Lakeshore High School made school history, playing in their first ever boys basketball state championship game Saturday night. Unfortunately for the Lancers---their opponent was too much.
Denzel Valentine had 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists as Lansing Sexton routed Stevensville Lakeshore 67-32 for its second straight Class B state title.
"I just can't believe we lost, let alone this way," said Lakeshore senior guard Loren Johnson. "I really wish the game would have been a lot closer and maybe won the game. It's just bittersweet I guess."
This was Lakeshore's 5th trip to the Final Four weekend, but first in the title game. Lakeshore won Friday night in the semifinals at the Breslin Center for the first time in program history.
"It was really cool just to be here," Lancers senior Alex Klunder explains. "You always want to win, you come in with that competitive nature in you that wants to win but all in all this was a great weekend and something I'll remember my whole life."
The Lancers must say goodbye to four senior starters in Klunder, Johnson, Ryan Avery and Austin Kaiser.
"This is a very sad day for me as a coach," says Lakeshore head coach Sean Schroeder. "I look at these kids as the sons I don't have. It's very difficult from a coaching perspective and I'll tell you what when they leave our school in a few months and graduate, our school is going to miss them as well."
Lakeshore did not have a single player score more than six points in the game.
Bryn Forbes added 19 points for the Big Red on Saturday, while several players scored six points for the Lancers (24-3).
Sexton's (27-1) win was the latest in a string of lopsided victories. The only blemish on their season was an 81-80 loss to Class A Detroit Pershing.
Lakeshore never led, and were already behind 12-4 at the end of the first quarter. The lead was 32-10 at halftime, and neared 40 points before Sexton began to pull its starters in the fourth.