Forty-Three Years in the Making: Lake City Looks to Continue Historic Season

LAKE CITY – The year was 1976, and Lake City had just won the MHSAA Class D girls basketball state championship with a 58-48 victory Perkins.

The championship was the program’s first and marked the second straight year that Lake City had advanced to at least the semifinals in a state tournament that was still in its infancy after beginning in 1973.

Flash forward 43 years later and the Trojans are regional champions for the first time since taking home their only state championship.

Lake City won a Division 3 regional title last Wednesday with a 47-25 win over another team looking to end a title drought in Hart.

“The girls are focused. They want to keep going,” Lake City coach Bill Tisron said. “They don’t want this season to end. Our motto has been, “Win so we can practice tomorrow,” so that’s our goal tomorrow. We’re going to win tomorrow so we can practice on Wednesday.”

The Trojans will face Ishpeming Westwood in a state quarterfinal Tuesday at Gaylord. The winner secures a spot in Thursday’s semifinal at Calvin College’s Van Noord Arena.

“It’s really exciting,” Lake City junior Rylie Bisballe said. “When I get to come back here in later years, I’ll just know that I was a part of this team and it was so exciting.”

Lake City faces a Westwood (24-1) team that suffered its only loss back on Jan. 18 to Negaunee (46-36). The Patriots recorded postseason wins over Negaunee (49-37), Bark River-Harris (63-45), Gwinn (58-51), Iron River West Iron County (50-46) and Charlevoix (47-29).

“We worked a lot on our defense and then running the ball and making sure we’re back on defense,” Lake City senior Makayla Ardis said. “It’s going to be a tough game, but we’re ready.”

“The girls just played tremendous defense,” added Tisron. “That’s really what we’ve been hanging our hat on, just stopping people and keeping everyone in front of us. I enjoy coming to practice. So do they, so it’s not a chore at this point. We’re ready to be here.

Tuesday’s quarterfinal contest tips off at 7 p.m.

Categories: Girls Basketball