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Posted on Fri, Mar 11, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

Huron and Skyline to play in district basketball final; 6 other Washtenaw County teams play for titles

By Pete Cunningham

Huron High School boys basketball coach Waleed Samaha saw the Skyline team celebrating in the halls of Brighton High School on Wednesday.

The Eagles had reason to be jubilant. They had a 19-point lead over Dexter at halftime of a Class A district semifinal and had just finished a quarter in which it seemed nothing could go wrong as they made nine of 13 shots.

But the game was far from over. And Samaha reminded them of that.

“They were out here celebrating, I told them ‘You better go out there and win this game,’” Samaha said. “Dexter’s not gonna lay down.”

Skyline went on to beat Dexter, 46-35, and advance to it first Class A district final in its first year competing under the classification.

Skyline celebrating at halftime and Samaha offering any words of wisdom tonight are both unlikely scenarios, as the Eagles will be taking on Samaha’s River Rats in Brighton at 6 p.m. Huron will be attempt to win its third consecutive district title.

Huron demolished Skyline in two previous meetings this season, winning 82-50 on Feb. 4 and 89-48 on March 3. But if Huron learned nothing else in Wednesday’s 56-52 win over Pioneer - who Huron beat 60-29 on Feb. 25 - it’s that the regular season is not a reflection of the postseason.

“Right now, we’re 1-0 and Skyline’s 2-0,” Samaha said in reference to his team having a first-round bye, and Skyline defeating Pinckney on Monday. “We know that whatever happens in the regular season has no bearing on what happens in the district. We’re experienced enough in districts to know that none of that matters.

“Brand new game, brand new season.”

“We gotta learn, because last time we played Pioneer, we beat them by 30 at their house. Coming into the playoffs, they played entirely different basketball and they were energized,” said Huron senior Kyle Baker. “We just have to learn from tonight’s lesson that we gotta come out and play with Huron intensity.”

Huron is leaps and bounds ahead of Skyline in the experience department, but then again, so were Dexter, Pinckney and every other team the Eagles beat this year. Skyline won those games because it had superior talent, was more athletic as a whole, and executed its game plan precisely.

Experience never really came up.

And it won’t on Friday.

The River Rats are one of the best teams in the state. They’re more athletic than Skyline, more talented and extremely deep.

And yes, they are more experienced as well.

So it's a safe bet is that Huron will win its third consecutive district title on Friday, and that no one will be celebrating at halftime.


Huron and Skyline are two of the eight local teams vying for district titles tonight. Vote below on who you think will be moving on to regionals.


What: Class A boys basketball district final at Brighton High School
Who: Huron (20-1) vs. Skyline (12-10)
When: Friday, 6 p.m.

What: Class A boys basketball district final at Monroe High School
Who: Ypsilanti (21-1) vs. Monroe (9-11)
When: Friday, 6 p.m.


What: Class B boys basketball district at Onsted High School
Who: Milan (16-6) vs. Father Gabriel Richard (6-13)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.


What: Class A district final at Napoleon High School
Who: Napoleon (18-4) vs. Manchester (8-14)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.


What: Class D district final at Saline Washtenaw Christian High School
Who: Central Academy (15-3) vs. Saline Washtenaw Christian (8-12)
When: Friday, 7 p.m.

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at or by phone at 734-623-2561. Follow him on Twitter @petcunningham