Utica Eisenhower ends season with district final loss

By: Timothy Pontzer | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 12, 2018

 Utica Eisenhower senior forward Kameron Marnon puts up a shot during a Class A district final March 9 against Rochester Adams. Marnon is one of six seniors graduating from the Ike roster.

Utica Eisenhower senior forward Kameron Marnon puts up a shot during a Class A district final March 9 against Rochester Adams. Marnon is one of six seniors graduating from the Ike roster.

Photo by Mariusz Nowak

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SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After his first year at the helm of the Utica Eisenhower boys basketball program, Tom Antishin is proud of the way his club finished the season.

The Eagles closed out the campaign with five straight wins before falling in a Class A district final March 9 at Rochester Hills Stoney Creek. Ike lost 63-45 to Rochester Adams, ending the season at 7-15 overall.

Antishin pointed to a victory two days prior as the top moment of the season. Ike earned a 72-63 decision over Rochester High in the first round of the postseason March 7.

“To get that win was really big for us,” Antishin said after the March 9 defeat. “The nice win over Rochester was definitely the highlight of our season. We ended the season on a five-game winning streak until tonight. That was a very good finish for us.”

The loss marked the final game for six seniors on Antishin’s roster. He praised the seniors he guided in his inaugural season.

“Our seniors were great,” Antishin remarked. “Kameron Marnon was a solid leader. He started every game for us and was averaging 16 points a game during the season. Dante Candela always got things started for us and was also a great leader. Chris DeClercq was a great addition this year. He was our top practice player.”

Despite losing those six upperclassmen, Antishin is quite pleased with the building blocks he returns for the future.

“We have a really good young group. Our JV team has a lot of good guys on it,” Antishin explained. “We know we have a lot of work to do. These guys could have easily folded midseason, but they refused to. We only won one league game in the MAC Red, and they could’ve easily folded. I’m really impressed with how they came back in the worst of times.”

Antishin previously manned the sidelines for the Ike JV team for five seasons before taking over the varsity squad this year. He said he learned quite a bit in his new role.

“I now have one year in the books, and I believe I learned a lot,” Antishin said. “It’s a lot of work. I learned a lot of basketball. I have great assistants helping me. Everyone in this program worked really hard. I think that maybe prior to this, I took some of the aspects of basketball for granted, but now I realize how hard it is. It was still a lot of fun and rewarding.”

In other Class A action, Utica High fell 75-62 in a district semifinal against Harrison Township L’Anse Creuse March 7 at Sterling Heights Stevenson. The Chieftains finished the year at 6-15 overall.

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