BY HANK MINCKIEWICZ
Although it lost the game, the Southgate boys basketball team saved perhaps it’s best for last in the Michigan High School Athletic Association state basketball tournament.
The Titans extended Downriver League champion Roosevelt all the way on March 11 before bowing 53-50.
The Titans, who twice lost to the Bears during the regular season, hung with the champs all night long and in the end had a chance to win or at least extend into overtime, but they could not quite pull it off.
In the dying second of the contest, Anderson missed a contested layup that would have given them a lead and they missed a long, but open, three-point shot to tie just before the buzzer.
It was a gutsy effort by a Southgate team that came into the game riding a disappointing four-game losing streak.
But in the district game at Lincoln Park, the Titans looked anything like a team in the midst of a losing skid. The Titans took an early lead and held it throughout most of the first period.
Roosevelt got it together behind the shooting of senior guard Hayden Loya and led 27-20 at halftime. The Bears extended that lead in the third quarter, but the Titans shot back, scoring the last nine points of the points of the period to take a two-point lead into the fourth.
The fourth quarter was a back-and-forth affair with each team having its highlights. A couple of misses at the end spelled the difference for the Titans.
Late in the game, Giovanni Hugan was fouled while attempting a three-point shot. He made all three free throws to pull the Titans to within 51-50, but Loya made two free throws the next trip down the floor and that sealed the deal.
Hugan wound up leading the Titans with 14 points, including three three-pointers.Max Walker had 12 before fouling out late in the game. All his points came on three-point shots. Aaron Jaciuk had nine points and Devon Jones had six.
Loya had a monster night for Roosevelt with 25 points. His teammates Nico Fernandez and Jimmy Breaux, both strong inside players, teammed for 16 points.
The win would have sent Roosevelt into the district championship game against host Lincoln Park, but, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic ended that, as well as many other things.
Anderson finished the year with an 8-13 record and Wyandotte with an 18-4 mark.