The Superior Central boys basketball team did something they haven’t accomplished in a long time on Tuesday night: won a MHSAA District game.
With a dominant 57-18 performance over the Big Bay de Noc Black Bears, the Cougars won their first playoff game since 2015. Superior Central defeated Rapid River 54-45 in that game before being knocked out, coincidentally, by Big Bay de Noc in the second round. For Cougars Head Coach Adam Ely, the win was about rewarding the seniors.
“First district game win in six years, so everyone is excited about it. I’m happy my seniors got their first district win,” Ely said.
Leading the way was senior Kyle Frusti with 24 points and seven rebounds. Clayton Collier added eight points and nine boards — all in the second half — while Zach Frusti added 11 points. Seniors Parker Maki and Mathew McLaury added five and two respectively.
Ely said that the Cougars offensive game plan resulted in good offensive efficiency.
“We’re not a fast team. We don’t push the ball, but if the other team is going to play zone, we’ll push them a little bit,” he said. “Overall, we were patient in the half court and got some good looks.”
The contest ends the season for the Black Bears. A lone victory against Mackinac Island this season, Big Bay de Noc graduates one in Travis Johnson. Johnson had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Superior Central advances to the District 100 semifinals against top-seeded Munising. The Mustangs (14-1) are ranked seventh in Division 4 and defeated Superior Central twice this year, 57-30 on February 19 and 56-42 on March 5. Most of the game preparation for the Cougars will be based on the health of Maki. The senior went down with a non-contact injury right before halftime and did not return.
“I’ve got a lot of thoughts going on and a lot of that depends on (Maki),” Ely said. “We had a general game plan, but didn’t want to get too ahead of ourselves, and we’ll revisit that.”
The Cougars and Mustangs will be the late game on Thursday, March 25, with tip-off at approximately 7 PM. Rapid River and Mid Peninsula will be the early game, starting at 5:30 PM.