EAST LANSING -- It was a confirmation.
Melvindale Academy of Business and Technology started the season ranked No. 1 in Class C.
The Gators finished No. 1, too, beating Suttons Bay 59-43 in the Class C state basketball final at Michigan State's Breslin Center on Saturday.
Melvindale ABT never trailed in putting the final touches on a 26-2 season.
"They're a good team," Suttons Bay star Dwaun Anderson said. "They were ranked No. 1 so we knew it was going to be tough to come in here and try to get a win."
The Gators also won the state championship game a year ago, but had to vacate the title for using an ineligible player.
"That was our motivation, really," ABT senior guard Michael Talley III said. "That sat in the back of our minds the whole season. We just wanted to get back here and prove that it wasn't a fluke. That we could really win it. We just looked in each others eyes and said, 'We've got to get it done.'"
The Gators, using their quickness on the perimeter and size in the interior, made it difficult on the Norsemen, who had won 25 games in a row to reach the final. Suttons Bay was held to 14 points in the first half as ABT took a 15-point lead into the break.
"They got after us pretty good," Suttons Bay coach Todd Hursey said. "We had a game plan of getting the ball to the middle and just trying to attack that pressure. But that's easier said than done. Their quickness took away the drive and their quickness took away passes and cuts. We played against some quickness like that last summer, but in the regular season we didn't see anything close to it. It was too much to handle."