By DOUG DONNELLY
After more than 60 years of playing varsity basketball, not many things can be the “first.”
But, Whiteford’s boys basketball team will do something Monday it has never done – host a District basketball game.
The Bobcats will host Britton Deerfield in the first round of the eight-team, Class C District. All three of the first-round games of the District will be held at different locations with the semifinals and finals to be held at Blissfield. It will be the first ever boys basketball District game at Whiteford.
“I’m not sure why, but we’ve never hosted a district in all of my years coaching,” Bobcat coach John Rice, now in his 33rd year at Whiteford. “It will be different. The Districts are always a different atmosphere.”
Whiteford played in its first state tournament game in 1957 against Adrian Catholic Central. The game was held at Deerfield and it was actually the year before Whiteford had its first varsity team, which came in 1957-58. The Bobcats played mainly a JV schedule with coach Galeon Bryce that season but were a member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association and were permitted to play in the District.
In the years since, Whiteford has played the most at Dundee, Madison and Summerfield – nine times apiece. They’ve also had multiple District tournaments at Sand Creek (6), Ida (5), Adrian College (4), Morenci (4), Deerfield (2) and Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (2).
|Adrian High School||1|
|Siena Heights University||1|
The Bobcats are 50-61 all-time in the state tournament, including 47-50 in District play – with 11 District titles. The most recent District crown came in 2013-14.
Here’s a look at Whiteford’s record vs. all of its post-season opponents (District & Regional):
|Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard||0||1|
|Ann Arbor St. Thomas||0||1|
|Ann Arbor University High||0||1|
|Wyandotte Mt. Carmel||1||0|
In its first-round game Monday, March 5, Whiteford will take on Britton Deerfield. The other two District games have Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central at Blissfield and Madison at Summerfield. The SMCC/Blissfield winner will play Erie Mason at 6 p.m. on March 7 at Blissfield with the Summerfield-Madison winner taking on the Whiteford-BD winner at 7:30 the same night.
The finals are at 7 p.m. on March 9 at Blissfield.
This is the 20th consecutive season the Bobcats are in the Class C tournament. The last Class D tournament the Bobcats were in with 1998. Whiteford has six all-time Class D District titles and five Class C championships.