Edwardsburg knocks off Wildcats 56-42

Published 9:34 am Thursday, March 14, 2019

THREE RIVERS — Back-to-back district champs.

Friday was a special night for the Edwardsburg girls basketball team, which not only won its second straight Division 2 district championship, but had senior standout Kaitlyn Zarycki break the Eddies’ all-time scoring record in the process.

It was not easy for Edwardsburg against host Three Rivers, which the Eddies were playing for the third time this season.

The Wildcats put up a good fight before falling 56-42.

But in the end, Zarycki and company pulled away late to a 56-42 victory, which earned the Eddies (23-0) a spot in the regional semifinals against Hamilton (22-0) at Coloma Monday night.

Benton Harbor (4-14) will face Plainwell (15-6) in the first regional semifinal at 5:30 p.m. The battle of undefeated teams will follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Friday night’s championship game was a rematch from last year when the Eddies blew out the Wildcats 44-28.

During the Wolverine Conference season, Edwardsburg defeated Three Rivers 52-28 and 45-20.

The Wildcats were a tougher out in the district championship game.

Three Rivers (16-6) was able to stay within striking distance the entire game.

The Eddies led 11-5 after one quarter and stretched their lead to 21-8 with a 12-3 run in the second quarter.

Three Rivers would not go away, as the Wildcats ended the first half on a 5-1 run to make it 22-13 at halftime.

The Eddies were able to push the lead up to double digits in the third quarter, leading 36-24 after three, only to have the Wildcats make another comeback, which would cut the lead to 38-31 early in the fourth quarter.

Edwardsburg’s constant pressure finally began to take its toll in the final eight minutes and the Eddies pulled away to the victory.

“It wasn’t pretty all the way around, but we managed to get it done,” said Edwardsburg coach Jon Pobuda. “We didn’t make smart plays tonight. We didn’t get good rotations offensively.

“But hats off to Three Rivers. They played very hard tonight. They wanted it.”

Zarycki finished the night with a game-high 28 points, which pushed her past all-time leading scorer Josh Krozinski. Zarycki now has 1,595 points.

Abbey Krugh added 14 points and Claire Bartz 10.

Edwardsburg did a good job defensively on Three Rivers’ top scorer as it held Hadley Miller to 11 points. Kali Heivilin led the Wildcats with 19 points.