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Michigan City sends Marquette to Indy for hoops glory

Marquette High School assistant coach John Fettig washes word 'semi-' off bus Thursday morning March 27 2014 reflect team's victory

Marquette High School assistant coach John Fettig washes the word "semi-" off the bus Thursday morning, March 27, 2014 to reflect the team's victory at semi-state and their departure to Indianapolis and the state final basketball game this weekend. | Michael Gard/For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: April 29, 2014 6:12AM



MICHIGAN CITY — The cold, wind and rain could not dampen the spirits and enthusiasm of the Marquette Catholic High School boys basketball team, coaching staff or the family and friends who gathered to see the team off on their trip to Indianapolis and the IHSAA Class 1A boy’s basketball championship game.

The Blazers (20–6) will tip off against Barr-Reeve High School (26–1) at 10:30 a.m. Eastern time Saturday.

Well-wishers lined Franklin Street as Michigan City police, with lights flashing and sirens blaring, escorted the team bus to the interstate.

The last Michigan City team to advance to the state finals was Elston High School in 1966, which came home victorious.

“We’re going to state,” an exuberant Malcolm Reed said as he headed toward the bus.

The players had gathered for a team luncheon of spaghetti and salad Thursday after an early morning practice.

“We started coming together toward the end of the season,” said the team’s center, Tyshaun Smallwood. “I knew then we could make the long run.”

Small forward Cameron Hall was upbeat about the upcoming game. “It’s a great feeling, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

“It’s crazy, something I’ve dreamed of as a basketball player my whole career,” starting guard Braxton Miller said.

All the players agreed that the vital ingredient to their success has been teamwork and the bonding of the players.

“Every game we play we get better and better with each other. We know what the other person is going to do,” Miller said.

“We just came together more as a team. We started trusting in each other,” Hall said.

Kyren Miller, a shooting guard, echoed those feelings.

“It’s amazing how far we’ve come,” Miller said. “It feels like we’re family, we’re so close. This journey has made us super close.”

Crown Point native Donovan Garletts began his coaching career at Marquette in 2010. “I never thought it would happen this quickly,” he said.

“I think going to the finals is an incredible opportunity for the community, school and the kids,” Garletts said. “This is the pinnacle of Indiana high school basketball. It’s the goal of every coach and program.”

The team is expected to return to Michigan City by 4 p.m. Saturday. Michigan City police Sgt. Darren Kaplan, who is escorting the team bus to Indianapolis, promises that, “the return trip will be a lot more flashy.”



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