EAST LANSING —
Devin Sheehy started it. Sean Sheldon and Michael Jenkins finished it.
On the big stage of Michigan State's Breslin Center, the three St. Francis seniors came up with big performances in Thursday's 63-54 win over Shelby in the Class C semifinal.
"Outstanding game today," Gladiators coach Keith Haske said. "Great pace. Both teams pushed the ball, which is what we wanted to do. It was a great battle between two pretty good teams who wanted to get after it."
St. Francis (25-2) moves on to play unbeaten and top-ranked Flint Beecher (27-0) in Saturday's Class C state title game.
"We (watched them) in the first half for a few minutes," Sheldon said. "They're a great team and you can see why they're undefeated."
Sheehy set the tone early in Thursday's win. The senior point guard tallied 12 points in the first quarter as the Gladiators took a 20-16 lead.
"The fast start helped us a lot," Haske said. "I think it took them out of their man-to-man and (they had to) sit in a zone, because I don't think they could contain Devin."
Sheehy tried not to get caught up playing at the Breslin Center.
"Coach told me not to look at the stands, because they're so high up," Sheehy said. "It's not like at home. So that's what I did. I played it like a basketball game and tried to stay focused."
"I've been down here several times and it always seems like you've got a kid or two that gets the big eyes and gets lost out there," Haske said. "I didn't see any of our kids that way. All of our kids we put on the floor were focused."
Sheldon and Jenkins were certainly focused in the fourth quarter. Sheldon had six points and seven rebounds in the final stanza, which started with the Gladiators only up 47-45.
"We did a couple of things to get him the ball around the basket," Haske said. "The other thing I thought he did was he got a couple of good ones on offensive rebounds, which is just making the effort to get there. We didn't make the shot, but we had a couple of put-backs which were just huge."
When the Tigers tried to key in on Sheldon, Jenkins broke free. With St. Francis up 53-48 with 3:30 to go, Jenkins scored seven of the team's final 10 points to seal the win.
"He's been coming off the bench and really stepping up for us," Sheldon said of Jenkins. "He's just sneaky around the basket. He'll get under the hoop and get a little reverse. It's big. He's stepped up in this tournament and we've really needed him."
While St. Francis jumped out to a 33-23 lead in the second quarter, Shelby wouldn't go away.
"Wouldn't expect them to go away down here in the semifinal," Haske said. "They have a great program. I asked coach before the game when the last time they had a losing season. He said 26 years ago. So that's a great program. They weren't going to go away."
The Tigers got back into it with seven 3-pointers, including five in the first half, and capitalized on 20 Gladiator turnovers.
"We did a great job of executing," Shelby coach Rick Zoulek said. "We converted on a few and you could feel the momentum coming back to us."
Sheehy finished the game with 18 points, seven assists and four rebounds. Sheldon had 16 points and 12 rebounds, Jenkins added 14 points and nine boards while Byron Bullough tallied 11 points.
For Shelby, David Beckman had 17 points while Jeremiah James had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
"It was very close," Zoulek said. "It makes you realize how close we were to the final game. It was only a few plays away."
Instead, it's St. Francis in the title game, playing for the first basketball title in school history.
Awaiting the Gladiators: Beecher and junior point guard Monte Morris, the two-time Class C Player of the Year.
"I'm really excited," Sheehy said of his match-up with Morris. "I went against (Boyne City's Keegan LaBlance), so I was really hyped up. And going against another good point guard, I'll be ready for it."
St. Francis seeks first championship after beating Shelby
EAST LANSING —
Devin Sheehy started it. Sean Sheldon and Michael Jenkins finished it.
TC West surges into 5th at golf finals
The rebound Traverse City West hoped for happened. In a big way.Continued ...
State golf finals results
How area teams finished in the state golf championships this weekend:Continued ...
Glen Lake plays with fire; Beal City takes win
For four innings, Glen Lake played with fire. Then, the roof caved in, and it spelled the end of the Lakers’ best baseball season in more than a decade.Continued ...
Rain adds twist to state golf finals
A large rainstorm Wednesday made play at the Division 1 and 4 state golf finals a little extra interesting.Continued ...
State golf finals standings: 1st Round
Area team places after the first round of the state finals:Continued ...
- Friday, June 14, 2013
FINAL: Beal City 15, Glen Lake 0
Beal City cruised to a 15-0 win over Glen Lake in a Division 4 baseball state semifinal in Battle Creek Friday.Continued ...
UPDATE: Beal City 1, Glen Lake 0
In the fourth inning, Glen Lake trails Beal City 1-0 in a Division 4 baseball state semifinal at C.O. Brown Stadium in Battle Creek Friday.Continued ...
Glen Lake set for Beal City in semis
Glen Lake baseball coach Kris Herman said you need three things to win a state title: Pitching, good defense and the ability to scrape out runs. A fourth factor doesn’t hurt: Luck.Continued ...
Bandrowski succeeds Murphy at TCSF
Annie Murphy, who led the St. Francis boys tennis team to three consecutive top-six finishes in Division IV, has stepped down.Continued ...
- Thursday, June 13, 2013
Titans golf team hopes history repeats itself
Traverse City West coach Mike Schultz is hoping history repeats itself when the Division I state golf finals begin Friday at Michigan State’s Forest Akers West.Continued ...
Norsemen to challenge for Division IV golf title
A rough start. An exhilarating finish. That’s how Seam Lammy’s senior year at Suttons Bay could end this weekend.Continued ...
Near tops Far 6-3 in all-star game
A little rest in between outings usually doesn’t hurt. Just ask Trent McDougall.Continued ...
- Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Lakers reach semis for 1st time since 2001
It's back to Battle Creek for Glen Lake. The Lakers will return to Cereal City for the first time since 2001 after an 8-3 Division 4 baseball quarterfinal victory Tuesday over Atlanta at Traverse City West.Continued ...
Panthers come up short against Rogers City
A lot of times when a team loses 14-2, it's assumed the losing team played poorly. Not so in this case.Continued ...
- Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Glen Lake, Frankfort in quarterfinals today
Glen Lake baseball and Frankfort softball each had turning points this season that propelled them into today's Division 4 quarterfinals at Traverse City West.Continued ...
- Monday, June 10, 2013
Prep softball state tournament at a glance
Prep softball state tournament results and schedule:Continued ...
Prep baseball state tournament at a glance
Prep baseball state tournament results and schedule:Continued ...
- Sunday, June 9, 2013
Prep Baseball Roundup: Glen Lake wins 1st regional since '01
Glen Lake survived a late rally by Frankfort on Saturday afternoon to capture a Division IV regional baseball title — its first since 2001.Continued ...
Prep Softball Roundup: Frankfort rallies to win title
Courtney Bower scored the winning run on an error in the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday, lifting Frankfort to a dramatic 6-5 victory over Bellaire in the championship game of a Division IV softball regional at Glen Lake High School.Continued ...
- Friday, June 7, 2013
Suttons Bay wins golf regional by 12; Leland's Sneed medalist
Todd Hursey was feeling much better about his team’s performance Thursday after Suttons Bay claimed the Division 4 golf regional on the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa’s Spruce Run course.Continued ...
Traverse City West repeats; Central's Munch is medalist
Traverse City West won its second consecutive Division 1 regional at Boulder Pointe Golf Course on Thursday, edging Rochester Stoney Creek by three strokes.Continued ...
All-Big North Conference soccer selections
The All-Big North Conference girls soccer picks for the 2013 season:Continued ...
- Thursday, June 6, 2013
GOLF UPDATE: TC West, Suttons Bay, Petoskey win regionals
Traverse City West shot a team score of 302 Thursday, good enough to win a Division 1 regional golf championship in Lake Orion, and advance the team to the state finals.Continued ...
Mancelona ties Onaway in Ski Valley
The Mancelona baseball team’s path to a share of the Ski Valley Conference championship was both difficult and unique.Continued ...
Today in Sports: 06/06/2013
What's happening in sports across the region and the country:Continued ...
- TC West surges into 5th at golf finals