MHSAA still needs to tweek plan

The Dollar Bay-Tamarack City High School boys basketball program has been one of the most successful in the state of Michigan the past three years.

The Blue Bolts, a Class D state semifinalist the last two seasons, has lost only a handful of games in that period of time.

Three of those losses came at the hands of a record-setting North Central team and a powerful Southfield Christian team. And those two teams have claimed the last three state titles.

It appears the Bolts have a good chance to go 20-0 again this winter, but will not get the chance to play a single tourney game on their home court.

All this comes in a season when the Michigan High School Athletic Association implemented a playoff seeding system that rewards the most successful schools in basketball and hockey.

Dollar Bay hoops coach Jesse Kentala says he doesn’t understand the plan.

“I know the plan is in its first season …. but all I know is that we won’t get the chance to play at home in the postseason this year,” Kentala said.

The MHSSA also implemented the same seeding plan for prep hockey, but that also comes far too late for most fans and coaches.

Late Houghton High hockey skipper Don Miller called for the change for several decades, insisting that if the state association could seed football, they certainly could do the same for hockey.

For many seasons, either Calumet, Houghton or Hancock would end up meeting in an earlier round and knocking each other out.

Those three schools have dominated local prep hockey at least 30 years.

Foes like Jeffers, Lake Linden-Hubbell, L’Anse and Ironwood (the latter trio no longer sponsor hockey) could end up in the finals with little or no chance of advancing.

The problem with seeding basketball is that there are more than double the schools sponsoring basketball than there are hockey.

The MHSSA has vowed that it will come up with an equitable plan for the basketball tournaments in the near future.

But that doesn’t help the Dollar Bay-Tamarack City boys in 2020 ….


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