BOYS BASKETBALL: Holly throws “Partee”, wins first district since 1982

| March 13, 2015 | Comments (0)



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ORTONVILLE — Friday was the day that Paris Partee came of age.

The 6-foot-2 sophomore center posted a career day in the paint, scoring 15 points with 11 rebounds, both which are career highs, to go along with a pair of assists and a blocked shot in leading Holly to a thrilling, 57-55, triumph over Grand Blanc in a Class A district final played at Ortonville Brandon in front of a near-packed house.

The victory not only erased last year’s crushing district defeat to Grand Blanc (92-86) but gave Holly (21-2) its 18th straight win and first district title since 1982.

“It means so much to everyone,” said Partee, who has seen significant increase in minutes in the second half of the season. “This is what we have worked for all season. One of our goals was to win districts. I just did my part.”

Holly will play in the regional semifinals Monday on its home floor, as the Bronchos will face Plymouth at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s our first Class A district title,” reminded Holly coach Lance Baylis, who in eight seasons has resurrected the Bronchos program. “We won one in the early 80s and that was in Class B.”

Holly, which began the season 3-2, lost starters Kyle Woodruff and Joshua Simms to injuries and with them 26 points a game. The Bronchos have more than compensated and delivered league and district titles for the first time in the same season in more than three decades.

“We don’t mind the underdog role — at all,” said Baylis. “We have stayed under the radar all season, which is fine with me. We’ve heard that we weren’t very tall or we played in a weak league. But we’ve won (18) games in a row and we’re going to play regionals on our hime floor. We have a lot of experience on this team. Seven of our players have been on varsity since they were freshmen.”

Grand Blanc (14-7) trailed Holly for most of the game, but took its first lead with 7:15 to play on a runner-in-the-lane from sophomore Jaylen Rutherford. Holly responded with an 11-0 run for a 48-39 advantage with 4:26 to play and never trailed again. Partee was heavily involved in each Holly run.

“He played great. He was a difference-maker for us tonight,” offered senior guard Parker Rowse of Partee.

The Bobcats did cut the deficit down to 55-54 to play with 45.4 seconds left on a three-point play by 6-3 junior Bryan Pollard. The Bobcats’ Tre’von Avery split a pair of free throws with 5.6 ticks remaining, with Holly’s Partee snagging the rebound before throwing the ball downcourt to end Holly’s district drought at 33 years.

Senior guard Jake Daniels, a two-year starter at Holly after transferring over from Grand Blanc, led the Bronchos with 16 points, seven rebounds and a pair of assists. Junior guard Ian Hodges added 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals, and fourth-year guard Rowse had a fine floor game with five points, seven assists, five rebounds and a pair of steals for Holly.


“Holly played great team basketball tonight and you have to give them credit,” offered Grand Blanc coach Rob McRae. “Basketball is a game of runs and unfortunately Holly’s runs were a little longer than ours. When we took the lead, they came right back on us and scored a bunch of baskets in a row. We could never catch up.”

Rutherford scored a game-high 20 points for Grand Blanc. Avery scored 11 with three assists, Pollard had nine points and seven boards and senior center Jacob Schroer had nine points and seven rebounds for the Bobcats.

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