Buzz Saw to the Grove(rs)
I took the opportunity to watch the Oak Grove boys basketball team a couple times during the season. It didn't take long to recognize that they had the talent to make some noise in Class B, but I didn't know what that would end up meaning. When it came to the final four of the tournament they had a chance to do what none of the previous three brackets had, an all East championship game.
Not only did the Grovers have to follow a good win by Hillsboro - Central Valley, they had to do it against a team on a very impressive run of tournament play. Four Winds/Minnewaukan is on a multi year run of success and are the reigning champions looking to repeat for the first time since the early 2000's. But the Grovers are no joke either and have several players who can fill up the box score.
Unfortunately they were stung by an old adage, as much as the Indians defense. Live by the 3, die by the 3. It kept them in the game, helped them come back from some large deficits and undoubtedly got them to the semi-finals but they were cold and FW/M's defense was hot. At times it was a clear mismatch but then Oak Grove would respond and close the lead. But for every punch, the Indians took them and just continued to play their game.
I was hoping for an all East championship game but not at the cost of it not being the best teams. And make no mistake, these two teams were the best in this tournament. It's a tough way to go but playing for third place is nothing to summarily dismiss. They just ran into a team good enough to take them down and with time will recognize their accomplishments!