Swan Valley ends Belding’s playoff run

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 1:48 pm on Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PINCONNING — Just like in volleyball, Saginaw Swan Valley ended Belding’s playoff run in Pinconning.

The Vikings beat the Redskins in the Class B boys basketball regional on Monday 54-34, ending Belding’s season at 8-14.

The loss could be attributed to shooting — or the lack thereof, according to Belding coach Jeff Wierzbicki.

“We held a team to 54 points and that was pretty good,” Wierzbicki said. “But the free throws weren’t falling, the shots weren’t falling and they were last week, which really helped in all aspects of the game.”

Swan Valley (15-7) held the Redskins to just two three-pointers in the first quarter, which got the Vikings out to an 11-6 lead at the end of the frame.

But the big run was in the second quarter, when Swan Valley went out on a 13-0 run over the first 4:40 of the quarter.

“We knew they (Swan Valley) had good shooters,” Wierzbicki said. “No. 20 (Garrett Preston) and No. 33 (Brock Notter) hit some good shots. We weren’t able to rebound from that like we did last week.”

The only points that Belding scored in the second quarter came from Bryce Wilker. Wilker’s six points made the score 32-12 at halftime.

Wierzbicki said he told his team to not get the entire deficit back in one possession.

“We came out and it was all about cut it to 10 and see what happens from there,” he said. “We were close.”

Belding outscored the Vikings 13-11, but was still down 43-25 after three quarters. The Redskins couldn’t recover from there.

Wierzbicki said he liked how his team came out in the second half.

“It was tough,” he said. “We came out in the second half and knew we had to pick up the pace. We had a chance to cut it to 12, and it would have been big to cut it to 12, if we hit a shot. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for us.”

Kole Hart led the Redskins with eight points and Wilker added seven.

Swan Valley had three of their six scorers in double figures, led by Notter with 16. Preston added 14 and Nick Call scored 12.

Belding’s season wasn’t bad despite the record, accoring to Wierzbicki.

“I told the guys in the locker room we had a great season,” he said. “We came on strong in the end, winning five of our last seven and winning a district title. Our seniors put in a great effort in all sports and they deserved a district title. It’s too bad it didn’t continue on but we have to keep our heads up high.”

The Vikings, meanwhile, will face former Greenville coach Kent Ingles and the Big Rapids Cardinals in the regional final after the Cardinals downed Standish-Sterling 65-59.


Swan Valley 11 21 11 11 — 54

Belding 6 6 13 9 — 34

SWAN VALLEY (15-7) — Call 5 0-0 12, Joiner 1 0-0 2, Prestonm 5 1-1 14, Fries 4 0-0 8, Notter 7 0-2 16, Gilbert 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 1-3 54. Three-point goals: Call 2, Preston 3, Notter 2. Total fouls: 10.

Fouled out: none.

BELDING (8-14) — Daller 2 0-3 4, Wittenbach 3 0-0 6, Strotheide 2 0-0 5, Hart 3 0-2 8, Bach 1 2-2 4, Wilker 3 1-4 7. Totals: 14 3-11 34. Three-point goals: Strotheide, Hart 2. Total fouls: 9. Fouled out: none.

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