2017-03-16 / Sports

Cedarville Trojans Top Pickford Panthers in Districts; Key Player Injured

By Kevin R. Hess


The Cedarville Trojans prevailed as the Class D District 123 champions. The Trojans defeated the Pickford Panthers, 61-39, Friday, March 10 in Cedarville. Members of the team are (back row, from left): Assistant Coach Donnie Solomonson Chase Fisher, Josh Goodell, Zach Claxton, Wyatt Landreville, Trey Norris, Bill Furest, Tristan Masuga,, Assistant Coach Bill Kohlmann, Head Coach Jason Duncan, Assistant Coaches Joe Duncan, Brad Causley; (front) Avry Freel, Dakota Fairchild, Chase Massey, Trevor Kohlmann, Derek Burger, manager Alec Storey; (kneeling) managers Caleb Kohlmann and Nicholas Fairchild. The Cedarville Trojans prevailed as the Class D District 123 champions. The Trojans defeated the Pickford Panthers, 61-39, Friday, March 10 in Cedarville. Members of the team are (back row, from left): Assistant Coach Donnie Solomonson Chase Fisher, Josh Goodell, Zach Claxton, Wyatt Landreville, Trey Norris, Bill Furest, Tristan Masuga,, Assistant Coach Bill Kohlmann, Head Coach Jason Duncan, Assistant Coaches Joe Duncan, Brad Causley; (front) Avry Freel, Dakota Fairchild, Chase Massey, Trevor Kohlmann, Derek Burger, manager Alec Storey; (kneeling) managers Caleb Kohlmann and Nicholas Fairchild. Sports are competitive and players and teams play to win, yet, even in professional sports, teams want to beat their opponents when they are at their best. In the Class D District 123 championship game at Cedarville High School Friday, March 10, a serious injury put a damper on what was set to be an intense and competitive battle between two great teams, Pickford and Cedarville, who split their first two games against each other.


At right: Dakota Fairchild attempts the free throw in the Class D District 123 championship game vs. Pickford Friday, March 10, in Cedarville. Fairchild scored eight points and handled the point for the Trojans, helping them to a 61- 39 win over the Panthers. At right: Dakota Fairchild attempts the free throw in the Class D District 123 championship game vs. Pickford Friday, March 10, in Cedarville. Fairchild scored eight points and handled the point for the Trojans, helping them to a 61- 39 win over the Panthers. Pickford came in as the fifth ranked team in Class D and had dreams of making a deep run in the postseason. Those dreams were dashed, however, when less than one minute into the game, Pickford’s 6’7’ senior, Derrick Edington, fell after a foul and broke his arm. The immediate reaction from Edington and players from both teams made it clear that this was a serious injury. Everyone in John Duncan Memorial Gymnasium was silent as trainers tended to Edington and slowly escorted him into the locker room. Pickford players and fans were clearly distraught, concerned for Edington’s well being. Everyone wants to win, but nobody wants to see players experience what Edington did.

Cedarville Coach Jason Duncan said it was hard to see Edington get injured.

“It was tough seeing Derrick go down like that. You never want to see a player get hurt,” said Coach Duncan. “It clearly changes the game with them not having their best player.”

Pickford Coach Drew Paquin tried to rally his team.

“We’ve survived without Derrick before when he was in foul trouble and done quite well, but we’ve never been without him for an entire game,” said Coach Paquin. “If he had gotten hurt a week ago and we had time to game plan without him, I think we would have been better prepared. The fact that it happened so early in the game was tough, es pecially being his senior year.”

Even with Edington, this game was going to be competitive. Without him, Cedarville was able to take advantage, especially on the glass. The Trojans dominated on the glass in the first quarter, led by junior Trey Norris. The Trojans were able to get into the lane with relative ease, leading to open shots. When the shots were missed, they were able to corral several offensive rebounds, leading to second-chance points. Cedarville used that to take a 17-10 lead after the first quarter.

The Trojans continued to dominate the glass and stretched their lead to double digits early in the second quarter. The Panthers out of rhythm offensively, leading to poor decisions and turnovers. Derrick’s freshman brother, Nick Edington, scored six straight points to try and keep Pickford close, but a 19-14 second quarter advantage allowed Cedarville to end the half with a 12- point lead, 36-24.

Cedarville came out strong in the third quarter, going back inside for two points on their first possession of the second half. They quickly extended the lead to 20 and Pickford simply had no answer. They struggled from the field, often times forcing shots. They were able to get to the free throw line, but were unable to capitalize, missing several of them. A three-point basket in the final seconds by Cedarville’s Chase Massey doubled the Trojans’ halftime lead, as they took a 24-point lead, 53-29, into the final frame.

In the fourth quarter, Murphy’s Law was in full effect for Pickford. Whatever could go wrong did. They tried to force plays that weren’t there, making poor decisions with the basketball, leading to several turnovers. The loss of Edington proved too much for the Panthers, as the Trojans were the better team inside, taking advantage of Edington’s absence. Pickford never quit and never gave up, but they were simply playing a better equipped team on this night. Cedarville closed out the championship, winning on their home floor, 61-39.

Chase Massey led Cedarville with 21 points, followed by Trey Norris with 13.

“Our kids worked hard all year. I’m proud of the effort they gave tonight,” said Coach Duncan. “We had a few jitters early on, but hopefully we’re able to relax the next time we play.”

It was a disappointing end to Pickford’s season, but it doesn’t take away from the success they had.

“We won the conference for the second year in a row, and we won 16 games,” said Coach Paquin. “I told the kids to be proud of that.”

Derrick broke his left arm and is in a full cast. Doctors will monitor the arm and if it is not healing properly, may have to use pins to fix the break. Derrick is expected to make a full recovery.

Cedarville (16-6) advances to the St. Ignace regional, which will take place Monday, March 13, at LaSalle High School. They will face Hillman in the first game at 6 p.m., followed by Engadine and Pellston in the second game. The winners will play for the regional championship on Wednesday, March 15, 7 p.m. Pickford finished with a record of 16-5.

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