There’s no need to hype tonight’s Division 1 girls basketball district final between Hartland and Howell.
There’s no need for extra scouting, either.
“I don’t think either team’s got any hidden secrets,” Hartland coach Don Palmer said. “I think we are what we are, and I think it will be a great game. I really do.”
The Eagles (21-1) are aiming for their fourth consecutive district title tonight at Holly High School in a game that will be broadcast by The LIvingston Post. Click here for the link.
Howell coach Tim Olszewski, whose team is 16-4, is ready to go.
“I anticipate it’s going to be a great battle,” he said. “They’ve got so many talented players who are so experienced. They’re very skilled, so that’s going to be a challenge. We’ve played them hard. We’ve had a great season ourselves. It’s fortunate, or unfortunate, where you have Hartland, Brighton, and us, and we’re still beating each other up. So I anticipate it will be a well-contested game.”
The first two games, which Hartland won, were certainly that. But the second loss, a 47-45 decision at Howell, proved tough to swallow for the Highlanders but also as motivation.
“We kind of had the game, but we gave it away,” Olszewski said. “We hadn’t been in that position before, and so I think using it as a teaching tool … really helped us as a team. If we’re fortunate enough to be in the same position, where we’ve got the ball up by four with two minutes to go, we’ll handle that a little better.”
Kaylee Wendel, a four-year player for the Highlanders, is looking forward to one more chance to play the Eagles.
“I’ve played with a lot of the girls on the Hartland team, and we’re good friends,” she said. “It’s good to play some competition.”
Palmer, in his 47th season coaching girls basketball, has won 20 games the last four years and in six of the 11 seasons he’s been at Hartland.
“This graduating class has been really something,” he said of his trio of seniors, led by Whitney Sollom, who on Wednesday scored the 1,000th point of her career. “When it ends, whether it be (today) or down the road, it’s been a very good group in terms of playing well, winning a lot of games, and a lot of championships.”
Time will tell if the Eagles add another trophy tonight.