2017-03-16 / Sports

Suttons Bay stuns Bellaire in regional semis

Hursey shoots Norse into first regional final since ‘10
By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


SUTTONS BAY sharpshooter Thomas Hursey launches a 3-pointer in the first half of Monday’s regional semifinal against Bellaire in Traverse City. SUTTONS BAY sharpshooter Thomas Hursey launches a 3-pointer in the first half of Monday’s regional semifinal against Bellaire in Traverse City. Suttons Bay boys coach Ron Anderson had said his Norsemen were “knocking on the door” all season.

They kicked it down this week.

Big performances from Thomas Hursey and Garrett Shananaquet propelled Suttons Bay to a 50-41 upset of 22-1 Bellaire at Traverse City Central on Monday—the program’s first regional semifinal victory since Dwaun Anderson’s senior season in 2010.

“It was all heart,” said Dwaun Anderson, who sat a few rows behind the Suttons Bay bench on Monday. “My uncle always does a good job of getting guys to play all out, 100 percent, and that’s what they did.”

Suttons Bay trailed 8-0 in the first quarter, 25-17 at the half and 39-37 midway through the fourth quarter but closed the game out on an impressive 13-2 run after finding a way to wear down Bellaire’s Gabe Meriweather.


DWAUN ANDERSON, who led Suttons Bay to the Class C state final in 2010, was on hand to see the Norsemen knock off Bellaire on Monday. DWAUN ANDERSON, who led Suttons Bay to the Class C state final in 2010, was on hand to see the Norsemen knock off Bellaire on Monday. Ron Anderson said the plan was to let Meriweather run in the first half.

“It’s warm in here,” he said. “We knew if we worked him pretty hard in the first half that in the second half he wouldn’t have much left. He can’t do everything, as much as he wanted to.”

Back-to-back fast-break buckets from Hursey and Evan Busby put Suttons Bay up 41-39 in the fourth quarter, opening the door for a momentum shifting surge from Shananaquet.

The 5-foot-10 power forward, who was playing in his first-ever regional game, fired up the Suttons Bay bench and jersey-donning student section with an old-fashioned three-point play in transition, making it a 44-39 game.


GARRETT SHANANAQUET was a force for Suttons Bay on Monday, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the second half. The junior has averaged 12.5 points through four postseason games. GARRETT SHANANAQUET was a force for Suttons Bay on Monday, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the second half. The junior has averaged 12.5 points through four postseason games. Then, after a pair of Bellaire free throws, Shananaquet did it again.

“He was on a mission,” Ron Anderson said. “His play is where we turned our season around.”

Suttons Bay shut Bellaire out from there as a frustrated Meriweather followed up his 17-point first half with just five second-half points.

Shananaquet, who had Meriweather on him for much of the fourth quarter, scored 14 of his 16 points in that span.

“My coach just says I’m one of the ‘strongest short people,’” said the junior, who also had six rebounds. “He says I’m strong, so just ‘power it in.’”

Shananaquet’s only bucket in the first half was significant as it finally put Suttons Bay on the board at the 2:41 mark of the first quarter, stopped Bellaire’s 8-0 run and opened the door for a series of Hursey highlights.

Hursey scored 10 of the game’s next 12 points, providing an answer to Meriweather’s hot start and a muchneeded confidence boost when Suttons Bay needed it most. Hursey, who caught fire with 34 points in Friday’s 59-57 upset of Frankfort in the district final, finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-13 shooting.

“We have talent, but we have the heart to back it up,” said the junior shooting guard, who added four assists and four steals. “We’re a team that just rallies around each other. We’re a family— and when we’re all running together, we’re tough to beat.”

Busby, a senior, overcame a slow start to finish with 10 points and four assists. Brett Rice, also a senior, added four points and seven rebounds.

Suttons Bay has now won five straight games since its 72-29 win over Mesick in the regular season finale, which was the team’s first game with all five seniors in uniform this winter.

Ron Anderson said he looked forward to seeing what his team could do at full strength in last night’s regional final, which was slated to tip off at Traverse City Central after press time. Suttons Bay was tasked with taking on 23-0 Buckley, which beat Suttons Bay 100-59 and 70-58 in the regular season.

“This’ll be the first time we up go against them with all of our team,” Ron Anderson said. “We’re riding pretty high; they’re a very good team, a very talented team. It’s going to take a monumental effort on our behalf.”

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