District title special to Hulett

Published 2:39 pm Monday, March 31, 2014

Winning a boys basketball district title was especially satisfying for Edwardsburg High School senior Dylan Hulett.

Dylan Hulett finally got to hold a district championship trophy after the Eddies defeated Sturgis for its first Class B title since 1988. (Leader file photo)

Dylan Hulett finally got to hold a district championship trophy after the Eddies defeated Sturgis for its first Class B title since 1988. (Leader file photo)

Taking pictures, holding a championship trophy and celebrating with classmates were moments Hulett had seen opponents enjoy.

It was his turn Friday to wear a postgame tournament smile after the Eddies beat Sturgis, 46-35, in a Class B district final March 7.

“After the disappointing football season this is probably one of the best feelings I’ve ever had in my life. It’s awesome.”

Hulett was a starting running back and linebacker on the Edwardsburg football team which lost a heartbreaker to Dowagiac, 21-17, in an opening round district game in November.

Hulett came off the bench last year for the Edwardsburg basketball team which fell to Sturgis, 54-39, in an opening round district game.

“It was disappointing,” Hulett recalled about last year’s loss to the Trojans. “We had Josh (Kozinski) who was a great player and we expected to go a lot farther than we did.

“Beating them this year, oh man, it’s one of the best feelings I’ve ever had.”

That disappointment fueled Hulett and his teammates to get revenge against Sturgis this year.

“We were definitely emotional before (Friday’s) the game,” Hulett said. “But, we turned it into energy. Right off the bat, we were ready to go. The guys were great.”

Edwardsburg won with defense with thievery being the Eddies greatest weapon. Edwardsburg finished the game with nine steals. Hulett and Dante Razzano each had three to lead the Eddies.

A full-court press was part of Edwardsburg’s game plan.

“We just put that in a couple weeks ago,” Hulett said about the fullcourt pressure. “That’s our bread and butter now.”

The biggest challenge for Edwardsburg was defending 6-foot-6 forward Chance Stewart, who scored 32 points and grabbed 20 rebounds last year against the Eddies. Stewart was limited to 21 points on Friday.

“It was different (defending Stewart this year) in the fact that we’re a lot smaller and he’s strong,” Hulett said. “We had to find a way to front him and deny him the ball as much as possible. It worked for the most part.”

Hulett also contributed on the offensive end against the Trojans. He scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers. His 3-pointer gave the Eddies a 37-29 lead with 3:57 remaining in the game. That basket was part of critical 11-2 run by Edwardsburg, which gave the Eddies a commanding 40-31 lead with 1:57 left.

“I just do what I can,” Hulett said. “I couldn’t ask for a better team. We got it done.”

Edwardsburg coach Steve Wright praised Hulett during the postgame celebration.

“Dylan is the heart and soul of this team,” said Wright. “He’s just a worker. Dylan does anything you ask him to do. He leads by example. He’s a leader in the locker room. He’s just done a great job for us. It means a lot that he was able to get this district title.”