DeWitt handles Grand Ledge to secure first district title since 2019

Panthers use two key runs to run away with district title.
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 11:50 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In a win-or-go-home format, it’s important to find a way to survive and advance.

After Grand Ledge jumped out to a hot 12-2 start, the Panthers took better care of the basketball and hit a myriad of three-pointers to spark a 17-2 run to give them a three-point first quarter lead.

“After the start we had, they really responded,” DeWitt head coach Bill McCullen said. “We got our full-court press going and then after that we played a pretty complete game. But those first four minutes were ugly.”

Grand Ledge hung around and held a narrow second quarter lead, before DeWitt again used an impressive 16-0 run to blow things open the rest of the way in a 65-43 rout, securing its first district title since 2019.

“It seems like a long time ago now and several of our kids were the water girls on that team,” McCullen said. “So I told them pregame, I want them to experience that. They watched a bunch of other older kids and siblings and people singing the fight song and holding up trophies in this town and it’s special for them to finally get that experience for themselves.”

Now 22-2 on the year, a district title was the bare minimum expectation for this young squad and scratching off one of their preseason goals comes as a big relief.

“It feels so good. I feel like we were all so relieved when that buzzer hit. We just knew we won and this has been on the top of our list,” sophomore guard Tara Kurncz, who had a game-high 21 points said. “We’ve been working all season for this and it just feels so good to do it and get to move on. And the journey’s still going.”

Now in the Regional Final, DeWitt will await the winner of Kalamazoo Central and Stevensville Lakeshore who play Saturday, March 4.

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