Macomb Lutheran North tops Riverview Gabriel Richard for first CHSL C-D Title
Detroit – Heading into this season with a senior laden team, Macomb Lutheran North head coach Jeff DeMasse thought there was a strong possibility that his team could compete for a Catholic League title
And behind a strong effort from its senior class, the Mustangs jumped out to a comfortable halftime lead and went on for a 70-62 win over Riverview Gabriel Richard to claim their first Catholic League C-D title.
DeMasse said that winning a Catholic League title was a goal for his team all season long and added that while it is a big accomplishment, the Mustangs have other goals to set their sights on with the MHSAA tournament beginning in just over a week.
“It’s been very enjoyable, especially for our seven seniors,” he said. “We wrote down goals at the beginning of the year and everyone had Catholic League Championship and Division Championship on there. I can tell you our other goal, that’s the third season and that’s starting pretty soon.”
Coming out of halftime facing a 43-28 deficit, Gabriel Richard would rattle off five quick points, including an Anthony Brown 3-pointer to cut the Lutheran North lead down to 10 early in the third quarter.
After Gabriel Richard would trim Lutheran North’s lead down to 47-38 after a basket while drawing a foul by Tahj McGee, the Mustangs would close out the third quarter on an 11-1 run, capped off by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Elijah Thaut that gave Lutheran North a commanding 58-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
DeMasse noted that after a lackluster start to the second half, he called a timeout and later saw his team’s effort and energy level pick back up to where it was in the first half.
“We had zero energy to start the third, that’s why I called the timeout,” he said. “They hit some threes, but I get a feeling when we’re up 10, 15, 20, we get lulled to sleep and the effort kind of isn’t there, so I called the timeout to get the effort back.”
Drew Arft finished with a game-high 24 points to pace Lutheran North, while Thaut and Jack Hilt each contributed 12 points in the win for the Mustangs.
Arft said that the play from his team to close out the third quarter was key after Gabriel Richard picked up some momentum early on in the quarter.
“That’s when you win games,” he said. “That’s game time and I said it right before we came out here, that’s when you’re going to win or lose and played pretty well.”