EAST LANSING, Mich -- Senior guard Preston Huckaby's 26 points helped pull NorthPointe Christian out of an early hole and into the class C state championship game thanks to a 48-45 win over Boyne City (21-6).
The Mustangs fell behind 20-8 early in the 2nd quarter, but Huckaby scored 13 points in an 18-6 run that tied the game at 26 at the half. "Our defense started to turn around and that helped our offense and then Preston made some big shots when we were struggling scoring and I felt the whole team relaxed" NorthPointe Christian head coach Jared Redell said.
NorthPointe Christian (21-5) jumped out early in the 3rd quarter and led by as much as 11 early in the 4th, but the Ramblers pulled to within 46-45 with a 10--0 run.
Boyne City had the ball down 1 with less than 30 seconds to play, but Huckaby took a charge as Cole Butler drove to the basket. "I think that was the biggest play because we knew we needed to get a stop on defense and we needed to get the ball and take care of it in the end and we knew they were going to foul us and we just needed to knock down our free throws which we did" Huckaby said.
Huckaby made a pair of free throws and a late three point attempt didn't go.
Andrew Holesinger scored 9 points but played just 19 minutes due to foul trouble. Huckaby slid over and ran the point well in Holesinger's absence. "Preston played really aggressive got to the hole and kicked it out when he needed to and Josh Combs made a couple really big threes, Preston led the team when I was out" Holesinger said.
Butler led Boyne City with 16 points, Central Michigan signee Corey Redman scored only 6 points for the Ramblers on 2-of-9 shooting.
NorthPointe Christian will play top-ranked Flint Beecher (25-1) in Saturday's championship game.