REESE — Never mind Harbor Beach’s 94-51 setback to Saginaw Buena Vista here Monday night in the Class C regional semifinals.
Despite the loss, coach Ron Wruble is proud of a team which could have threw in the towel just 11 days ago.
“We have some talent, but that is not why we are where we are at,” Wruble said. “These kids work their tails off — and that’s the main reason why we’ve won.”
Two Thursdays ago, the Pirates suffered a crushing home loss to Sandusky, ruining their chances at back-to-back Greater Thumb East championships.
Wruble, though, coached them through that, eventually leading them to three tournament victories en route to their second straight district championship.
“I would have been very disappointed if this team didn’t come away with at least something, with the way they have worked and the season they had,” Wruble said.
Here Monday night, the Pirates stayed close for a quarter, but eventually wound up playing right into Buena Vista’s wheelhouse. The Knights racked up 34 second-quarter points, turning a tight 15-13 edge into a commanding 49-24 bulge at the half.
“That's a great basketball team and they were hitting everything,” Wruble said. “We played the first quarter like we played all season. We scrapped and fought hard for buckets. But that's a skilled and athletic Buena Vista team.”
Nobody showed off their skills more than Buena Vista senior George Goodman, who poured in 17 of his game-high 27 points in the second quarter, sparking a 14-2 run for the Knights over the first 2:30 of the period.
From there, the shellshocked Pirates had little chance to keep pace with a team whose goal is a state championship.
Last season, the Knights picked up an 81-65 decision over the Pirates in the regional title game. From there, though, they lost to eventual state champion Melvindale Academy for Business and Technology in the quarterfinals.
Buena Vista, coached by 1996 Owendale-Gagetown graduate Austin Brinkman, has a chance for another regional crown when it takes on New Haven in the finals Wednesday. New Haven picked up a 65-54 win over Saginaw Nouvel in Monday’s other semifinal matchup.
Besides Goodman, Buena Vista had Malik Houston with 18 points while Dwayne Farris added 14, Derrick Washington 13 and George Smithers 10.
Harbor Beach had Andrew Siemen with 12 points while Sean Sorenson added 11, Aaron Ginther nine and Scott Grekowicz eight.
Like last season, Harbor Beach loses eight seniors — Grekowicz, Sorenson, Ryan Arntz, Doug Booms, Kyle Booms, Ryan Maurer, Dustin Mazure and Kevin Kraft. The Pirates, though, will return three starters next year, as well as several key reserves.
Harbor Beach finishes 17-6.
|Harbor Beach senior guard Scott Grekowicz drives to the basket against Saginaw Buena Vista’s George Smithers (34) and George Goodman (5) during the second half of the Class C regional semifinals Monday night in Reese.|
|Harbor Beach's Sean Sorenson drives around Buena Vista's Evellis McGee.|
|Harbor Beach's Eli Kraft and Aaron Ginther battle for a loose ball.|
|Harbor Beach’s Dustin Mazure is fouled by Saginaw Buena Vista’s Malik Houston in the second half.|