2 2-2 7, Sadler 1 0-1 2. Totals 20 11-18 59. TRAVERSE CITY WEST (56) Barrientoe 2 2-2 7, Stoerkel 1 2-4 4, Fewins 4 0-0 12, Lukusa 4 0-1 10, Hayes 6 3-4 15, Corwin 3 0-0 6. Totals 20 7-11 56. Ludington . . . . . . . . . 8 16 13 16 6 — 59 TC West . . . . . . . . .16 7 17 13 3 — 56 3-point goals—Ludington (8): Collins 2, LaDuke, C.Bandstra, Hackert 3, N.Laman. TC West (7): Barrientoe, Fewins 4, Lukusa 2. Total fouls—Ludington 15, Traverse City West 15. Fouled out—Ludington: LaDuke. Traverse City West: Stoerkel. Technical fouls—none.

LUDINGTON 60, ORCHARD VIEW 29

Ludington High rode a balanced scoring attack and a tenacious pressure defense to a mercyshortened 60-29 victory over Muskegon Orchard View. A large turnout for Parents’ Night at Hawley Gymnasium saw the Orioles shake off an effective Cardinal zone defense in the opening quarter. Sam LaDuke got the Orioles off and running with a layup off of a Cardinal turnover. Orchard View followed with back-to-back buckets by Edmari Mitchell and Breeze Ealy. A 10-0 run highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from senior guard Calvin Hackert gave Ludington a 12-4 lead. “I was just happy to get a lot of kids quality minutes,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “It was good to be able to attack a zone for the first time in three weeks.” Three Orioles finished in double figures, led by LaDuke’s 12 points. He also had five steals. Noah Laman had 11 points and six rebounds. MUSKEGON ORCHARD VIEW (29) Mitchell 0 2-2 2, Ealy 1 0-0 2, Villarreal 0 0-1 0, Criscione 3 2-2 8, Mitchell 4 2-5 13, Rose 2 0-0 4. Totals: 10 6-10 29. LUDINGTON (60) Collins 2 0-0 5, LaDuke 4 1-2 12, J.Laman 2 1-2 5, J.Bandstra 2 1-2 5, C.Bandstra 1 4-6 6, Hackert 4 0-0 10, Meeker 1 0-3 2, N.Laman 5 0-0 11, Sadler 2 0-1 4. Totals: 23 7-16 60. Orchard View . . . . . . 9 2 6 12 — 29 Ludington . . . . . . . . 20 13 23 4 — 60 3-point goals—Orchard View (3): Mitchell 3. Ludington (7): Collins, LaDuke 3, Hackert 2, N.Laman. Total fouls—Orchard View 15, Ludington 16. Fouled out—none Technical fouls— none.

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Ludington’s boys basketball team continued its big season with another blowout victory in Hawley Gymnasium, but it was different. It was different from the previous 12 outings this season for the Orioles because it was the sixth-ranked Big Rapids Cardinals. And it’s the Cardinals who they’ll see again when the post-season comes around in less than a month. Still, Ludington ran through Big Rapids with a 70-38 non-conference victory. “It was a great atmosphere in Hawley Gym. I grew up in Ludington, and I’ve played in this gym when it’s like that, and that’s a huge lift to a 17 or 18-year-old kid when they get the support that they had in the gym,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles complimented the Orioles on their play. “They played well, and we didn’t. They kicked us every which way they wanted,” he said. “They got what they wanted, and we didn’t. That’s on us.” BIG RAPIDS (38) Jones 1 0-0 2, Jennings 1 0-0 3, Childress 1 1-2 3, Morrissey 0 0-2 0, Hector 2 2-2 7, Martin 7 5-7 21, Lund 1 0-5 2. Totals: 13 8-18 38. LUDINGTON (70) LaDuke 2 0-0 5, J.Laman 7 2-4 16, J.Bandstra 6 0-0 12, C.Bandstra 1 0-0 2, Hackert 9 1-1 22, N.Laman 4 1-2 9, Sadler 1 0-0 2, Vela 1 0-0 2. Totals: 31 4-7 70. Big Rapids . . . . . . . 10 6 8 14 — 38 Ludington . . . . . . . . 15 18 17 20 — 70 3-point goals—Big Rapids (4): Jennings, Hector, Martin 2. Ludington (4): LaDuke, Hackert 3. Total fouls—Big Rapids 9, Ludington 15. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

Ludington’s Josiah Bandstra defends Big Rapids’ Braeden Childress during the teams’ regular season game Feb. 7 in Ludington’s Hawley Gymnasium. JEFF KIESSEL | DAILY NEWS

Way to Go Orioles!


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GAME 16: LHS VS. MANISTEE

LUDINGTON 62, MANISTEE 22

Ludington’s Jared Collins looks for an open teammate in the Orioles’ Feb. 21 game against Mason County Central at Hawley Gymnasium. DAVID BOSSICK | DAILY NEWS

GAME 14: LHS AT MUSKEGON HTS.| GAME 15: LHS AT ORCHARD VIEW |

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS 69, LUDINGTON 62

LUDINGTON 65, ORCHARD VIEW 44

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS — “Muskegon Heights’ pressure defense in the halfcourt was very, very good. They sped our offense up,” said Ludington boys basketball coach Thad Shank after his Orioles suffered their first loss of the season, 69-62, to the Tigers in a Lakes 8 Conference match-up. The Orioles held a slim 37-35 lead at halftime. Muskegon Heights out-pointed the Orioles, 20-15, in the final quarter to earn teh win. “We did not shoot the ball that well tonight,” added Shank, who saw his team make just two 3-pointers to seven treys for the Tigers. Shank did like the post play of Will Sadler and Noah Laman in the contest. “They gave us some great minutes in the post,” Shank said. Senior Noah Laman paced the Ludington offense with 16 points. Senior Calvin Hackert pitched in with 11. Also for the Orioles, Jared Collins put in eight points, while Joshua Laman added seven.

MUSKEGON — Nine Ludington boys basketball players put points on the board as the Orioles swept aside the Muskegon Orchard View Cardinals, 65-44, in a Lakes 8 Conference contest. The victory enabled the Orioles to stay tied with Muskegon Heights for the league lead. Orchard View sank into a tie for last place with Manistee. “We had some guys come in off the bench and play great minutes tonight,” said the Orioles veteran coach Thad Shank. “Josiah Bandstra had a big first half, scoring and rebounding. Lucien Chasse came in and knocked down a 3. Garrett Meeker had two or three assists right after entering the game. They stepped out tonight. It was huge.” Senior Sam LaDuke paced the Orioles with 14 points. Senior Noah Laman tossed in 12 points for Ludington, while junior Josiah Bandstra hit for 11 and sophomore Joshua Laman added 10 points.

LUDINGTON (62) Collins 3 2-2 8, LaDuke 2 0-0 4, J.Laman 3 1-2 7, J.Bandstra 2 0-1 4, C.Bandstra 1 4-4 6, Hackert 2 6-8 11, N.Laman 7 3-6 16, Sadler 3 0-0 6. Totals: 23 16-25 62. MUSKEGON HEIGHTS (69) Trotter 0 4-4 4, E.Moro 2 2-7 7, Antoine Jones 1 5-5 7, Anthony Jones 3 1-4 7, Cummings 3 1-2 8, J.Moore 9 2-2 22, Watson 4 1-2 11, Briggs 1 0-0 3. Totals: 23 16-26 69. Total fouls—Ludington 20, Muskegon Heights 25. Fouled out­—Ludington: LaDuke. Muskegon Heights: Antoine Jones. Technical fouls—none.

LUDINGTON (65) Chasse 1 1-2 4, Collins 2 2-2 6, LaDuke 4 4-5 14, J. Laman 4 2-2 10, J. Bandstra 5 0-1 11, C. Bandstra 2 0-0 5, N. Laman 4 3-4 12, Sadler 1 0-2 2, Meeker 0 1-2 1. Totals 23 13-20 65. MUSKEGON ORCHARD VIEW (44) not available Ludington . . . . . . . . 13 15 16 21 — 65 Orchard View . . . . . . 6 7 13 8 — 44 3-point goals—Ludington (6): Chasse, LaDuke 2, J.Bandstra, C.Bandstra, N.Laman. Orchard View-not available. Total fouls—Ludington 12, Orchard View not available. Technical fouls—Ludington: C.Bandstra.

Congrats on a great season!

| GAME 17: LHS VS. MCC

LUDINGTON 62, MASON COUNTY CENTRAL 33

Ludington’s boys basketball team gave itself a chance for a Lakes 8 Activities Conference title by routing rival Manistee, 62-22, at Hawley Gymnasium. Ludington last won a league title in 2010. “Our kids are excited about that. There is a number of kids who have older siblings who played for Ludington, and understand the tradition and history of Ludington basketball,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “They’ve been in the gym since first or second grade who understand the tradition of Ludington basketball. “They’re excited about that. They want to put that up on the record board.” Ludington set the table for a running clock for much of the second half on a 28-6 second quarter. Calvin Hackert’s free throws with 5:31 left in the third quarter made the game. In the second quarter, Ludington shot a blistering 12 of 29. The Orioles finished shooting 24 of 55. MANISTEE (22) Peck 2 0-0 5, Sandstedt 3 2-6 8, Harrigan 0 3-5 3, Gustad 2 0-0 4, Szaba 1 0-0 2, Lind 0 0-1 0. Totals: 8 5-12 22. LUDINGTON (62) Thompson 1 0-0 3, LaDuke 3 0-0 6, J.Laman 2 2-3 6, J.Bandstra 4 0-0 8, C.Bandstra 3 0-0 8, Hackert 4 2-2 12, N.Laman 3 0-2 6, Sadler 5 0-1 10, Vela 0 1-2 1, Whipple 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 5-10 62. Manistee . . . . . . . . . 6 6 1 9 — 22 Ludington . . . . . . . . 16 28 12 6 — 62 3-point goals—Manistee (1): Peck. Ludington (5): Thompson, C.Bandstra 2, Hackert 2. Total fouls—Manistee 19, Ludington 14. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

Ludington used a big second quarter to knock off Mason County Central, 62-22, in a non-conference contest at Ludington’s Hawley Gymnasium. Jared Collins opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to give Ludington a 19-14 lead. That only began a 14-0 run for the Orioles to expand the lead. Ludington (16-1), ranked 10th in Class B by the Associated Press, finished with a 39-18 lead at the break. It was Ludington’s backcourt that stood out the most for Mason County Central coach Tim Genson. “Thad (Shank) has guard play that nobody we’ve seen has,” Genson said. “And when you’ve got guard play like that, you can have the best post player in the world. But if you don’t have guard play, it doesn’t matter… Not only can they shoot, but they can get around the basket.“ MASON COUNTY CENTRAL (33) T.Tyndall 1 0-0 2, Wood 0 0-2 0, Sniegowski 2 0-0 5, Mount 1 0-0 2, Strejcek 1 0-0 2, Rybicki 1 0-0 2, Grey 1 1-2 4, Bromley 1 0-2 2, Carrier 5 0-1 10, Rader 1 0-0 2. Totals: 14 1-7 33. LUDINGTON (62) Collins 1 0-0 3, LaDuke 6 0-0 14, J.Laman 1 2-2 4, J.Bandstra 1 0-0 2, C.Bandstra 3 1-1 8, Hackert 2 5-6 11, N.Laman 2 2-4 6, Sadler 3 3-3 9, Vela 1 0-0 3, Whipple 1 0-2 2. Totals: 21 13-18 62. MC Central . . . . . . 14 4 5 10 — 62 Ludington . . . . . . . . 16 23 14 9 — 33 3-point goals—Mason County Central (2): Sniegowski, Grey. Ludington (7): Collins, LaDuke 2, C.Bandstra, Hackert 2, Vela. Total fouls—Mason County Central 16, Ludington 10. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—Mason County Central: Rader, bench.

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FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

|7

| LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS  www.ludingtondailynews.com

J

Shank grateful for Orioles’ hoops community

oe Kowatch, who coached Ludington High basketball for 14 seasons (1952 through 1966), holds almost every major record for success. His teams dominated winning or sharing 11 championships, all in the old North Central Conference, 10 district championships and six regional titles. The Orioles won four of six state quarterfinal games and made it to the state finals for the only time in the school’s history in 1953. His record was 228 wins and 58 losses. After a 57-17 victory by Ludington over Muskegon Catholic Central, one of Kowatch’s records, that 228 mark for career victories, was equaled. Now in his 15th season as the coach of the Oriole boys team, Thad Shank, whose team raised its season record at the LLOYD time to 17-1, overtook WALLACE Kowatch in dominant fashion, a trademark of this year’s team. DAILY NEWS Shank’s teams have won SPORTS their share of league, district and regional titles but nowhere near the numbers put up by Kowatch. He’s proud of his successes but reluctant to put himself on a pedestal with Joe. “It’s just a longevity mark,” says Shank. “If you coach that many games (342 at the time and counting), the most victories is the natural course of that.” From the time Kowatch moved to Ludington and started coaching the basketball team at the age of 42, the Orioles have been one of the most successful programs in the state. They were among the first teams in Michigan to win over a 1,000 games. “I’m lucky to coach in a community that has a tradition of good coaches, good players and good teams and takes pride in its basketball,” Shank adds. “That comes from coaches before me, like Joe, my dad (Gene Shank), Wally (Sadosty), Dan (Neil). “I think our community has been blessed with a lot of good players, high character kids.” Credit good coaching. Thad didn’t really know Joe Kowatch but he certainly knew of him. “I’ve heard stories of him from my dad who played him,” says Shank who began hanging out in gymnasiums at a very early age. “I remember going to the gym with my dad when he was the head coach at LHS,” he adds. “Some of my earliest memories?

GAME 18: LHS AT MUSK. CATH.

LUDINGTON 57, MUSKEGON CATHOLIC 17

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MUSKEGON — Thad Shank joined legendary Ludington boys basketball coach Joe Kowatch atop the all-time wins list for the school as his Orioles won a shared Lakes 8 Activities Conference title with a 49-37 victory at Muskegon Catholic. The Orioles did it like it has played essentially all season long: with an incredibly tough defensive effort. Ludington limited Muskegon Catholic to just three field goals in the entire game. “We made some adjustments this week. The (Mason County Central) game opened up our eyes defensively in a couple of areas on some things,” Shank said. “Tonight, we were very aware of where everyone was and where they were going to attack.” Ludington will share the league championship with Muskegon Heights after the Tigers had to rally in the fourth quarter to defeat Manistee in Manistee, 48-38. It is the first league championship in boys basketball for the Orioles since 2010. LUDINGTON (57) Chasse 2 0-0 5, Collins 1 0-0 3, LaDuke 7 1-1 16, J.Bandstra 1 2-2 4, C.Bandstra 2 0-0 5, Hackert 4 5-6 16, N.Laman 1 0-0 2, Sadler 0 0-2 0, Whipple 1 0-0 2. Totals: 21 8-11 57. MUSKEGON CATHOLIC (17) Scott 1 5-8 8, Morgenstern 1 2-2 5, Morse 1 0-0 2, Johnson 0 0-1 0, Watson 0 2-2 2. Totals: 3 9-13 17. Ludington . . . . . . . . 17 19 14 7 — 57 Musk. Catholic . . . . . 3 5 5 4 — 17 3-point goals—Ludington (7): Chasse, Collins, LaDuke, C.Bandstra, Hackert 3. Muskegon Catholic (2): Scott, Morgenstern. Total fouls—Ludington 16, Muskegon Catholic 12. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

Maybe the ’75 team. They were good: Steve Hull, Barry Searles, Paul Galinski. I’m sure I got in the way a lot.” Thad succeeded Dan Neil as the varsity boys basketball coach in 2000 and reeled off seven straight winning seasons in a row. Three times his teams have advanced to the state quarterfinals and only twice in his 15 seasons has Ludington had a losing record. This year’s team is one of his best. Through Feb. 24, the Orioles were 17-1 and their average margin of victory is over 25 points a game. Shank knew this year’s team was going to be good but not this good. “I knew we had the makings of a good basketball team. We have the depth and a lot of energy to disrupt other teams on defense.” Shank explains. “We’re not real big but we have nice size and good balance.” Balance? You bet. The team’s leading scorer was Calvin Hackert at 14.2 points per game at that point. He’s the only player in double figures. Behind him comes Sam LaDuke at 9.8 ppg, Noah Laman at 9.6, Jared Collins at 7.9, Josiah Bandstra at 6.1 and Cameron Bandstra at 5.4. It all adds up to a lot of ways the Orioles can hurt you offensively.

JOHN MORIN | DAILY NEWS

Ludington head basketball coach Thad Shank goes over a play during a timeout in the MHSAA Class B state championship game against New Haven last Saturday at Michigan State’s Breslin Student Events Center, above. Shank became the winningest coach in program history, surpassing legendary Joe Kowatch. Shank, at right in his playing days, guided his alma mater to a program-record 25 victories this season. DAILY NEWS FILE PHOTO

“We have more offensive balance than other teams I’ve coached,” says Shank, whose team is ranked 10th in that week’s Associated Press Class B poll. “I guess I have to say that I probably didn’t expect us to be 16-1. There are other reasons why we’re successful. My parents have been so supportive of me and I’ve been blessed with so many volunteer coaches over the years.” And he named a few: the Mesyar brothers, Dan and Mike, Terry Simon and Blaise LaPrad. “Without their help we wouldn’t have a program like this,” says Shank. “These are people with great basketball intelligence.” And it all starts at the top. In 1952, it was Joe Kowatch who started the tradition. Today, it’s Thad Shank, the latest and soon to be winningest in a long line of worthy successors. Both had 228 victories as coaches of Ludington High’s boys basketball program. That all changed in the final weeks of the regular season.


WHAT A J URNE LUCIEN

CHASSE

2

JARED

COLLINS

3

JOSH

4

LADUKE

NATHAN

23

MEEKER

THOMPSON

LANGE

SAM

10

GARRETT

24


EY!

Ludington Daily News FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

JOSHUA

11

BANDSTRA

NOAH

30

SADLER

LAMAN

LAMAN

JOSIAH

12

WILL

32

CAMERON

20

HACKERT

DANTE

54

WHIPPLE

BANDSTRA

VELA

CALVIN

21

TREVOR

55


Ludington Daily News


12 |

LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS

| FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

www.ludingtondailynews.com

GAME 19: LHS VS. FREMONT

LUDINGTON 45, FREMONT 39

|

GAME 20: LHS AT N. MUSKEGON |

NORTH MUSKEGON 49, LUDINGTON 46

Ludington’s boys basketball team was able to celebrate its seniors before its game against Fremont in a non-conference game at Hawley Gymnasium. And the Orioles were able to celebrate their newly won Lakes 8 Activities Conference title after the game. It was the in-between where things were interesting as the Packers pushed the eighth-ranked Orioles all night in an eventual 45-39 Ludington victory. “The experience of a close game will have to help us. There were times where you could see our kids were pressing a little bit because the lead hasn’t been stretched like they are used to,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “March becomes a new season. If we’re that team that presses a little bit or gets stressed because you’re not in a position you think you (should be), and not just play basketball, sometimes (bad) things happen.” FREMONT (39) Krim 3 0-0 7, Gronso 1 1-1 3, Geeting 1 0-0 2, Schmidt 1 0-0 3, S.Kaastra 3 0-0 7, Baddis 3 0-0 6, Karnemaat 3 0-0 6, Kukal 2 1-2 5. Totals: 17 2-3 39. LUDINGTON (45) Collins 2 1-2 5, LaDuke 5 1-2 13, J.Laman 3 3-3 9, C.Bandstra 1 1-3 4, Hackert 1 5-8 8, N.Laman 2 0-0 4, Sadler 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 11-18 45. Fremont . . . . . . . . . . 6 9 8 16 — 39 Ludington . . . . . . . . 11 5 9 20 — 45 3-point goals—Fremont (6): Krim, Schmidt, S.Kaastra, Baddis 3. Ludington (4): LaDuke 2, Hackert, C.Bandstra.

NORTH MUSKEGON — Ludington’s boys basketball team headed into the MHSAA Class B district on a sour note as the eighth-ranked Orioles fell to North Muskegon, 49-46. The Norsemen saw seven different players score a 3-point basket as they showed in the game some of the promise of early-season prognosticators Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “North Muskegon is a good basketball team,” he said. “They’ve won six of their last eight games, and their two losses were in overtime to Whitehall and by (three) to Montague. Both of those schools have 17 wins.” Ludington, ranked No. 8 in Class B in the final Associated Press poll, had chances to pull the game out, or at least tie, near the end. Both Jared Collins and Cameron Bandstra threw up 3-point attempts in the waning seconds to no avail.

DAVID BOSSICK | DAILY NEWS

Ludington’s Calvin Hackert hurls a pass to a teammate after getting a steal against Fremont, Feb. 28, in the Orioles’ final game — Ludington’s Senior Night — at Hawley Gymnasium.

Congratulations

Orioles!

LUDINGTON (49) LaDuke 6 0-2 15, J.Laman 3 4-7 10, J.Bandstra 3 0-0 6, C.Bandstra 2 2-2 7, N.Laman 0 2-2 2, Sandler 3 0-0 6. Totals: 17 8-13 46. NORTH MUSKEGON (49) McKenzie 4 2-2 11, Fuller 2 0-0 6, Smith 2 0-2 5, Warren 1 0-1 3, Montgomery 2 0-0 5, Cooke 2 0-0 5, Fairfield 4 4-5 14. Totals: 17 6-12 49. Ludington . . . . . . . . 14 4 15 13 — 49 N. Muskegon . . . . . . 6 22 5 16 — 46 3-point goals—Ludington (4): LaDuke 3, C.Bandstra. North Muskegon (7): McKenzie, Fuller 2, Smith, Warren, Montgomery, Cooke, Fairfield 2. Total fouls—North Muskegon 13, Ludington 17. Fouled out—Ludington: LaDuke. Technical fouls–none.

Congratulations Orioles!

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FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

| 13

| LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS  www.ludingtondailynews.com

DAVID BOSSICK | DAILY NEWS PHOTOS

Ludington’s boys basketball team, above, poses with its MHSAA Class B district championship it won March 10 in Benzie Central with a victory against Cadillac. The Orioles’ Noah Laman, left, puts up a shot against Big Rapids, March 6. Ludington’s Will Sadler, left, gets a shot in the lane against Manistee, March 8.

GAME 21: DISTRICT — LHS VS. BIG RAPIDS | GAME 22: DISTRICT — LHS VS. MANISTEE

LUDINGTON 63, BIG RAPIDS 49, AT BENZIE CENTRAL

LUDINGTON 71, MANISTEE 33, AT BENZIE CENTRAL

BENZONIA — Ludington’s boys basketball team kicked open a huge lead in the third quarter to knock off the MHSAA Class B district co-favorite Big Rapids Cardinals, 63-49, at Benzie Central High School. The eighth-ranked Orioles went on an amazing 16-0 run through most of the third quarter, keyed by three huge 3-pointers by Calvin Hackert in front of the Ludington crowd, to break open what was a back-and-forth affair. “It’s March. You’re down one at halftime, it’s time to execute,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “(We) did a great job of doing that in the third quarter. Not only that, it allowed us to set our defense. “When we rebounded, we got the ball down the court quickly and we were to set up.” Hackert scored nine of his team-high 25 points in the third quarter alone, and he had 16 in the second half. He helped to push Ludington from a 26-25 lead to a 42-27 lead by quarter’s end.

BENZONIA — Ludington raced its way past rival Manistee and on to a MHSAA Class B boys basketball district championship with a 71-33 victory at Benzie Central. The Orioles got up 21-4 after the first quarter as they were able to score turnovers, get out on transition and start digging into their bench for the district semifinal victory. “I thought, one through 14, we played pretty good offensively tonight,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “There have been times where in the first half, like in that Big Rapids game, where offensively, we have bogged down a little bit.” Ludington advanced to take on Cadillac for the district championship at Benzie Central. The Vikings defeated host Benzie Central, 48-32. The Orioles lead the postseason series between the two schools that predates the MHSAA’s sanctioned tournament that started crowning champions in 1925.

“Every time we’ve had a really big game this year, it seems like he’s stepped up,” Shank said. “It’s awesome to have a kid has the ability to do that, and you enjoy it.” The Orioles advanced with a large number of Ludington supporters in the bleachers. “We were here for the Cadillac and Reed City game, and I thought there were more people in the stands from Ludington than either Cadillac or Reed City,” Shank said. BIG RAPIDS (49) Martinson 1 0-0 2, Jones 1 2-2 5, Do.Martin 3 0-1 6, Kinnally 2 0-0 4, Hector 2 0-0 4, De.Martin 10 6-10 28. Totals: 19 8-13 49. LUDINGTON (63) Collins 1 2-2 5, LaDuke 2 0-0 5, J.Laman 1 2-2 4, J.Bandstra 2 0-3 4, C.Bandstra 1 2-2 4, Hackert 7 5-10 25, N.Laman 3 10-11 16. Totals: 17 21-30 63. Big Rapids . . . . . . 10 12 5 22 — 49 Ludington . . . . . . . 14 7 21 21 — 63 3-point goals—Big Rapids (3): Jones, De.Martin 2. Ludington (8): Collins, LaDuke, Hackert 6. Total fouls—Big Rapids 8, Ludington 5. Fouled out—Big Rapids: Childress, Hector. Ludington: LaDuke. Technical fouls—Big Rapids: Childress, bench.

| GAME 23: DISTRICT — LHS VS. CADILLAC

Ludington threatened to get a running clock going on the Chippewas in the 41st match-up in the post-season and 227th alltime, even as both teams made sure all of their players received some playing time. And each coach got something out of the minutes out on the floor for each team. Ludington had four in double figures, rounded out by Lucien Chasse’s career-high 11 points off of the bench. He hit for eight of those in the fourth quarter. MANISTEE (33) Peck 2 0-0 4, Sarabia 1 0-0 2, C.Kniedl 1 0-0 2, Connel 1 2-2 5, Sandstedt 3 0-0 6, Guenther 1 0-0 3, Gustad 2 0-0 4, M.Kniedl 1 0-2 2, Szaba 2 1-2 5. Totals: 14 3-6 33. LUDINGTON (71) Chasse 1 9-0 2, Thompson 0 0-2 0, LaDuke 3 0-0 6, J.Laman 6 1-1 13, J.Bandstra 5 0-0 10, C.Bandstra 2 0-1 4, Hackert 4 1-2 13, N.Laman 1 0-0 2, Sadler 2 2-3 4, Whipple 2 2-2 6. Totals: 29 6-11 71 Manistee . . . . . . 4 6 12 11 — 33 Ludington . . . . . 21 17 19 14 — 71 3-point goals—Manistee (2): Connel, Guenther. Ludington (7): Chasse 3, Hackert 4. Total fouls—Manistee 8, Ludington 12. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

LUDINGTON 51, CADILLAC 21, AT MANISTEE

BENZONIA — Ludington’s boys basketball team, just like it has done so many times this season, used its defense to stymie an opponent. This time, though, it happened in the MHSAA Class B district championship game against Cadillac with a 51-21 victory. “They’ve been through the trials and tribulations of trying to get to the point where this team has gotten to this year,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said of the long-time veterans on the squad. “It’s got to mean a lot of them. “The other thing is, they were really focused on the tradition of Ludington basketball. They wanted to be the guys that ended this drought. They’re the younger siblings of guys who played in the mid-2000s where we had that streak of winning a lot of basketball games. They understand the tradition, and they wanted to be the team that put Ludington back on the basketball map.”

|

Ludington limited Cadillac (1111) to just eight field goals total in the entire game, and it was keyed by the pressure the Orioles put on opposing teams at the top. “It was one of our better performances, without a doubt,” Shank said. “It all starts on the defensive end of the floor. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy to score against Cadillac.” The title is Ludington’s 35th in school history with the last coming in 2010. LUDINGTON (51) Collins 4 1-1 10, LaDuke 3 2-2 8, J.Laman 1 0-0 2, J.Bandstra 2 0-0 4, C.Bandstra 0 1-2 1, Hackert 4 0-0 10, Meeker 0 2-2 2, N.Laman 2 0-0 5, Sadler 3 0-0 6, Whipple 1 1-1 3. Totals: 20 7-8 51. CADILLAC (21) Brooks 1 1-2 3, Benson 1 0-0 3, Jenema 0 1-2 1, Cochrane 1 0-0 3, McDaniel 1 0-0 2, Raffaele 2 0-0 4, Mickelson 2 0-0 5. Totals: 8 2-4 21. Ludington . . . . . . 9 16 16 10 — 51 Cadillac . . . . . . . 5 5 6 5 — 21 3-point goals—Ludington (4): Collins, Hackert 2, N.Laman. Cadillac (3): Benson, Cochrane, Mickelson. Total fouls—Ludington 10, Cadillac 9. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.


14 |

LUDINGTON DAILY NEWS

| FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

www.ludingtondailynews.com

GAME 24: REGIONAL — LHS VS. CLARE

LUDINGTON 62, CLARE 45, AT CADILLAC

CADILLAC — Ludington’s boys basketball team had some early jitters against Clare in an MHSAA Class B boys basketball regional semifinal at Cadillac High School. Those were shaken out with a couple of Bandstras and a Sadler as the eighth-ranked Orioles eventually pulled away from the Pioneers for the victory, 62-45. “I don’t know what it was, but you feel thankful that you’re moving on after you play the first five or six minutes like we played,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “Probably, if we have those first five or six minutes again, we’re not going to have enough (to win). But, our defense has kept things forever. When we’re having struggles on the offensive end, we’ve done well on the defensive end. “When those three kids came off of the bench at the end of the first quarter — Will Sadler, Josiah Bandstra and Cameron Bandstra — we really turned it into another gear. We jumped

| GAME 25: REGIONAL — LHS VS. GLADSTONE |

out to that lead with basically those guys on the floor. The minutes that they gave were huge.” The half ended when Cameron Bandstra swiped a ball from one corner of the court with 2.3 seconds left, zipped a fullcourt pass to Sam LaDuke in front of the Clare bench in the opposite corner and LaDuke shot a 3-pointer just before the buzzer sounded. The shot was good. The Orioles’ bench, and their crowd, exploded for a 29-20 lead at the break. LUDINGTON (62) Collins 2 0-0 6, LaDuke 3 1-2 16, J.Laman 3 1-2 7, J.Bandstra 2 0-0 4, Hackert 2 4-4 9, N.Laman 5 3-3 14, Sadler 3 0-0 6. Totals: 20 9-11 62. CLARE (45) Vida 3 4-5 12, Sersaw 2 3-4 8, Roe 1 0-0 2, Rodendo 2 0-2 5, Allen 0 1-2 1, Smith 6 5-5 17. Totals: 14 13-18 45. Ludington . . . . . . 7 22 24 9 — 62 Clare . . . . . . . . . 5 15 16 9 — 45 3-point goals—Ludington (5): Collins 2, LaDuke, Hackert, N.Laman. Clare (4): Vida 2, Sersaw, Rodendo. Total fouls—Ludington 19, Clare 8. Fouled out—Ludington: LaDuke. Technical fouls—none.

LUDINGTON 63, GLADSTONE 48, AT GRAYLING

GRAYLING — Ludington coach Thad Shank has said Calvin Hackert is a big-time player that can have big-time moments in big-time games. That’s exactly what Hackert did in the second half as Ludington defeated Gladstone, 63-48, in an MHSAA Class B regional championship game in Grayling. Hackert started to get loose of Gladstone’s defense in the second half, and he made the Braves pay. He scored key baskets to push the game from a one-possession to two-possession game at various points of the second half. “Our guards, especially Calvin, did a great job of handling the pressure and taking care of the basketball. He’s consistently, in big games this year, knocked down the big shot in the third and fourth quarter,” Shank said of the senior who finished with 15 points, 13 of which were in the second half. “You need those guys who want the ball in their hands and

Congratulations Ludington Orioles!

want to take the big shot.” “This one is special because this group of kids has gone through a lot,” Shank said. “They’ve grown up together, and they’ve had great parental support.” Key Gladstone turnovers didn’t help as the time continued to slip away from the Braves. “Ludington forces you into a lot of uncomfortable things. We really tried to get the ball into the middle of the floor, and they took that away,” Gladstone coach Clayton Castor said. GLADSTONE (48) Gibbs 4 0-0 9, Stephenson 1 0-0 3, Botruff 1 0-2 2, Peterson 0 2-2 2, Spindler 4 1-1 9, Schwalbach 1 2-2 5, Castor 5 7-7 18. Totals: 16 12-14 48 LUDINGTON (63) Collins 1 0-0 3, LaDuke 2 9-13 13, J.Laman 6 0-0 12, Hackert 4 4-4 15, N.Laman 3 2-4 10. Totals: 21 15-21 63. Gladstone . . . 12 10 11 15 — 48 Ludington . . . . 12 13 9 29 — 63 3-point goals—Ludington (6): Collins, Hackert 3, N.Laman 2. Gladstone (4): Gibbs, Stephenson, Schwalbach, Castor. Total fouls—Ludington 18, Gladstone 19. Fouled out—Ludington: LaDuke. Gladstone: Wolf. Technical fouls—none.

JEFF KIESSEL | DAILY NEWS

Ludington celebrates winning the school’s 13th regional championship March 15 in Grayling with a 63-48 victory against Gladstone.

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Ghosts of LHS-River Rouge series past awaken

O

JEFF KIESSEL | DAILY NEWS

Ludington’s Cameron Bandstra looks to score against Lake Fenton’s Isaac Golson during the Orioles’ state quarterfinal victory March 21 in Mount Pleasant.

GAME 26: QUARTERS — LHS VS. LK FENTON |

LUDINGTON 69, LAKE FENTON 43, AT MOUNT PLEASANT

MOUNT PLEASANT — Maybe some things are meant to be. Ludington’s boys basketball team will be seeing an old nonconference nemesis after the Orioles defeated Lake Fenton, 69-43, in an MHSAA Class B state quarterfinal game on Mount Pleasant High School’s parquet flooring. That nemesis is River Rouge. “It’s just odd how everything has played out this year,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. The Orioles, ranked eighth, advanced to the state semifinals against the second-ranked Panthers. As much as its defense gets deserved credit, Ludington’s offense was can’t-miss in the first half. The Orioles blistered the nylon on a 17 of 23 first half, including a lava-hot 9 of 11 in the first quarter. “Those first four minutes, I didn’t know if we were going to able stop Lake Fenton. I thought we had a good plan, overall, but they came out and scored and scored and scored,” Shank said. “We did a pretty good job

of recognizing that they were switching on defense and getting the ball to some of the mismatches on the floor.” Ludington mounted its lead by getting in the paint. Like against Gladstone, it was Joshua Laman doing the work as he exploited those mismatches. He scored eight of his team’s 20 first-quarter points. As the Blue Devils tried to batten down on him, the dribble-drive opened up for the Orioles. “We were focused on it. They were going to switch small guards to bigs,” Shank said. “Our kids came out and recognized that.” LUDINGTON (69) Collins 0 0-2 0, Laduke 5 5-6 17, J.Laman 5 1-3 11, J.Bandstra 0 1-2 1, C.Bandstra 2 0-0 4, Hackert 7 4-4 20, N.Laman 6 0-0 12, Salder 2 0-2 4. Totals: 27 11-15 69. LAKE FENTON (43) Golson 5 2-2 16, Foerster 3 2-2 8, Jackson 1 0-0 2, Tomczak 1 2-2 4, Miller 4 4-4 13. Totals: 14 10-10 43. Ludington . . . . 20 21 11 17 — 69 Lake Fenton . 13 6 12 12 — 43 3-point goals—Ludington (4): LaDuke 2, Hackert 2. Lake Fenton (5): Golson 4, Miller. Total fouls—Ludington 14, Lake Fenton 18. Fouled out—Lake Fenton: Jackson. Technical fouls—none.

n Friday, Ludington High’s boys basketball team made its sixth appearance and first since 1971 in the Class B state semifinals. Ironically, the Orioles faced River Rouge for the third time in the Final Four. The other two meetings — one in 1954, the other in 1971 — ended badly. “It’s just odd how everything played LLOYD out this year,” LHS WALLACE coach Thad DAILY NEWS Shank said folSPORTS lowing Tuesday’s unexpectedly easy 69-43 romp over Lake Fenton in a quarterfinal contest at Mount Pleasant. None of Ludington’s previous five state semifinalists has ever been as dominant in their respective runs up to the Final Four. At 24-2, the Orioles punched destiny’s ticket by routing last year’s Class B state semifinalist Big Rapids, 63-49, Manistee, 73-33, and Cadillac, 51-21, all in the district tournament. In the regional tourney, they breezed past Clare, 62-45, and Gladstone, 6348, to set up Tuesday’s smothering of Lake Fenton which earned its quarterfinal berth with a win over touted Frankenmuth in regional play. And next up, it’s old nemesis River Rouge, one of the state’s most storied programs with 14 state championships, all in Class

RUSS MILLER | DAILY NEWS FILE

Members of the Ludington boys basketball team in 1963 head toward the lockers with a 3932 halftime lead against River Rouge in the first game of the home-and-home series with the Panthers. The two schools met again in the 2017 MHSAA Class B state semifinals for the first time since 1985. B, and nine of which came in years that the Panthers played Ludington. Twelve of those titles came under the tutelage of Lofton Greene, a Kentucky native who moved to Jackson when he was a boy. “It’s almost like it’s meant to be,” said Shank. “You get to the Breslin Center, and you’re playing River Rouge. You remember all the times when Lofton Greene brought his kids up here to Ludington and how important that was for the community and how the community got excited for that.” Two of the games in the rivalry were classics. The first was in 1954 when Rouge edged the Orioles,

54-52, in the state semifinals at Michigan State University’s Jenison Fieldhouse, and the second came during the regular season at Ludington’s Hawley Gymnasium, an 89-79 double overtime loss by LHS in 1965. That ’65 contest was special. The lead changed hands nine times and was tied 20 times. Bill Wrege and Ed Iteen led Ludington with 21 and 19 points, respectively, and Rouge was led by Billy Tunstall and Frank Price. Ludington’s coach in both games was Joe Kowatch, who posted a 228-58 record in 14 seasons. Starting in 1962, Luding-

ton and River Rouge began playing each other once a season. They alternated home games for the next 22 years with the Panthers hosting and dominating the first meeting, 73-55. Rouge was led by Willie Betts, a smooth, cat-quick 6-foot-5, 195-pound jumping jack who ranks as one of Michigan’s all-time prep players. Betts, a dominant defender who scored over 1,000 points and grabbed over 1,100 rebounds in his career, is the only player in Michigan high school tournament history to play on four consecutive state championship teams. He graduated in 1964. SEE WALLACE, 16


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WALLACE: Ludington-River Rouge series remembered by Orioles hoops community throw) so they took away about eight buckets away from him that Ludington hosted Rouge for the way,” Kowatch said. first time on Jan. 5, 1963 before a It was a case of Greene taking packed house at Hawley. It was aladvantage of what would eventualways standing room only when the ly become the one-and-one rule. Panthers came to town. “We were real aggressive and Rouge prevailed that night, 72we fouled a lot; we had to,” said 60, despite 18 points from Oriole Greene. “My tallest kid was sixguard Mike Evans, who earned allfoot. That was Blanch Martin.” state honors for LHS which ended Martin became a dentist and its season at 16-4. served on the Michigan State Board Like this year’s Ludington team, of Trustees. Tillotson played at the Rouge annually dominated oppoUniversity of Michigan. nents with discipline and defense. Greene took over a rather sad Oh, that defense. River Rouge basketball program “I remember one time at Cobo in 1943. After time out for the Hall,” Kowatch reminisced back service during World War II, he in the early 1980s. “It was a close returned to the school and quickly game at halftime. I told an old turned the program around. teammate of mine, ‘Their press The annual rivalry came about isn’t too bad.’ when Kowatch huddled with then“He said, ‘What press? You LHS Athletic Director Hal Madden. haven’t seen the press yet.’ They “We were in a situation where we came out in the second half and were winning everything in sight outscored us something like 24 to around here,” the late Madden told two in about four minutes.” the Daily News back in 1983. “We The Orioles caught up with never played a team as tough as Rouge in 1983, winning, 68-58, they were year in and year out. snapping a losing streak to the “We set it up so that would play Panthers of 21 games. them prior to the tournament. By then, Kowatch had passed That way we’d have some idea just away and Greene was nearing rehow tough ‘tough’ was.” tirement, his program a victim of It was the start of one of the a failing auto industry that led to RUSS MILLER | DAILY NEWS FILE state’s more unique rivalries. high unemployment in his district Ludington’s Mike Evans lifts up a shot “Number one, there were the soand a dwindling enrollment result- against River Rouge in the 1963 game cial aspects, playing a mostly black ing in the loss of state aid. at Hawley Gymnasium between the community,” Madden explained. After that game Greene talked two schools. “We thought it would be nice to about the 1954 contest. River take our kids to downtown DeRouge was an underdog to the Pete named Michigan’s Retro-Mr. Bastroit. And with them coming here, Tillotson-led Orioles. ketball for 1954. it would be a good experience for “I do remember Tillotson,” he Years before, Kowatch had told both teams.” said. “They (Ludington) were so his side of the story. Tough competition was just fine much bigger than we were.” “Pete fouled out two of their cen- with Kowatch, a hard-nosed footTillotson, who stood 6-6, averters. They would foul him while he ball player for Ionia High School aged 25.3 points a game, was an was making his move before the who went on to start at Michigan all-stater and years later would be shot. Then you only got one (free State College under ‘Sleepy’ Jim FROM PAGE 15

Believe and Achieve!

Crowley of Four Horsemen fame at Notre Dame. “I felt pretty good about playing them because they were THE power,” said Kowatch. “About the first four or five times we played them, they wound up state champions.” It was four in a row to be exact and the Panthers wound up being the Class B state champion in eight of the first 11 years of the rivalry. The last time Ludington and River Rouge met in postseason play was in 1971. Again, it was in the semifinal round of the Class B state tourney and Greene was coaching the Panthers and Wally Sadosty, a Kowatch disciple, was mentoring the Orioles. “That year, they came up to Ludington in January,” Sadosty said on Wednesday, taking a break from his Florida chore of finishing a deck. “They beat us by only six points, I think it was 69-63. All of a sudden because we had a close game against them, people expected us to be able to beat River Rouge, which didn’t happen.” Sadosty remembers vividly the short time between the Orioles’ 62-47 victory over Escanaba Holy Name in a quarterfinal contest at Cheboygan and the Rouge matchup in the semifinals. “Time just flew by,” he said. Unfortunately the game didn’t. At the intermission, both teams were scoring in the twenties with the Panthers in front by a few. But Jerry Jacques, Ludington’s 6-4 defensive stopper, had three firsthalf fouls, according to Sadosty, and he picked up his fourth early in the third period. And then came Rouge’s vaunted pressure. “They went after us and we

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struggled,” said Sadosty, who was following the fortunes of this year’s Orioles along with a slew of other Ludingtonites that includes former LHS coach Gene Shank, Thad’s father; Don Barbo, longtime LHS girls basketball coach; Mike Robinson; and Stan Willson. The final score was 77-47 and the day after that, Rouge went on to win its third straight state championship and 11th overall. “We had some good games against Lofton,” Sadosty added. “You know, Mike Larsen had some good games against Rouge. Lofton had a lot of clout in the state on potential all-state players and I think that had a lot to do with Mike making all-state two years in a row.” Larsen, a 6-6 junior center, scored 32 points in the regular season meeting and 18 in the state semifinal game. The next year he burned the Panthers for 25 points and he went on to star for Toledo University before playing and coaching professionally in Europe. Rouge was led by Al Boswell, who starred for Oral Roberts University, and Leighton Moulton. Today, Ludington and River Rouge rank among the top 10 most boys basketball programs in Michigan with both having well over 1,000 victories. The Panthers have won 41 district championships, 28 regional titles and have won 14 state titles in 20 tries. The Orioles have won 35 districts and 13 regionals and been to the semifinals six times and been a state runner-up once. In 2017, the memories of those clashes of Ludington and River Rouge flooded back thanks to a state semifinal pairing.

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O, MY: Laman lifts Ludington in overtime EAST LANSING — The first 3-pointer Joshua Laman nailed this season will be one he’ll remember for the rest of his life. Laman scored his first longrange shot as time expired in overtime Friday to give eighth-ranked Ludington a 51-50 victory over ancient nemesis and second-ranked River Rouge in an MHSAA Class B boys basketball state semifinal at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center in East Lansing. “I really don’t what to say to that. I love the fight in our kids. We haven’t played in a lot of close basketball games this year, but they never gave up,” Ludington coach Thad Shank said. “They made good decisions down the stretch in chaos. It’s hard to play with a lead in basketball. Huge shot by Josh Laman,… and we get a chance to play another day.” Laman got the ball from his older brother, Noah, after Noah drove the lane and passed the ball. “Josiah Bandstra got a huge offensive rebound, kicked it out to

GAME 27: SEMIFINAL — LHS VS. RIVER ROUGE

LUDINGTON 51, RIVER ROUGE 50 (OT), AT BRESLIN STUDENT EVENTS CENTER IN EAST LANSING

me. I tried to get something, but I saw my brother out of the corner of my eye — I don’t know why I passed it to him — but he was open. “Got him the ball, and he made the shot.” That set off a wild celebration where the Orioles raced to their orange-clad crowd that filled more than quarter of the lower bowl of the Breslin Center. The celebration for generations of Ludington’s fans was all spurred by a post player that was all of 0-for-9 from 3-point range all season. “That was his first. Now, he likes to shoot them, and coach kind of gives him a cross-eyed look on occasion,” Shank said. “He’s a kid that works hard on his game. He can play inside, or out.” Ludington (25-2) had to rally twice in the waning minutes of both regulation and overtime to

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earn the trip to Saturday’s Class B state championship game against New Haven (26-1). The Rockets won, 78-49. Ludington trailed by as much as nine points with 1:48 left to play when Associated Press All-Stater Darian Owens-White scored on a pair of free throws with Calvin Hackert getting tagged for the foul. Hackert seemingly put Ludington on his back in the final 1:32 of the fourth quarter. He sank a 3-pointer, followed by a basket by Noah Laman. Then hit a long-range 3-pointer near the nose of the Spartan logo on Michigan State’s floor. Ludington forced a turnover when River Rouge (24-2) couldn’t get the ball over half-court in time, and that set up Hackert with a split of two free throws with 20.3 seconds left. The Panthers had two chances to score in the final seconds in regulation. Owens-White got an open

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look just inside the 3-point line on the wing, but the shot didn’t go. Jairus Grisson gathered a rebound and tried to put a shot in, but it didn’t fall. “Ludington had us off-balance with what they were doing,” River Rouge coach Mark White said. “Once we settled down a little bit, our competitive drive and our defensive pressure got us back in the game. “The key element was our inefficiency and ineffectiveness on offense, and again, you have to give Ludington credit for that.” To start both the fourth quarter and overtime, River Rouge stalled for several minutes. It made Ludington have to play defense. The Panthers took a lead with OwensWhite scoring on a pair of free throws with 1:15 to go in overtime to make it 49-44. Joshua Laman scored on a pair of free throws to draw the game to three points, 49-46, but Grisson responded by splitting two free throws for a two-possession game,

One Team One Dream

50-47, fouling out Hackert in the process. Not only was Hackert out by that time, but so was Ludington’s best on-ball defender, Sam LaDuke, who fouled out in the fourth quarter. “I have a lot of faith in our bench,” Shank said. “There’s been numerous occasions where they made plays in key situation… People who watch this team play know there’s no quit in this basketball team.” Josiah Bandstra scored on an assist from his brother Cameron, and the next play was a doubledribble violation to River Rouge. That set up all of the heroics of Joshua Laman. Outside of the excitement of the fourth quarter and overtime, Ludington built an early lead in the first quarter, 10-6, and carried out to as much as 11 early in the third quarter. Will Sadler hit a buzzerbeating 3-pointer to end the first quarter as a part of that stretch. SEE O, MY, 18

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GAME 28: FINAL — LHS VS. NEW HAVEN

NEW HAVEN 45, LUDINGTON 36, AT BRESLIN STUDENT EVENTS CENTER

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‘We’re champions’ LHS’ Shank proud of state runner-up finish

MITCH GALLOWAY | DAILY NEWS

Ludington’s basketball players, including from left Josh Thompson, Jared Collins (top), Calvin Hackert, Sam LaDuke (on floor), Will Sadler (face down) and Nathan Lange, celebrate the team’s victory against River Rouge Friday night, March 24, in East Lansing.

O, MY: Ludington gets miracle victory in state semifinal FROM PAGE 17

“We had two of our post players hit two big 3s, tonight. That one and Will Sadler hit one,” Shank said. “When you’ve got five guys that can stretch the defense, that’s awesome.” Back came River Rouge. The Panthers forced eight turnovers in by Ludington in the second quarter, cutting Ludington’s cushion to 19-18 by halftime. The Panthers took a lead early in the third quarter, getting out to as much as four points, but Ludington would fight back at various points. Ludington trailed, 32-28, going into the fourth quarter. And that’s when things went all sorts of crazy. Ludington, for the first time in three tries, tamed River Rouge in a state semifinal game. The two teams previously met in 1971 and in 1954 in the state semifi-

nals, both at Jenison Fieldhouse here at Michigan State. Both of those instances were losses to the Panthers. The Orioles, though, have a three-game winning streak against River Rouge. “There’s a lot of people well aware of this rivalry,” Cameron Bandstra said. “Our community, they come completely around this team. It’s just so special.” “We hadn’t talked about all week long. We’ve just prepared for this all week long,” Shank said. “That’s what they’ve done. “My dad was a head coach at Ludington, and my dad’s best friend was a coach at Ludington right during that era of Lofton Greene and River Rouge. I know being a young kid, driving down and playing River Rouge, when I was 7 or 8-years-old in a bus, that was a huge deal for me. “I know there’s a lot of guys like Mike Larsen who

played in that ’71 game that are really cheering us on right now. It was very rare to beat those River Rouge teams. We’re excited to be moving on because that’s a heck of a basketball team we beat. “We made a statement that we belong.” Ludington will now take on New Haven, the thirdranked team in the state when the polls were last released. The Orioles were led by Hackert’s 20 points with Joshua Laman scoring 11 points. Sadler scored seven points off of the bench. Owens-White scored 19 points to lead River Rouge while Jayvien Torrance scored 10 with Grisson scoring nine points. But it all goes back to Joshua Laman, who hit that critical shot. Older brother Noah said he wasn’t sure what his brother was thinking.

Or really anyone. “I don’t even think words can describe what’s going through all of our heads right now,” Noah Laman said. “He’s probably just thanking God every second.” “He’s probably thinking, when I get back to that locker room,” Shank interjected, “he’ll look coach Shank in the eye and say, ‘Told you coach, I should shoot these 3s all year long.’ “I know what he’s thinking.” LUDINGTON (51) LaDuke 0 3-4 3, J.Laman 4 2-3 11, Hackert 6 4-7 20, N.Laman 1 1-1 3, J.Bandstra 2 2-2 6, C.Bandstra 0 1-2 1, Sadler 3 0-0 7. Totals: 16 13-19 51. RIVER ROUGE (50) Bell 1 5-7 7, Grisson 2 5-8 5, Peterson 2 1-3 5, Owens-White 5 9-9 19, Torrance 4 2-4 10. Totals: 14 22-31 50. Ludington . . . . 10 9 9 15 8 — 51 River Rouge . . 6 12 14 11 7 — 50 3-point goals—Ludington (6): J.Laman, Hackert 4, Sadler. Total fouls—Ludington: 24, River Rouge 18. Fouled out—Ludington: Hackert, LaDuke. Technical fouls—none.

EAST LANSING — Sometimes you’re hot, and sometimes… Less than 24 hours after the shots were falling for Ludington’s boys basketball team, the Orioles didn’t have the same shooting touch against New Haven as the Rockets won the MHSAA Class B state championship in front of 11,227 at Michigan State’s Breslin Center in East Lansing, 45-36. Ludington (25-3) shot just 11 of 49 from the floor against New Haven for 22.4 percent, and the missed shots were too much to overcome. The Orioles shot for 41 percent in the state semifinals against River Rouge, also at the Breslin Center, for a 51-50 victory. That included the miracle 3-pointer by Joshua Laman in overtime to send him and his Ludington teammates to the state championship game. “I couldn’t be more prouder of this basketball team. I felt like we stepped out there on the court and did absolutely everything we talked about doing,” Shank said. “I thought we had a little bit of control of the game offensively. We had the pace we wanted… A team that really rebounds the ball, we defensively we did a good job of keeping them off (of) the boards. “We just couldn’t make shots.” “They’re a great team. I take my hat off to them,” New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. “They play a tough zone (defense). They hold teams to shooting bad. I think they held teams to like 36 points per game. Great team. We couldn’t score. “We had to find a way to score off of our defense… We wanted to speed them

up, and we sensed they were a little bit tired. We had to make a run somehow, and we got a lift from the defense.” The shots for Ludington in the state final, whether they were the perimeter 3-pointers they enjoyed in this long journey through the 201617 season or the shots close in to the basket, simply didn’t find their way through the nylon. “They’re long, and athletic, and they make it hard to finish,” Shank said. “We got a lot of great looks tonight, and that’s the game of basketball. Sometimes, they don’t always go in.” New Haven (27-1) had a big hand in that, especially the Associated Press Class B Player of the Year, Rockets sophomore Romeo Weems. Weems had 19 points, 10 rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals. Of those 19 points, a handful were on thunderous dunks on both ends of the floor with a crowd that included his potential college coach, MSU’s Tom Izzo. Weems has offers already from Michigan State, Ohio State and Oakland University. Weems wasn’t the only one, though, to alter the way Ludington played. New Haven’s length overall made it hard for Ludington, and the Orioles were out-rebounded, 22-14, for the contest. “Where we play, we just aren’t matching up with that level of athleticism on a regular basis,” Shank said. “They’re playing above the rim. We’re probably the only team at the Breslin Center that doesn’t have a guy who has dunked a basketball in a high school game. It’s obviously going to have an effect. SEE CHAMPS, 19


FRIDAY, MARCH 31, 2017

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CHAMPS: Ludington returns home as state runner-up FROM PAGE 18

“That’s why they’re state champions.” The Orioles were able to keep pace through the first quarter, but the lack of shot-making started to come in the second quarter. Ludington was 3-of14 in the second quarter alone. The missed shots led to rebounds by New Haven with quick runouts to get the Rockets’ offense going. That especially was the case late in the first half. Ludington flew out to an 8-point lead on a pair of free throws by Noah Laman with 6:02 left in the second quarter, 15-8. New Haven rallied, closing out the half on a 16-4 run which included one of those Weems dunks. And rather than Ludington beating a buzzer on Saturday — something that has happened more than once in a game throughout the season — New Haven’s Erick Williams Jr. drew a foul with 0.2 seconds left on a 3-point attempt. He hit all three for a four-point halftime lead, 23-19. He finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. The teams exchanged leads 14 times

in the game, and it was tied five times. Several of those lead changes came in the third quarter with the Rockets owning a 31-30 lead after the stanza was over. “It was absolutely where we wanted it to be,” Shank said. “You know, we were hoping to have the ability to control this game with our offense. Be patient, but force them to guard a lot of things.” Another dry spell shooting in the fourth quarter hurt Ludington. New Haven got out to an 13-point lead as the Orioles missed their first 11 shots of the fourth quarter. When Calvin Hackert broke through on a 3-pointer, it was a 10-point game with 1:31 left to play. Given what happened Friday night against River Rouge, France wasn’t exactly comfortable. “I told them in the huddle, ‘Look (River) Rouge was up nine with under two minutes left, and (Ludington) won it. Let’s get it,’” France said. “The kids responded.” New Haven was able to score enough free throws, and Ludington continued to miss shots, to hand the Rockets the

championship. Ludington’s boys basketball team brought home the state runner-up trophy for the second time in school history, matching the feat by the 1952-53 team that was led by Retro Mr. Basketball winner and All-Stater Peter Tillotson. It was Ludington’s sixth trip to the state semifinals, with the last time coming in 1971-72. The Orioles were led by senior Calvin Hackert with 16 points with senior Sam LaDuke scoring 10 points. Senior Noah Laman had 10 rebounds and six points. Bringing home the Class B state finalist trophy, though, may have one label. Shank had another. “In my book, we’re champions,” he said. LUDINGTON (36) LaDuke 2 6-6 10, J.Laman 1 0-0 2, Hackert 5 2-2 16, N.Laman 2 2-2 6, Sadler 1 0-0 2. Totals: 11 10-10 36. NEW HAVEN (45) Eric Williams Jr. 5 4-5 14, Sherrell 2 0-0 4, Jeffery 1 0-0 2, Crawford 1 0-0 2, Weems 5 8-11 19, Oliver 1 2-2 4. Totals: 15 14-18 45. Ludington . . . . . 11 8 11 6 — 36 New Haven . . . 7 16 8 14 — 45 3-point goals—Ludington (4): Hackert 4. New Haven (1): Weems. Total fouls—Ludington 16, New Haven 13. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none.

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Ludington’s boys basketball team receives its MHSAA Class B state finalist trophy from coach Thad Shank Saturday, March 25.

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