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Macomb Township

March 20, 2012

Crusaders win regional

LCN boys basketball team makes historic run

By Jon Malavolti
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Macomb L’Anse Creuse North junior Tyler Conklin, pictured during districts being defended by Dakota’s Connor Wonsowicz, led the Crusaders to their first-ever regional championship last week. The Crusaders advanced to play in the state quarterfinals, after press time.

FAIR HAVEN — Macomb L’Anse Creuse North’s boys basketball team continued to rewrite program history in exciting fashion last week.

The Crusaders, fresh off of winning their first-ever district title, won the program’s first-ever regional championship March 14 at Fair Haven Anchor Bay.

LCN (21-4) advanced to play in a Class A state quarterfinal against Lake Orion (16-9) after press time. Visit our website at www.candgnews.com for updates from the state tournament, including a recap and photo gallery from the quarterfinal.

The quarterfinal winner next takes on the winner of the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s and Saginaw High quarterfinal in a 2:30 p.m. March 23 state semifinal at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center. The Class A state final is slated for 4 p.m. March 24.

Regional recap
The Crusaders edged Fraser High and Detroit Denby in the regional semifinal and final, respectively, to advance to the quarters. LCN beat Fraser 51-50 and Denby 43-41 in games at Anchor Bay that both went down to the wire, featuring some last-second heroics by the Crusaders.

“It’s been a team effort all year,” LCN coach Jay Seletsky said. “It’s a different guy stepping up every time.”

Seletsky said his team’s “coachability” was key to the team’s postseason success, having won five games in 10 days when you add the district round to the mix.

“This team is so coachable,” he said. “Our kids were very coachable on defense and did what they had to do. It’s an unbelievable grind. A lot of this credit goes to their attention, their coachability, and also their desire and heart.”

Late in the regional final against Denby, the coaching staff reminded the players that they were more than capable of closing out another tight game.

“The kids have been battle-tested all year,” Seletsky said. “We reminded them again with about 30 seconds to go: We win these close games, they don’t. We’ve done it all year, and it’s been hectic. It’s been a long stretch.”

Junior Tyler Conklin said the run made “school history.”

“We’ve never won a regional game in school history. To win a regional championship feels great,” Conklin said. “We knew we could do it. We knew it was going to be a tough game, and we came out on top.

“I can’t even explain it. It’s crazy. It feels great.”

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Jon Malavolti at jmalavolti@candgnews.com or at (586)498-1040. Twitter Follow Jon on Twitter.