SHEPHERD - The Shepherd BlueJays boys basketball team claimed their first Jack Pine Conference championship since joining the conference in the 2019-2020 season with a 53-45 victory over Gladwin on Thursday evening.
The BlueJays jumped out to a 13-8 lead after one quarter of play. Gladwin would briefly take a lead in the second quarter before Shepherd closed the half on a 7-0 run to lead 23-18 at halftime.
Gladwin would tie the game up early in the third quarter, but Shepherd started to pull away from there, building a 39-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Eight different players scored for Shepherd in the game. Kam Williams led the balanced BlueJays’ offensive attack with 11 points. Gladwin was paced by Lucas Mead’s 23.
“I can’t say enough about our boys, all 11 of them. It’s just been amazing, especially for a first year back coaching here, it means a lot,” Shepherd Head Coach Jaymi Fazi said after the game. “From here on out it’s what we talked about, win a conference title and then go get a district title and see what happens.”
Shepherd (18-4, 12-2 JPC) takes on Belding in the first round of Districts next week at Central Montcalm High School at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Gladwin (12-9, 10-4 JPC) travels to Ogemaw Heights on Monday night to take on the host Falcons in the opening game of that District at 7:00 p.m.