ERIE, Mich. — Three seconds into Friday night’s Class C boys basketball district final, Whiteford’s Colin Lake had three points — all on free throws. It was a sign of things to come.
Lake went on to make 15 free throws — including the first 12 he shot — as Whiteford defeated Erie Mason 61-51 to claim its first district championship in five years.
“That kind of got me going,” the 5-foot-7 senior said. “It was right away, so I was kind of pumped after that.”
Lake poured in 32 points as Whiteford (18-4) advanced to Monday’s regional at Clinton, Mich. He scored 13 points in the fourth quarter when Erie Mason — down 10 for much of the game — tried to trap him out top. He drove around the defenders four times for layups.
“Colin is a very good basketball player,” Erie Mason coach Kevin Skaggs said. “He has been doing that for four years. It’s hard to trap him because he is such a good ball handler. He’s the best ball handler in the county. He has been for years.”
John Reditt scored nine points for the Bobcats, while Mitch Iott added eight. Zack Perry had seven rebounds.
“We had a lot of guys step up and play well for us,” Whiteford coach Jim Ross said. “We were in foul trouble, so we slowed it down a little bit, more than we are used to. We want to run, but we’ll do what we have to do to win.”
Jeff Banachowski scored six points early as the Eagles (9-13) tried pounding the ball inside. Erie Mason led 8-7 on a basket by Steve Gale with 4:19 left in the opening quarter. But, the Bobcats closed the quarter on a 11-0 run.
Whiteford maintained that lead for most of the rest of the game until the Eagles’ C.J. Henning dropped in two 3-pointers and Mike Malak hit a jumper to cut the score to 53-45 with 4:48 left in the game. A Lake layup, free throws by Troy Diller and Perry, and a two more by Lake iced the game.
Allen finsihed with 21 points, while Banachowski had 13 points and 17 rebounds.
Whiteford will next face Clinton, a team it beat twice in the regular season.
“We have been working with that group of seniors for a long time,” Ross said. “It feels good for this group to finally win a district. They’ve worked hard for this. It’s very rewarding.”
Lake, who has 1,853 career points, agreed.
"This is a special feeling," he said. "To go out and win a district in our senior year is great."
Bedford falls to Ypsilanti in Class C district final
YPSILANTI, Mich. — Corey Allen scored 22 and Jaylon Johnson added 20 as Ypsilanti defeated Bedford 69-52 in a Class A boys basketball district final at Lincoln High School.
Brad Boss led the Mules (14-8) with 17 points, while Dylan Barr and Jeremy Harris each had 14.
In different divisions of the Souteastern Conference, Bedford lost a 48-47 decision to Ypsilanti in the regular season.
The Grizzlies (20-2) led 18-13 after the first quarter, 39-15 at half, and 57-46 after three quarters.