TRAVERSE CITY -- A memorable run for Suttons Bay just picked up a little bit of history.
The Norsemen clinched their first regional basketball championship since 1982 on Wednesday with an 80-60 victory over Mason County Central in the Class C final at Traverse City West.
"All week we were preparing, trying to put our mark on our school," Suttons Bay senior Chase Palmer said. "It's a big deal to us. As you can see, it's a big deal to our school. We had a lot of people supporting us."
Suttons Bay moved its winning streak to 23 games and its overall record to 23-1. The Norse will now take on a 23-1 Rudyard squad on Tuesday in the Class C state quarterfinals.
"The U.P. plays some basketball and we're going to have to be ready to play well," Norsemen coach Todd Hursey said.
The two teams scrimmaged before the regular season started.
"I can't even describe it," Norsemen senior David Wheelock said of winning the regional. "It's priceless. At the beginning of the year there were all these expectations. I'm just happy. These are the best group of guys I've ever played with. It just so happens we all love basketball. Going to practice every day is like hanging out with friends."
Mason County Central hit the opening basket of the fourth quarter on a David Soraci drive to cut Suttons Bay's lead to 56-54.
But then it was all Norse. Suttons Bay closed the game on a 24-6 run, thanks to 12 points from Dwaun Anderson.
"That's pretty much my role," Anderson said. "It's what I have to do, even if I feel like I can't. I've always got to push myself for my best. Tonight, I didn't think we came out good enough, so I had to turn it on."