TROY — He liked his team’s effort.
He liked the way his guys played from start to finish.
But as the rounds move forward and the teams still alive grow fewer, running into some of the best talent in the state is a certain in the playoffs.
Tim Zimmerman and his Troy High hockey team got a first-hand sampling of that in a March 1 Division 1 regional final against the University of Detroit Jesuit.
“That’s a very good team,” Zimmerman said a day after the Colts fell to U of D 7-0. “Truthfully, we didn’t play that badly at all, but they are very quick. They put a lot of pressure on you all the time, all over the ice. They were the better team. They deserved to win.”
The loss ended one of the most successful seasons Troy has ever known.
Including a 4-3 victory against Sterling Heights High in the regional semifinal and a 5-4 victory against Birmingham Unified in the opener, the Colts closed the 2013-14 winter with a 22-4-1 overall record.
“So happy with this season,” Zimmerman said. “The kids only got better as the year went on. … The key to any good season is how you do in games decided by two goals or less. We were 9-3-1 in those games.”
All this year’s success comes one year after the Colts struggled to win just a handful of games last winter.
“Being a year older was huge — that had a lot to do with it,” Zimmerman said of the drastic turnaround. “We also had an influx of talent, some younger kids that really stepped up. We had a group that really bought into the team concept, and it made for a great season.”
In other hockey action, Troy Athens was upset in the second round of the D-1 regional, falling to Sterling Heights 2-1.
The Red Hawks end the season 17-6-3, a record that includes a title in the Oakland Activities Association White Division.
Basketball teams end in districts
The girls basketball state playoffs began Feb. 24. Troy lost its opener to Waterford Mott 57-48.
The Colts end the season 17-4.
Athens had a bye in the first round but fell to Waterford Kettering 57-36 in the semifinal.
The Red Hawks end the year 8-12.