Rochester High boys basketball coach John Pleasant admits the loss in the Class A district final hurts.
The Falcons fell to Lake Orion High 48-44 March 9 at Rochester Adams.
Rochester’s last title came in 1988, and it’s played in three finals since then.
“We were definitely disappointed, but we talked about how the season isn’t judged on one game, and I know in college and high school often times it is,” Pleasant said. “There’s a reason we have a season and the playoffs. They did a lot of good things, and the seniors won 36 games the last two years. All of that doesn’t just get erased because we came up short on one day.”
Rochester finishes the season 20-2 overall and with its second straight Oakland Activities Association Blue Division title.
“I think it’s a very, very successful season. We were one win away from tying the mark of the most wins in a season,” the coach said.
Against Lake Orion, which went on to win a regional title, Pleasant said the game went back and forth before the Dragons hit a 3-pointer with a minute left to take a two-point lead that they wouldn’t give up.
In the semis, Rochester beat Adams 50-47 in double overtime. Pleasant said it was an emotional game, but not an excuse for losing to Lake Orion.
“The legs might have had something to do with it, but really, it was a matter of we didn’t hit some timely shots and they did,” he said.
Still, Pleasant knows that winning 20 games in any season is an accomplishment. He credited much of it to the team’s chemistry and senior leadership.
“Everyone else, from top down, whether guys played a lot or a little, they all bought into what their role was,” he said.
The Falcons say goodbye to seniors Paris Pereria, Sean McCann, Mike Klotz, Greg Johnson, Jagan Plzak, Nate Barton, Taylor Perry, Kurt Apostol and Lawrence Walls.
“I think that the senior class was huge for our program. It was the first class that I saw all the way through, and they definitely left their print,” Pleasant said. “I think our program is better because of it and because of them. I think we’ll build upon this success. I’m not saying we’ll win 20 games, but we’ll compete and a lot of that is because of the confidence these kids brought.”