Traverse City Record-Eagle

Basketball

March 24, 2010

WMC ends run for Buckley

Bears fall in Class D quarterfinal, 80-51

TRAVERSE CITY -- The Muskegon Western Michigan Christian students started chanting "Back to Breslin" in the closing seconds of Tuesday's Class D state quarterfinal at Traverse City Central.

If Tuesday was any indication, the Warriors will be running wild all over Michigan State's Breslin Center later this week.

Muskegon WMC used its speed as an advantage for an 80-51 win over Buckley to advance to the state semifinals.

"That meant a lot," Warriors guard London Burris said of the speed advantage. "Speed and defense basically wins games. So if we have that, we can be unstoppable."

The Warriors (24-2) will be looking to win their third straight state championship this week. First, they will play Covert in the semifinals on Thursday.

"I think the theme is don't beat yourself," WMC coach Jim Goorman said when asked what was the key for his team this week. "That's a negative theme and not the theme I want, but it's a fact. If we stick together, good things are going to happen. We've got momentum right now."

"We've got to take it one step at a time, but it felt good to get this one," said Evan Bruinsma, the Class D Player of the Year. "We've got two more games left and we've got to come out strong like we did tonight."

Muskegon WMC's running game ended what had become a memorable ride for Buckley. The Bears (18-7) earned their first regional title since 1998 and received a lot of community support for the run.

"It's my hope that it will give us some momentum," Buckley's second-year coach Rene LaFraniere III said. "If you're going to build a program from the bottom up, it usually takes 5-6 years before you see anything come of it. We were fortunate to have some athletes."

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