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Ludington suffers tough regional finals loss to Kingsford; David Shillinger’s record career ends

Flivvers edge Orioles, 37-34, with big plays in the final minute. Shillinger finishes with 1,776 career points.

Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark

GAYLORD — High-scoring David Shillinger set the tone for an undersized, yet scrappy and defensive-minded Ludington boys basketball all season.

They took their fans on a fun ride through the regular season and started to peak during state-tournament time.

The ride stopped for Ludington in a tough 37-34 loss to Kingsford in a Division 2 regional final Thursday night at Gaylord High School.

Shillinger’s sparkling record-setting career in an Orioles uniform is complete. The 5-foot-9 senior guard scored 12 points in the grinder of a game and finished his career with 1,776 points, which ranks first all-time in both Ludington High School and Mason County history.

Ludington closes its season with a 19-7 record.

Two Gavins made all the difference for Kingsford (21-4), which advances to next Tuesday’s state quarterfinal at Big Rapids to face Flint Powers Catholic (21-5), a 59-51 regional final winner over Saginaw Arthur Hill.

Junior Gavin Grondin scored a game-high 19 points for the Flivvers, who lost to Cadillac in the regional finals last season. Fellow junior Gavin Trevillian made a steal near half-court and coasted in for the game-winning layup and a 36-34 lead with under 50 seconds left. It was Trevillian’s lone bucket of the contest.

Ludington had a chance to tie it, but a contested pull-up shot from just beyond the free-throw line near the top of the key was off the mark. Kingsford 6-foot-6 center Jacob Markworth rebounded the miss and he was fouled by Shillinger, which was his fifth.

Markworth split the ensuing free throws with 2.9 seconds left for a three-point lead. Ludington tossed a nice baseball pass to the 3-point area near the Orioles bench and seemed to get a good look at a potentially game-tying triple, but Trevillian came flying in to partially block the shot.

The game was tight throughout. Kingsford led 11-10 after one quarter, then Ludington took a 22-19 edge into halftime. The Flivvers outscored the Orioles 13-6 in the third quarter for a 32-28 advantage.

Ludington coach Thad Shank said that Kingsford’s size advantage made a difference in the third quarter, as the Flivvers’ two “bigs” combined to scored 10 points in the period.

Ludington tied the game at 34 with two minutes remaining after forcing a turnover on the Kingsford end of the floor and a making a long pass to senior Spencer Holmes for a layup. The Orioles just couldn’t get the big shot to fall in the final moments.

Ludington sophomore Cameron Gunsell complemented Shillinger’s scoring with seven points. Holmes and freshman Taj Williams added five points apiece for the Orioles.

For Kingsford, 6-4 junior Morgan Sleik scored eight of his 10 points in the second half. Markworth finished with five points.


Ludington’s student section does the rollercoaster, led by conductor Cole Hackert, during the regional basketball finals against Kingsford last night at Gaylord High School. #fyp #csn #catchmarksportsnet #mhsaa #basketball #ludington #ludingtonorioles @cole hackert

♬ Ready – Official Sound Studio

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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