By Lenny Sementi
Cade Kresin, Will Little, Luke Sluder and Brayden VonLanken trotted off the floor at historic Tuscola Gymnasium for the final time grinning from ear to ear. The four led the way for the Warriors’ 17th win of the season by dropping Sullivan 54-44.
It’s the most wins by any Tuscola team since the 2006-07 season and gives coach Justin Bozarth’s squad momentum heading into the post season on a two-game win streak.
Kresin was big on defense late in the game and banged the boards grabbing a team best six rebounds. Little as always disrupted the opposition’s offense and distributed the ball on offense while hitting the boards. He ended the night with five assists, four rebounds and drained a three before being taken out with his buddies to an ovation late in the game. Sluder, who missed most of the season with an injury, sank the first bucket of the night, and VonLanken exploded for a season and career high 33 points. He was good on 12 of 22 from the field, including 3 of 5 from three-point land and 6 of 8 from the free throw line.
“The game couldn’t have started out any better, it was fantastic seeing Luke score the first basket and get the recognition that he so deserves,” stated the coach. “The outside world has no idea just how good of a teammate he’s been all year long.”
The senior missed most of the year with a season ending injury, but Sullivan went along with a plan initiated by Bozarth that allotted each team uncontested baskets allowing Sluder one more bucket on the floor he has played on the last four seasons.
The second year bench boss didn’t like what he was seeing early on the defensive end of the floor as the two teams went toe to toe offensively scoring 18 points each in the first eight mintues of action. After an early Redskin bucket following an offensive rebound Bozarth swiftly called time out, rallying the troops in an attempt to turn up the heat on both defense and the boards. His boys in black responded and limited Sullivan to just 23 points in the final 22 minutes of the game. VonLanken scored 21 points during the same span. He hit an early three in the second half to tie the game at 29’s then banked in a runner to end the third giving Bozarth a 38-35 advantage heading to the fourth.
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Feb. 20 edition of The Tuscola Journal.