Consistency is a desirable quality to have in cake batter. It’s also a hallmark of De La Salle in the state basketball tournament.
The Pilots defeated Fraser 69-32 in a Class A district game Monday. The victory made De La Salle 24-0 in district openers under coach Greg Esler, and it extended a streak that started a decade before Esler took over in 1994-95.
The Pilots have not lost their first district game since Tower posted a 54-52 triumph in 1983.
They’ve won 35 openers in a row. The curtain-raising winning streak has helped DLS win 29 district championships since 1984.
The Pilots have had some close calls.
They rallied late in the fourth quarter and needed overtime to defeat Warren-Mott 63-58 in 2010, and Warren Woods-Tower took them to OT before falling 59-57 in 2013.
The game against WWT came in a semifinal after the Pilots had a bye through the quarterfinals of that district tournament at Fraser.
The Pilots narrowly beat Roseville, 58-56, in 2008.
Esler went to DLS after guiding Lake Shore to the 1994 state Class B championship.
His first Pilots team beat Roseville, Warren-Mott and Lincoln on the way to a district title in 1985. De La Salle wound up in the state quarterfinals that season.
No other county team has an active streak in double figures.
New Haven has won nine consecutive district openers, including a 68-45 triumph over Pontiac on Monday. The Rockets’ streak includes five seasons when they were in Class C.
Also Monday, Dakota won its fifth straight opener with a 72-55 victory over Port Huron.
Warren-Mott can push its streak to seven if the Marauders defeat Cousino on Wednesday.
New Haven ran its county-record winning streak to 47 games with its Class B district win over Pontiac. Coach Tedaro France II’s Rockets are 21-0 this season after closing the 2016-17 campaign on a 26-game streak that took them to the state championship. New Haven goes for a 10th straight tournament victory when it plays Algonac at Notre Dame Prep on Wednesday.
Chippewa Valley dropped its district opener to Stevenson, denying the Big Reds an opportunity to change their recent course of history. Since 2011, coach Kevin Voss’ teams have won district championships in odd-numbered years.
Amier Gilmore made two free throws with 6.5 seconds left to lift South Lake to a 60-58 victory over Chandler Park on the Cavaliers’ floor Monday. Gilmore has been a double-double machine this season, and the senior hit the plateau again against CP with 23 points and 11 rebounds.