Hornets savor regional title, get back to work
Pellston coach Cliff Hass talks with his players during a timeout Wednesday in a Class D regional championship game at Gaylord High School. (Kurt Grangood/News-Review)
He didn’t get much done in school on Thursday either. The combination of lack of sleep and the delirium over Wednesday’s win left his head a bit foggy. You can bet most of his teammates went through the same thing.
“I was a little laid back today,” said Schlosser, a senior guard, during practice Thursday at the Pellston High School gym. “Pretty tired today.”
The talk of the town and the school was, of course, Wednesday’s game, which gave Pellston its first boys basketball regional championship since 1944 and puts the Hornets in a state quarterfinal on Tuesday against Carney-Nadeau.
“It was a great feeling,” Schlosser said of his day at school. “Just seeing everyone. They know, obviously, what happened, how big of a deal it was. It felt good having everyone tell you ‘good game.’
“It was one of the best days of school ever.”
One of the best days of school, for the best team Pellston has seen in a long, long time.
It got even better at lunch time.
“The whole basketball team got ice cream sandwiches at lunch for free,” Schlosser said. “That was pretty cool.”
Icing on the cake.
“It’s just unreal,” said senior Christopher Hass, the team’s star and one of the state’s top players, who is now fourth on the Michigan High School Athletic Association scoring list with 2,492 points. “We talked about the game the whole day (in school).
“People that you hardly ever talk to are coming up and congratulating you. It’s just bringing the whole school together, the whole community together, and it’s just a totally different vibe today than any other day.”
Winning the regional championship did not come as a surprise. These Hornets have been good, very good, for a long time, and the core of the team has been together seemingly forever.
Last year, Pellston fell in a regional semifinal.
“I’ve known pretty much all these guys ever since kindergarten, all the seniors at least,” Schlosser said. “Everyone else I’ve known and just have such a strong relationship with them. It’s almost like they’re my brothers. I’d do anything for them and I know they’d do the same for me. We’ve played together so much we almost know exactly what the other person’s going to do.”
There are seven seniors on the Hornet roster, five of whom — Schlosser, Andy Hamlin, Zak Kruskie, Max Ketterer and Heath Welch — have come up together through the system.
Christopher Hass joined them in the ninth grade, transferring from Harbor Light Christian. The other senior, Brady Billings, transferred in from Boyne City before last season.
Something special has been cooking with this group for a long time. When Christopher Hass put on a Pellston uniform for the first time as a freshman, it was almost as if the destiny was sealed.