Prep playoff hoops are the best

Greg Ceilley • REVIEW SPORTS EDITOR

You gotta love the high school basketball playoffs. It’s win or go home which usually makes for some terrific competition.

I covered the Elkhart Lake-Glenbeulah Resorters’ Division 5 regional opener Tuesday night against Living Word Lutheran (Jackson) and the game exemplified what postseason play is all about. Both teams played their hearts out – battling for rebounds, diving for loose balls and giving it everything they had to try to extend their respective seasons.

I interviewed Resorter senior forward Mariah Ausloos after the game (won by Elkhart 48-25) and she was very happy her team won and that she will be able to continue her high school basketball career.

One thing I like about the high school basketball playoffs is that all of the teams in the state have the opportunity to participate. The playoffs are like a second season and afford a fresh start for those teams who didn’t play very well in the regular season and want to make amends.

The Elkhart girls team was only 7-13 in the regular season but has a wonderful opportunity to pull off a big upset in the regional semifinals Friday night when they face Sheboygan Christian. The Eagles, the Central Lakeshore Conference champions, are 19-2 and ranked No. 5 in the Associated Press D-5 poll.

The Resorters look forward to the challenge of playing the Eagles who they lost to twice this season in CLC action. It’s hard for one team to defeat another three times in a single season.

“We’re the underdog and all of the pressure is on them. I think we can use that to our advantage,” said Resorter head coach Donny Kulow.

“We need to take care of the ball and rebounding will be a key. We gave them too many second-chance points in the the last two games. We want to get the ball up and down the court.

“It will be a nice challenge for us [playing Christian]. I think we can compete well with them,” said Kulow.

“I think it will be a good game against Sheboygan Christian. We’ll have to bring our best ‘A’ game and give it all we got,” said Ausloos.

The Plymouth Panthers gained some nice momentum going into D-2 regional action with Saturday’s impressive 68-45 win over Oostburg. PHS head coach Brad Shutter is confident in his team heading into the playoffs.

“We’re good enough to play with anyone in Division 2,” said Shutter.

“We just have to put it together at both ends. Our pressure defense and transition game are the keys for us. We take advantage of our athleticism.”

The Howards Grove Tigers also rely on their pressure defense and transition game. Both PHS and the Tigers are capable of making a deep run in the playoffs if they continue playing strong defense, score in transition and take care of the ball.

Playoff basketball is the best.


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