CARSON CITY — Carson City-Crystal’s boys basketball team knows a little something about its opponent tonight.
The Eagles have faced the Laingsburg Wolfpack before, specifically last season when both teams were in the Central Michigan Athletic Conference.
The two teams will meet at Community Fieldhouse for the Class C district championship game.
When the Eagles and Wolfpack met last season, Laingsburg won both games. But there’s a difference between the 2011-12 team and this season’s version, noted Eagles coach Ryan Fritz.
“I think they lost a little bit of their size. That’s a disadvantage and an advantage,” Fritz said. “They are very athletic on the perimeter and they have a lot of pressure and physicality.”
CC-Crystal got to the final with a 49-47 win over Bath, while Laingsburg, an honorable mention in the final Associated Press Class C poll, beat another honorable mention in Pewamo-Westphalia 44-33.
“We need to take care of the ball and execute offensively,” Fritz said. “They (Laingsburg) play very physically on the defensive end. What they do defensively is going to take away some of our opportunities. We also have to defend because they have five guys who can throw it in from just about anywhere.”
The offensive philosophy the Eagles employ won’t change much, Fritz said.
“We’re going to do the same things we tried to do all year,” he said. “We have a weapon in Brann Schmitt. If we can get him the ball in certain situations, we can work from there. That’s the theory all year. We’re not going to change what we do because of who we’re playing too much.”
But expect the same defense to be played by CC-Crystal all game, according to Fritz.
“We’re probably going to have to stay in a man (-to-man defense).” he said. “If you go to a zone, you’ll give them too many perimeter opportunities. Defensively, we’re going to lock down and do what we’ve done all year. We have to stop the (Jake) Zielinski kid. He had 19 (points) against Pewamo-Westphalia. We have to lock him down first.”
Both teams like to get out and run in transition, but Fritz doesn’t want a track meet.
“They like to run, and if we get chances, we’re going to run,” he said. “But I don’t want to get into a high scoring game with them because that doesn’t favors us. For us to have a good opportunity to win, it we have to keep the score down.”
The winner will face the winner of tonight’s Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian final between Grandville Calvin Christian and the host Mustangs in the first game of regionals at Pewamo-Westphalia.