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Escanaba boys basketball team’s run ends in MHSAA Division 2 quarterfinals downstate

Escanaba boys basketball coach Tracy Hudson, bottom center, talks to the Eskymos during a timeout in their MHSAA Division 2 quarterfinal boys basketball game against Bridgeport played in Corunna on Tuesday. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Todd Rose)

CORUNNA — A season 61 years in the making for the Escanaba boys basketball team came to an end Tuesday night at the hands of a talented Bridgeport squad with a 52-41 loss in an MHSAA Division 2 quarterfinal played in Corunna.

The appearance in the state quarterfinals was the first for the Eskymos since 1960.

“This is one of the best teams I’ve ever coached in my 24 years at Escanaba,” Eskymos coach Tracy Hudson said after his team finished its season at 17-3. “We were two quarters away from the final four. This is the closest we’ve ever been.”

The game came down to who could put together the best fourth quarter after the teams were tied 32-32 after three quarters of play. The tie was achieved when Esky’s Brandon Frazer hit a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third period.

It was just 10 seconds into the fourth when the Bearcats (17-2) took the lead and put momentum on their side by starting a nine-point run that made it 41-32.

While Escanaba was able to scrape together nine more points, the suburban Saginaw squad had 20 in the stretch.

In the first half, the Eskymos had things under control as they led 28-24 heading into the locker room.

“I think in the first half, we were kind of playing our game,” Hudson said. “The second half, they kind of crawled into us a little more. We made some mistakes with some turnovers, and it just affected our offense.

“We weren’t as efficient — our shots stopped falling. They just turned up the pressure on us, and we didn’t execute as well. It got away from us a little bit.”

Despite the result, the still held a special moment for one Esky senior.

With the last shot of the game — and of his high school basketball career — Erik Victorson hit the 1,000-point mark with a picture-perfect triple. At the start of the night, he needed 16 to hit the goal, which is where he ended.

Colin Hudson also hit double digits for the Eskymos, scoring 13 points to go with seven rebounds.

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