By DOUG DONNELLY
Here come the Bulldogs.
Morenci’s boys basketball team (20-2) has advanced to the Class D Regional this week. Head coach Jim Bauer thinks the seeds of this team’s run started last year at this time. That’s when the Bulldogs lost to Lenawee Christian in the District final.
“I think our kids realized we were close,” Bauer said. “They could see just how close we were to maybe going that far.”
Morenci will take on Hillsdale Academy (16-6) tonight at Bellevue.
“They have a 6-foot-9 senior who is very physical,” Bauer said. “He’s a man. He has a 6-foot-6 brother who is a freshman who is very aggressive. We’re hoping our guard play and our pressure can get to their guards. Defensively, it’s going to be a physical game. We have to try and not let them get good position close to the basket.”
Morenci averages 62.2 points a game. Seven Bulldogs have scored at least 100 points. Austin Sandusky leads the team, averaging 13.2 points a game while Alex Thomas (11.2) also averages in double figures.
“We’re deep,” Bauer said. “We like to play up-tempo. That’s our style. It’s been a huge benefit to us this year. I think you see it in the fourth quarter of games – the other team’s legs just start to get a little weary.”
Sandusky has been the spark plug. He’s made 42 three-pointers while Tucker Stover has made 31. Morenci averages seven triples a game.
“We have a big cast of guys who can score anywhere from 15 to 20 points,” Bauer said. “We have a lot of versatile kids.”
Morenci brings a 10 game winning streak to the Regional, its first since 2007.
The other bracket Monday has host Bellevue (17-5) playing Lansing Christian (9-13).