After matching their season high for wins this year with a 15-5 record (9-1 SEC), Skyline goes into districts as the top-ranked team in the area. But they face a tough task in the district tournament, in a district that also holds Pioneer, Huron, and Saline. Here’s what you need to know before the playoffs start.

They’re a small team…

With their tallest starter, senior Dan Black, standing 6’4″, the Eagles almost never have the tallest player on the court. They are often physically outmatched, and can struggle on the boards. Their main inside presence comes from senior Kayron Rodgers, who can generally hold his own on the glass one-on-one. However, the lack of many additional tall players can leave him overwhelmed.

…But they make up for it

In spite of their physical disadvantages, Skyline has excelled this season. This is mostly due to accurate shooting and scrappy defense. On the offensive end, almost every player can hit a 3-pointer at any time. Junior Jack Ammerman boasts a 48.5% shooting percentage from behind the arc. On the other end of the court, the Eagles play tight, well-disciplined defense. They generally don’t foul a lot while maintaining a high defensive intensity.

They perform in the clutch

In a contrast from previous years, Skyline has been stellar at closing out games and winning the close ones. Last year against Pioneer and Huron, Skyline went 0-5 and lost 4 of those games by single digits. This year, Skyline swept their city rivals, including an exciting triple-overtime victory against Huron on the road. When it gets down to clutch time, you can almost always count on Skyline to pull through.

They’ve been flying under the radar

For all of their achievements, Skyline has been one of the most underrated teams in the state this season. The five losses seem concerning at first, but when you consider that they were mostly close losses against good teams, including Clarkston and Romulus, their losses are revealed to be stronger than upon initial inspection. A difficult schedule has left the Eagles ready for almost anything they will face in the postseason. The Eagles defeated Huron twice while they were ranked in the top 25 in the state, as well as Belleville, who has been hanging around the top 10 all season. In spite of this, Skyline has never been in those top 25 rankings this season.

Outlook

Skyline is a sneakily strong team that can look to make a splash in the state tournament – if they make it out of a loaded district bracket. They face the winner of Huron vs. Saline in their first game of districts, and, if they win that game, likely will face Pioneer in the district championship, assuming Pioneer takes care of business against Dexter. However, it seems like this team has been underrated for a long time, and are tired of being disrespected. This is a Skyline team that nobody wants to face this postseason, and deep playoff run looks like a very good possibility.