Chippewas end season in district semifinals

Manistee’s Tyler Peck (4) drives in for a layup during the Chippewas’ 71-37 loss to Ludington in the Class B district semifinals at Benzie Central on Wednesday night. (Robert Myers/Pioneer Sports Network)

Manistee’s Tyler Peck (4) drives in for a layup during the Chippewas’ 71-37 loss to Ludington in the Class B district semifinals at Benzie Central on Wednesday night. (Robert Myers/Pioneer Sports Network)

By ROBERT MYERS

Pioneer Sports Network

BENZONIA – Following a 71-37 loss to Ludington in the district semifinal, Manistee boys basketball coach Dan Gustad was focusing on the positives.

Gustad talked about the Orioles as an example of what his team could become.

“We can use this as inspiration, because you can see a program going in the right direction,” Gustad said. “That’s not saying that we’re not going in the right direction, but that’s kind of the target that we have to get to. So, if we can see how they play and what they do together as a team and realize that the best way to play this game is five on five, we’ll get there.”

Ludington jumped all over the Chippewas early, racing out to a 11-0 lead before Jacob Gustad put the Chips on the board with a midrange jumper from the wing. That did little to slow Ludington though. The Orioles continued to roll on their way to a 38-10 halftime lead

“Right off the bat we got pushed to an uncomfortable position,” Gustad said. “We all know that we don’t score a ton, so when you’re down 10, your head starts to hang a little bit, because it’s going to be a long uphill battle to get back into the game. Those things wear on you.”

The Orioles went up by as many as 37 points, but Manistee played hard to the finish and denying Ludington the running clock.

Jack Sandstedt led the Chippewas with 6 points. Cody Kniedl and Jayden Szaba each scored five. Tyler Peck and Gustad finished with four points each.

With the loss, Manistee finishes its season with a 4-21, but that doesn’t mean Gustad is disappointed.

“I personally believe after my first year of coaching that we had a great year,” Gustad said. “We had a great season and a great bunch of kids. We’re losing three good seniors, but we’ve got a good core of kids coming back next year, so I think we’ve got some groundwork to build on.”

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