Here is his report...
OWENDALE — A lot has happened since 1991.
The country has had four presidents, including a pair of Bushes. The average price of gas was $1.14 per gallon, and it was the last time Akron-Fairgrove won a boys district championship.
The Vikings ended the drought Friday night with a hard-fought 48-44 victory over nemesis North Huron.
“There was three things motivating us,” said Akron-Fairgrove coach Adam Moore. “No. 1, it would be our first district championship in 20 years. The second one was going home to the regionals. The third one was redemption on how they beat us last year in the finals and how they beat us two times this year.
“I don’t know what to think, it’s just sinking in right now. The kids feel very privileged. They are very excited right now. I think it will start to sink in tomorrow.”
Akron-Fairgrove led 44-42 with 1:33 to play, but Erik Dhyse tied the game with a driving layup with just over a minute left.
The Warriors had a chance to take the lead with less than 30 seconds to play, but turned the ball over. It allowed the Vikings to set up the eventual game-winning play.
With 19 seconds to go, senior Joey Dybilas drilled an open jumper.
“In our first two meetings, he had 13 and 17, we viewed him as just as much of a threat a (Tyler) Crane,” said North Huron coach Dave Toner. “We were sagging inside to help and he drilled a couple crucial baskets.”
Added Moore: “He made the play. I’m happy that he stepped up as a senior to make a couple of big plays.”
Still, the Warriors had a chance to tie or win the game, but Crane came through with a steal with 3.5 seconds to play. He made a pair of free throws to seal the game.
North Huron led 23-20 at the half, and extended it to 27-22 in the first three minutes of the third quarter. From there, both teams went cold from the field until Crane finally hit a triple with 3:45 left in the period.
“We had that five-point lead, but we just couldn’t build on it,” Toner said. “We couldn’t get the shots to fall when we needed them to. If we could have built a little lead there, we would have tried to slow it down.
“We wanted to attack the middle and we had trouble getting the ball inside all night. We just weren’t flashing the middle real well.”
Dybilas had 16 points to pace the Vikings while Brett Stockton added 11 points.
Dhyse led North Huron with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Rice added 13 points and five boards. Mike Schramski had six points and eight rebounds.
Toner was happy with the defense his team played, but thinks it may have come at the cost of some offense.
“We wanted to push it against them, but we exerted a lot of energy on defense,” he said. “For the most part, we did play some pretty decent man-to-man defense out there.
“We did want to push, but we were tired a little bit.”
Akron-Fairgrove will return home to host Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary on Monday in the regional semifinals.
“Playing at Akron-Fairgrove in the regionals is going to be packed,” Moore said. “I hope we have the mindset of going to win, not just being happy with this district championship.”
North Huron finishes 13-9.