2004-03-11 / Front Page

Bobcat’s final effort fall short in district play

A last minute effort by the Houghton Lake Bobcat varsity basketball team fell short Tuesday night in Grayling and allowed the Kalkaska Blue Blazers to capture the District 63 Class B tournament game 61-57.

The Bobcats were down 11 points with 1:58 left on the game clock when Coach Eric Drogt went to a “quicker line-up” and got to within 2 points when junior guard Eric Spearman hit a 3-point goal.

“I was extremely proud of the determination that our kids showed in the closing two minutes,” Drogt said. “They made one heck of a comeback. We came within one call and one basket of playing on Thursday. Those young men really showed some heart and nearly pulled it out of the fire for us.”

The Bobcats trailed Kalkaska 7-6 at the end of the first quarter and the teams tied at 26 at the half. Kalkaska had a 15-12 third quarter advantage and a 20-19 fourth quarter advantage.

The Bobcats were as cold as ice shooting just 19.6% for field goals, 13% for 3-point goals and 35% from the foul line.

“The kids are very disappointed about the outcome of this game. They knew it would not be an easy road to repeat as District champs,” Drogt said. “We gave it our best effort, but sometimes that is not good enough. Two things really came back to haunt us. We missed some easy inside shots, and shot our free throws miserably (6-17). If we could have done better in just one of those areas, it would have been enough to give us the edge we needed.”

Four Bobcats scored in double figures, Spearman had 15, Andrew Fossitt had 12, Brian Suchowesky 12 and Mike Blasky 10. The Bobcats had nine turnovers while Kalkaska had 16 and the Bobcats led in rebounds 44-38.

Fossitt claimed 13 rebounds and had five assists, Spearman had 8 rebounds, Blasky 4 rebounds, Suchowesky 3 rebounds and 2 assists, David Blanchard had four rebounds.

“Kalkaska has a very scrappy team, and played a very solid game,” Drogt said. “Our defense was tough the entire game except for a couple of key possessions when we had a bit of a mental let-down.

“I am proud of the effort that my team has given me all year in games and practices. They have been a great group to be around, and should be proud of their accomplishments,” Drogt said.

Houghton Lake scoring: Jory Klumpp 1-0-2; Fossitt 6-2-14; David Blanchard 0-1-1; Spearman 1-6-0-15; Suchowesky 2-3-0-12; Blasky 4-2-10 and Devyn Blanchard 1-1-3. Totals 3-21-6-57. Houghton Lake hit 6 of 15 foul shots and had 21 fouls.

Kalkaska scoring: Scott Wood 3-1-7; David Comai 2-0-4; Chris Vandergriff 0-3-3; Cori Heier 2-4-5-19; Daryl Dimon 1-1-0-5; Tim McColley 1-1-3; David Rios 1-3-1-10; David Park 0-1-1 and Scott Fry 4-1-9. Totals 4-18-13-61. Kalkaska hit 15 of 22 free throws and had 21 fouls.

The Bobcats finished their season 18-3 overall and were ranked in the final Associated Press rankings in honorable mention and were in the Top 10 Detroit Free Press poll.

Roscommon lost its tournament game with Grayling 71-40.

The semi final games are Thursday night at 6 p.m. with Harrison taking on Cheboygan and 8 p.m. with Grayling and Kalkaska playing. The tourney final is Friday at 7 p.m. in Grayling High School gymnasium. Harrison defeated Sault Ste. Marie 61-43.

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