2017-03-16 / Views

Madness takes hold, and for good reason

our opinion

With three district titles out of four possibilities, Leelanau County has contracted a powerful case of March Madness.

The calamity will soon pass, unfortunately, but as of this writing no one knows how long it will last.

Having pored through the archives of the Leelanau Enterprise for many years, it’s become obvious to us that Madness is never cured. Rather, its symptoms subside for months at a time while being incubated on blacktop courts and sweaty gyms across the county.

As of Monday afternoon, Leelanau County had three teams alive in three tournaments.

Glen Lake laid claim to two of those teams, one each on the girls and boys side in Class C. The girls team won the Northwest Conference, district and regional titles, and punched their ticket to the Breslin with an impressive quarterfinal win Tuesday over St. Ignace in Gaylord.

Credit the Laker press and intensity. Paired, they’ve been intimidating.

The future for the Glen Lake boys’ team is bright, and the season that just passed was delightful in its own way. The Lakers cruised through District play although its leading scorers — just like the girls team — are underclassmen. But Madness is unforgiving, and it took just one cold shooting night in the Regionals for Manton to bounce them from the tournament.

It could be said that the Suttons Bay boys team underachieved during the regular season — or simply left its best for last. Give Ron Anderson, the sometimes under-appreciated Norsemen mentor, credit for juggling lineups for several reasons. The result came together at just the right time in the Class D District final hosted by St. Mary. The Norsemen dispatched a talented Frankfort team from the tourney by all of two points, then carried the momentum to a second straight upset in the first round of the Regional over Bellaire.

We’ve said for years that some of the best basketball played in Michigan occurs on the Leelanau Peninsula. With eight state basketball titles already to Leelanau’s credit — and a basket full of state final, semifinal and quarterfinal appearances — who would argue?

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