Buckley, Hillman to Clash in Quarterfinals

BUCKLEY – The Buckley boys basketball program finds itself one win away from reaching the state semifinals for the second straight year.

Standing in the way of the Bears is an undefeated Hillman squad that is looking to extend its historic campaign.

Buckley (19-5) and Hillman (24-0) will square off in a highly-anticipated matchup at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Gaylord.

“The message to my kids is take care of the ball,” Buckley coach Blair Moss said. “They do put the pressure on, they press. It’s going to come down to the little things. They might put on so much pressure that you might not want an offense. So if we just break the pressure, I said we’ll make them pay for it.”

The reigning Class D state runner-up Bears face a Tigers program that is seeking its first appearance in a state title game. Hillman got past Rogers City (60-41), Posen (69-32), Suttons Bay (71-62) and Mio (48-44) to reach the quarterfinals.

“It would mean a lot, not to just us, but to the community to going back two years in a row,” Buckley senior Joey Weber said. “It’s helped leave a legacy here, I’ll tell you. It’s cool to watch the young kids look up to you.”

Buckley has reached the quarterfinals thanks to wins over Bear Lake (82-36), Brethren (74-30), Muskegon Heights Academy (70-48) and Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart (66-44).

“It would be awesome for our fans and everything,” Buckley senior Austin Harris said. “Like we said, we made it last year, we had some unfinished business from last year, you know, getting second. And hopefully we do it for our community, for our fans.”

Tipoff Tuesday is set for 7 p.m.

Categories: Boys Basketball