PETOSKEY — Tyler Jandron and Eric Lori were as good as advertised — and then some.
Negaunee’s senior backcourt tandem combined for 38 points as they led the Miners back to the Class C state semifinals for the second straight year after posting a 63-42 victory over East Jordan in a boys basketball quarterfinal at Petoskey High School.
Jandron, the player of the year in the Upper Peninsula, tallied 21 points and Lori chipped in with 17 — five more points than the running mates have averaged during the season — in an awesome performance that ended the greatest postseason run by an East Jordan team in 61 years.
“They’re great offensively, defensively — two of the best guards,” said East Jordan coach Darrin Weber. “We don’t see kids like that very often. Those kids were just dynamite. Hats off; they’re a great team. Experienced, obviously. They defended Noah (Bacchus) well. Those kids did a nice job on him. You try to get out on those two a bit and they break you down, dish it. You sit back, they can shoot. It’s just one of those things. It’s hard to defend.”
East Jordan, which was playing in its first quarterfinal since the 1953 squad captured a regional title, stayed close for much of the first half, but went into the break trailing 31-20. Negaunee then came out in the third quarter and put the game away, using a 26-5 spurt to open up a sizable lead. Jandron and Lori were the catalysts, scoring inside and outside, and also dishing to teammates around the basket for high percentage scores. Senior center Zane Radloff added 11 points for the Miners (24-1).
“They’re very tough,” said Bacchus, who scored 11 points for the Red Devils (19-5). “I was underestimating their guards. They’re very quick and they’re very slashy and they know how to dribble, attack and dish. They played better than us. It was almost like a mirror of our older selves. They’re good. They’re really good.”