District champions are crowned: Posen defeats Wolverine to win first district title since 2012
Posen defeats Wolverine to win first district title since 2012
HILLMAN — For the first time in seven years, the Posen boys basketball team can call itself a district champion.
The Vikings captured the district crown on Friday in dominating fashion as they blew out Wolverine 93-42 at Hillman High School.
With the one-sided victory, Posen won its first district title since 2012 and first under head coach Chris Keller, who is in his third season with the Vikings.
Despite the ups-and-downs in Keller’s first three seasons at Posen, Keller knew that eventually the Vikings could get back to the top of the district mountain and the Vikings were able prove their coach right on Friday.
“It’s amazing. It was rough early and we knew it was going to be rough, but our seniors have worked extremely hard and our juniors worked hard and this group has set the tone for our program,” Keller said. “I told these seniors when they were sophomores, they could be apart of something special and win a district title, compete in the region and just flat out win games. It took them a while to believe it and I’m just happy to be here with them. You can have ideas as a coach, but if you don’t have kids like these guys to put forth the effort, those ideas won’t come true. I’m just lucky to be apart of it.”
Wolverine opened the game and may have caught the Vikings off guard by taking an 8-4 lead.
The contest changed in a hurry as Posen started to rev up the pressure defensively and it led to easy offense. The Vikings blew the game wide open, scoring 33 unanswered points over a six-minute stretch from the middle of the first quarter to the early stages of the second to take a 37-8 lead.
“This was always a dream to bring home a district title and I always thought it was obtainable, but I just figured if we put in the work, had discipline and conditioned, these type of things could come and here we are,” Keller said. “It all became more of a reality when the kids put in the work during the offseason and we started to believe it was a real thing that could happen and I’m just lucky that it did.”
After going on a huge run, the Vikings never looked back and continued building momentum. They ended the second half in style when Jared Sharpe launched a shot from just inside of half court as time expired and nailed it to send the Vikings into the break with a commanding 48-21 lead.
Sharpe finished the game with 26 points and hit five threes.
The Vikings continued to pour it on in the second half and got plenty of offensive production from the entire roster as everyone got into the game and contributed.
Jeremy Misiak led all scorers with 27 points for the Vikings, Mark Wisniewski finished with 13 points and George Kroll connected on three triples to finish with nine points.
“It’s huge to get everyone playing time, especially in a game like this. It’s really important because I tell all of the kids that they’re all equally valuable to the program,” Keller said. “If I didn’t have the buy in from all of the guys, then we wouldn’t be here. Without them, without the guys who don’t see the floor or see their name in the paper, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
The Vikings will now advance to Tuesday’s regional semifinal game against Cedarville in St. Ignace at 5:15 p.m.
The two teams met in the season opener and the Trojans came away with a 62-47 victory.
Posen will have history on its side as the winner of their district has gone on to win at least one regional game in each of the past eight years.
“We’ve developed since that first meeting as I expect they have too. I think if we can just bring the intensity that we bring most nights and bring our defensive pressure and rebounding, there’s no reason we can’t win a regional game or regional championship,” Keller said. “I told the kids in the locker room that this is great, but there’s more to come. The message for our team is we’re not done and today, still, we’re not done. That’s the motto right now, we’re not done.”
BOX SCORE: Field goals made/Free-throws made/Free-throws attempted/Total points
POSEN (93): J. Sharpe, 10 1-1 26; W. Romel, 3 0-0 6; M. Wisniewski, 5 0-0 13; J. Zdybel, 1 0-0 3; G. Kroll, 3 0-0 9; J. Misiak, 11 4-5 27; S. Brunet, 1 0-0 2; E. Hincka, 2 0-0 4; A. Brunet, 1 0-0 3.
WOLVERINE (42): W. Deikatz, 1 0-0 3; N. Mankowski, 7 1-3 20; N. perry, 4 0-0 9; M. Nelson, 3 0-0 8; M. Straub, 1 0-0 2.