LAKE CITY — Shelby found the going rather difficult against a much taller McBain team on Monday.

The Tigers struggled to get off good shots and ultimately dropped a 53-42 decision to the Ramblers in a Division 3 regional semifinal game. The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Tigers.

It was a tight game the whole way, with McBain taking a slight 10-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. Shelby had a 13-11 advantage in the second to pull into a 21-all tie at the half.
The Ramblers outscored the Tigers, 16-11 in the third quarter and took a five-point lead, 37-32, into the fourth period. McBain finished the game with a 16-10 run to spread the margin to double figures at the end.
“We hit a bucket in the fourth to cut it to three and we just couldn’t get any closer,” said Shelby coach Rick Zoulek. “They kept us at arm’s length pretty much the rest of the way. We had to do some fouling at the end to try to make up the difference. But they made some free throws. The kids battled the whole night.”
McBain features 6-8, 6-6 and 6-3 players.
“We were very much outsized,” Zoulek said. “It was tough sledding, for a while, especially offensively. We just battled them on defense big time, and the kids did a great job of keeping them from making any big runs.”

Photo courtesy of Cadillac News Photographer Mike Dunn

Bishop Lee had a big offensive night for the Tigers with 26 points, and also led them with nine rebounds. dished out four assists and had two steals. Phillip Hayes contributed eight points, led the team with four steals and had two assists. Wyatt Dickman added six points. Carson Claeys and Mason Garcia each dished out four assists. Garcia and Hayes pulled down four rebounds apiece.
Shelby finished the season with a 14-12 record, after starting the season 0-5.
“I’m extremely proud of how these guys came together the last 4-5 weeks,” Zoulek said. “They really worked well together and pushed each other. It was fun to coach guys that work hard, work together and truly care about each other. It was fun to see the maturity of the team come together.”
McBain (20-5) meets Traverse City St. Francis (21-4) in the regional final at 7 p.m. Wednesday.