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‘Eager’ Pioneers bring pressure to season opener against Marysville

Croswell-Lexington boys basketball head coach Lance Campbell said his team had been “chomping at the bit” for last night’s season opener against Marysville, and a 19-0 run in the game’s first five minutes left no question about it.

“There are a lot of seniors on this team with a lot of basketball experience and I think they were eager for this moment,” Campbell said. “They’d been chomping at the bit to get out here, and when they did, they executed really well early.”

Between the Pioneers’ intense full-court pressure, quick ball movement, and precise 3-point shooting, Marysville didn’t have an answer. Before the first quarter ended, the Vikings trailed 23-3.

Cros-Lex senior Donovan McDonald and Marysville junior RJ Clark jump for the tip of the 2022 boys basketball season.

Mitchell Geiger drained three consecutive threes, Donovan McDonald snagged six quick points in the paint, and even Drew Hosterman, who didn’t play last season, came off the bench with a pair of steals, keeping the defensive pressure on pace.

By halftime, the Pioneers led 46-6. They would go on to win 59-8.

“I think it sends a message to ourselves that when we get out with energy and play aggressively, the sky’s the limit for us,” senior Trey Kolakovich said. “We’ve just got to keep coming out with energy.”

As for Marysville, head coach Erik Schunk said he thought his team did quite the opposite.

“I would say we didn’t really play that hard tonight. There were some things like sprinting in transition and communication, those are what tough working teams do, and we took some plays off and I think the score got lopsided,” Schunk said. “For a lot of those guys, it was their first varsity game, and a lot of them don’t realize when you go up against a good opponent like Cros-Lex in your first game, you’re not really easing into the pressure.”

There was certainly no easing into anything against Cros-Lex last night. The speed at which the Pioneers played on both ends of the court will likely be a pain for many teams this season, and both Kolakovich and Campbell credit the team’s chemistry.

“I think that’s what our team is about: the team. I don’t think it’s about individualism and tonight, collectively as a team, they came out and performed well. This is the first of many games and we just hope we continue to get better. We know it’s going to be tough,” Campbell said. “They’ve got great personalities, they play the game well, and they cherish it. They enjoy playing with each other. That’s important.”

Eight different players scored in the victory, led by McDonald with 13, Kolakovich with 10, and Geiger with nine.

“Our team chemistry is really good this year. We all got along in the past obviously, but we just play so well together,” Kolakovich said. “Zach [Kroetsch], Mitchell, Donny, and I have all been laying together since third grade, and everybody else fits right in with us and I think it just flows, so I think that’s going to be our biggest strength this season.”

Junior RJ Clark and sophomore Jake Dysinger led the Vikings with three points apiece, and senior Nate Clark added two.

Both teams will be on the road this Friday, Marysville against Bishop Foley and Cros-Lex against Grosse Pointe North.


For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli

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