Traverse City Record-Eagle

Archive: Saturday

March 1, 2014

Titans win district title

TRAVERSE CITY — It was a week to remember for the Traverse City West Titans.

Sparked by Kimmy Bilinski’s 21 points, the Titans captured the Class A district basketball title here Friday night with a 38-27 win over Big North Conference rival Alpena.

West, which started the season 1-9, is now 11-11 heading into Tuesday’s regional at Petoskey. The Titans will face Midland.

“It feels amazing,” Bilinski said. “We worked so hard all season for this. So it’s like a great reward. It’s been awhile, I guess, since we won a district, so it’s really exciting, especially for the seniors.”

West last won a district in 2009 — and this one did not come easy. The Titans beat Sault Ste. Marie in overtime on Monday, then upset Marquette on Wednesday.

“What a week,” Titans coach Dave Ginsberg said. “Those two teams on Monday and Wednesday were really good. I was fearful that we used up too much energy, physically and mentally, to get those two wins. I didn’t know what we were going to have left.”

Turns out, there was no need to worry. The Titans shot a blistering 65 percent from the field in the first quarter in opening a 19-5 lead. The closest the Wildcats could get was 10 early in the third quarter.

“We came out and played with great energy, which was what we had to do,” Ginsberg said. “We took control of the game and never really let them get in it.”

Alpena had no answer for Bilinski, who hit five 3-pointers. She had 10 points in that decisive first quarter. Bilinski scored the Titans’ first eight points, then fed center Paris Wagner for a basket to give West a quick 10-1 lead.

“I was feeling it,” Bilinski said.

Wagner finished with eight points.

“They shot the ball exceptionally well,” Alpena coach Dan Arsenault said. “We played them twice (in regular season) and they didn’t shoot the ball like that. Obviously, they came out hot. Bilinski was on fire. We took a couple timeouts trying to change the momentum, but we couldn’t recover.”

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