mulberry elkington Ashley boys basketball off to best start in nearly two decades
The Bears have been playing so well in fact that there were rumblings that this year team was the best team since Pat Yelsik and company graced the floor back in 1999 and 2000, which is a statement within itself because Yelsik is a living legend in mid Michigan basketball circles and arguably one of the best pure scorers this area has ever seen.
Former Morning Sun Sports Editor Eric Herter once came back to the office from a Yelsik led victory hooting and hollering about his unorthodox shot and about how Yelsik was a one man wrecking crew. As it was Yelsik had hit a long 3 pointer and then turned towards Herter and winked, as if to say this.
And watch Herter did as Yelsik scored a dozen straight points to lead the Bears to a victory. They would go on to win the conference title that season.
Since then the Bears, who were a dominating force in the 1990s on both the boys and girls side, have struggled on the hardwood, winning on average between five to seven games per season.
However, this trend, has officially come to an end this season because Ashley has been rock solid from top to bottom.
whole community is behind this basketball team, which is awesome and something that hasn happened in probably 20 years, said Ashley head coach Frank Sourek. had a great season so far but it only been about 10 games so there a long way to go. Hopefully, we be right in it until the end.
On paper the Bears create problems via their balance. Led by 6 foot 7 center Nick Sperling (11 points, 11 rebounds per game) Ashley has height in the middle. In Friday night game Sperling blocked three shots in the first minute.
Add to it 6 foot 4 Colin Dolloff (17 points, 10 rebounds),
Keagan Welch (14 points, 4 assists, 3 steals) and three or four players who average between six and eight points per and you end up with a solid nucleus to build around.
On Friday night though the Bears (9 2, 6 1 MSAC) were in hibernation mode as they saw their one game lead in the conference standings evaporate via a 62 46 loss at Carson City (6 6, 6 1).
City has driven down this road before and it kind of new to us, said Sourek following the loss. could see it in how we played tonight, they wanted it more. We had way too many turnovers and couldn get the ball inside because of their zone defense. Our spacing was bad and we shot the ball horrendous. But sometimes a loss can do as much good for a team as a win can. The Bears led 12 6 early in the first quarter and appeared to be in prime form. Yet from that point on out they went 12 for 41 (29 percent) from the field and turned the ball over 16 times. Meanwhile the Eagles went 15 for 33 from the floor (45 percent) and turned it over five times while hitting five of eight triples. In short Carson City was efficient offensively and its zone defense baffled the Bears for the final three frames.
have to be ready to play, that what I saw, said Sourek. going to move on and learn from this game. This group of kids is very tight, they good friends, and they regroup and get ready for Montabella Tuesday.
For the night Austin Efu led the Bears with nine points while DJ Keller and Dolloff both had eight. Nick Burlingame, Welch and Sperling also added in six points apiece.
Carson City Kolbe Rohn led all scorers with 13 while Beau Hollinshead and Drew Stout had 11 for the hosts. Jackson Murphy, Andrae Wilson and Brody Mikula all finished with six apiece also.