Lake Leelanau St. Mary Prepares for First State Semifinal
EAST LANSING — Lake Leelanau St. Mary will make its first state semifinal appearance in boys basketball on Thursday, taking on Ewen-Trout Creek in the Div. 4 state semifinals at the Breslin Center.
The Eagles won their first regional title since 1950 over McBain NMC and are coming off a 60-46 win over Fulton in the quarterfinals. They have won 19 of their last 20 after starting the season 2-3. That one loss came against Benzie Central.
“We just worked hard like we always do. And this team, we had such a good bond, such a good brother-ship,” St. Mary senior August Schaub said. “We always know how to play and never give up.”
“We’ve talked about it for the last two to three years, and we knew we had a special group and we just had to put all the pieces together,” St. Mary head coach Matt Barnowski said.
The Eagles will face one of their toughest tests of the season against Ewen-Trout Creek, who had the second-best Michigan Power Rating in Division 4. St. Mary had the ninth-best. The Panthers are coming off a 56-40 win over Rudyard in the state quarterfinals and before that defeated Powers North Central, 56-44. Both of those opponents had top-five MPRs.
They also feature a lineup loaded with size, with three players standing 6-foot-4 or taller: Jaden Borseth (18.8 points per game), Eric Abramson (13.7 points per game) and Kelsey Jilek (10.9 points per game).
St. Mary has some players that can score the ball as well with Dylan Barnowski scoring 21.2 points per game and Shawn Bramer averaging 20.4 points per contest.
“We’re going to start a crash-course and, you know, start looking at film and see what we can come up with. They’re going to be tough just like any U.P. team,” Matt Barnowski said.
The game will tip off at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday. The winner advances to the state championship on Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.