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Shelby stays hot with eighth straight win, topping White Cloud for district title

Tigers capture first district championship since 2016.

It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it for Shelby’s boys basketball team.

The Tigers found themselves in a grinder against White Cloud in the Division 3 district finals Friday night at Mason County Central, but they found a way.

Shelby defeated White Cloud, 45-40, which is the eighth-straight win for the red-hot Tigers. It’s the program’s first district championship since 2016.

Shelby, which finished fifth in the seven-team West Michigan Conference Rivers Division, keeps its season going Monday at Lake City. The Tigers (14-11) will tangle with McBain (19-5) in the 7 p.m. regional semifinal. The other regional semifinal at Lake City features Sanford Meridian (17-7) vs. Traverse City St. Francis (20-4).

Shelby trailed White Cloud 11-6 after one quarter and 18-17 at halftime. The Tigers outscored the Indians 17-10 in the third.

Shelby’s Mason Garcia poses for a portrait during CatchMark SportsNet Boys Basketball Media Day on Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022, at CatchMark Technologies in Whitehall, Mich. (Kara Raeth | CatchMark)

Mason Garcia led Shelby with 14 points, five rebounds and three assists. Bishop Lee totaled 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Tigers. Phillip Hayes had eight points, four rebounds and two assists, while Carson Claeys totaled five points, two rebounds and two assists.

Shelby defeated White Cloud late in the regular season as well, 64-51, on Feb. 21 at White Cloud.

White Cloud closes its season with a 13-10 record.

Watch the video below for Shelby’s celebration and reaction from coach Rick Zoulek and senior Carson Claeys. Video and interviews were courtesy of CatchMark SportsNet student volunteer Eli Kelley.

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

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