Troy High boys basketball coach Gary Fralick made sure his team watched Waterford Mott celebrate its Class A district title March 9 at Athens.
“The joy on their kids’ faces, the coaches and the fans, we soaked it all in,” Fralick said. “Hopefully, (we’ll) remember that, and if they do, that’ll just be an extra advantage for us next year.”
Troy fell to Mott 58-53.
Fralick said the Corsairs hit seven of 11 3-point attempts in the first half and led by 17 going into the fourth quarter.
Still, the Colts managed to cut the lead to three points with 20 seconds left and the ball, but were unable to convert.
Fralick believes that if his team played Mott 10 times, his squad would win eight of them, but that night belonged to the Corsairs.
“Mott beat us fair and square. They’re a well-coached team, had some size and quickness. They deserved it,” Fralick said, whose Colts last won a district in 2009. “They’re never easy to win.”
The Colts did finish the year with some hardware.
Troy was 17-6 overall and won the Oakland Activities Association White Division for the second year in a row, going 9-1 in league play.
The Colts battled back from early season losses and departures from the team.
“I think it says what a high amount of character there was on this team. Kids that really cared about this team, not about their points, not about their playing time. It was about the team, and the seniors had a lot to do with that,” Fralick said.
Next season, the Colts will again have high hopes. Troy is expected to return six of its top seven players, including junior forward James Young, who finished with 25.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
Still, Troy will have to replace the leadership brought from seniors Bryan Martin, Larry Sylvester, Leo Ayrault, Jeff Holmes and Jarrett Bochniak.
“They were just great kids, great leaders, students, and they left a legacy in a different way,” Fralick said. “Not necessarily that they played a lot, scored a lot of points or got a lot of rebounds, but they all worked hard, and they all came with great attitudes every day and were great leaders for the younger kids.”