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Ludington’s lock-down defense leads to regional semifinals rout of Clare

Orioles (19-6) will travel to Gaylord Thursday to take on Kingsford (20-4) for a regional title.

In this file photo, Ludington coach Thad Shank barks instructions to his team during a game against Whitehall on Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, in Whitehall, Mich. (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

Stingy defense continues to be the theme of the Ludington boys basketball team’s run through the state tournament.

Ludington shut down Clare, 46-25, in a Division 2 regional semifinal Tuesday at Big Rapids High School.

“The story was the Oriole defense, which held Clare to 16 points through three quarters,” said Orioles coach Thad Shank, whose team has allowed an average of 32.3 points in three state tournament games.

Ludington (19-6) has earned the right to play for a regional title and the Orioles will travel a bit in doing so. The Orioles are headed to Gaylord High School for Thursday’s 7 p.m. regional final and will take on Kingsford (20-4), a 65-29 winner over Sault Ste. Marie in a regional semifinal.

Coincidentally, Ludington’s volleyball team defeated Kingsford in a Division 2 regional final at Gaylord High School in November.

In Ludington’s basketball game Tuesday, senior Spencer Holmes sparked the Orioles early in knocking down a pair of 3-pointers en route to scoring all eight of his points in the first half.

Senior David Shillinger took over in the second half for Ludington, scoring 14 of his game-high 17 points. Senior Gage Jones contributed eight points and four assists for the Orioles.

Miles Haggart and Richie Montgomery scored six points apiece for Clare, which finishes 16-9.

In this file photo, Ludington senior David Shillinger poses for a portrait on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2023, in Montague, Mich. Shillinger scored a game-high 34 points in a 65-53 victory over Montague and broke the Orioles’ all-time boys scoring record by reaching 1,339 points and counting to pass Mike Larsen (1,336). (Scott DeCamp | CatchMark)

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

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