DOWN THE STRETCH IN THE HIGH SCHOOL TOURNAMENTS

     Exciting times at East Lansing High School.  Both the girls and boys teams are still alive in the state tournament.  The girls take center stage at 1pm Friday in Ypsilanti against Saginaw Arthur Hill.  The game is a toss up, but East Lansing is top ranked and still has just one loss this season.  The boys team returns to the Don Johnson Fieldhouse at Eastern High School next Tuesday for its 6pm quarter final game against Muskegon.  That's a toss up as well.  East Lansing's boys are a true cinderella team with a 17-8 record.  The Trojans lost their last two regular season games, but have won five straight in the tournament.  Their run began in earnest a week ago when they beat Sexton 58-53 to win the district title.  Senior Charlie Woods is playing great.  Whether the Trojans move on Tuesday remains to be seen, but if they do they like will face class A title favorite Saginaw in the semi finals at the Breslin Center next Friday afternoon.

     Lansing Catholic and Lansing Christian both have boys teams in the quarters.  Catholic is now 20-4 after winning its first boys regional title since 1996.  The Cougars aren't flashy but they have six seniors among the seven players they use on a normal night full of experience and playing with confidence.  Lansing Catholic faces Detroit Community at 7pm next Tuesday in the B quarter final at Jackson High School.  Lansing Christian faces Lawrence at 8pm  Tuesday at Don Johnson Fieldhouse in Lansing after East Lansing is finished.  Christian, like most of the others, is capable of winning or losing on any given night but the Pilgrims' DeAndre Callahan is one heckuva scorer.  He tallied 37 of Christian's 61 in the Regional final game Thursday against Adrian Lenawee Christian.

     Look out for Albion in class C-- a terrificly quick team that knocked out defending state champ Bath easily on Thursday.  Carson City Crystal is also a threat in C and those two could meet for the title next Saturday.

     And then there are the Portland girls-- an unbeaten season thus far.  But few will pick Portland to knock out Detroit Community, also unbeaten when they meet in the B semi final at 6pm Friday in Ypsilanti.  Portland's girls are in their first semi final in 35 years.  Win or lose the Raiders have had a terrific season.  And it all ends before the NCAA tournament pairings show on Sunday, March 16th.

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