Whiteford’s boys basketball team will hit the floor Monday riding a 13-game win streak and facing Britton Deerfield in the first round of the Michigan High School state tournament.
Whiteford (16-2) has beaten BD (7-13) twice this season, but neither game was easy for the Bobcats.
“They played us tough,” Whiteford coach John Rice. “We have to play well. We can’t just show up and expect to win.”
The Bobcats were ranked No. 4 last week by the Associated Press, but haven’t played since a Feb. 23 win over BD. That’s a long layoff.
“We can’t let that affect our play,” Rice said. “We have to come out and play tough defense. Come tournament time, everything is about defense.”
If the Bobcats beat the Patriots, it could will either face Madison (3-16) or Summerfield (16-4) for a third time. Those two teams play Monday at Summerfield.
The other side of the bracket features 19-0 Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central, a final four pick by Mick McCabe of the Detroit Free Press, 3-17 Blissfield and 11-9 Erie Mason. SMCC is ranked No. 1 and plays at Blissfield Monday. The winner gets Mason, who has made 180 3-pointers this season and is led by Joey Liedel, who made 65 of them.
Whiteford finished the regular season with four players averaging in double figures – the first time since the 1990s that four players playing in at least 15 games all averaged in double digits.
Cameron Iott lead the Bobcats with 296 points while Jared Fink has scored 248. Thomas Eitniear has scored 183, Hunter Lake 175 and Antonio DiTerlizzi 133.
Matthew Taylor has chipped in 113 and lead the team in rebounding with 125 boards and 47 blocked shots. Lake’s 76 assists lead the Bobcats while DiTerlizzi leads the team with 45 steals.