The month of March is barely one day old and we can already talk about unexpected surprises in the high school basketball district tournaments. We typically call it “March Madness”, but CBS Sports and the NCAA actually have a trademark on that phrase, so the MHSAA has to call it “March Magic”.
Well, whatever! It doesn’t matter what you call it! Strange things seem to happen every year!
And how about Wednesday night, where the 20-0 Munising Mustangs got beat in their first district game? Now, Ishpeming has a fine team. But when you go 20-0, you have to figure that you will be favored to advance.
How about that old phrase “it’s tough to beat the same team three times in a season”? Well, that was proven true again Wednesday night as Carney-Nadeau knocked off North Dickinson and Gladstone stunned Kingsford.
I had the pleasure of broadcasting the Gladstone game, alongside a somewhat hoarse Mike Dagenais. And sore throats and bad roads couldn’t keep us from calling an absolutely gritty performance by the Gladstone girls, who didn’t win a conference game all season. But Wednesday night, they came through with a defensive gem.
Kingsford seemed to be off its game all night long, not shooting (or rebounding) as well as the girls usually do. The Braves did just enough right to win, and it was inspiring to watch senior Tasi Martinez and junior Taylor Hunter literally limp up and down the court over the final couple of minutes after they got hurt during the game.
A great start to the tournament run. No matter what you call it!