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Brendan Quealy: Sorry, pin that one on me

Mar. 15—Listen, I'll take the blame on this one.

As far as superstitions and sports go, I know for many diehard and even not-so-diehard fans that those two often partner up as much as peanut butter and jelly or mac and cheese — especially in the postseason.

That is why I have to come clean and shoulder the burden of McBain's devastating loss in the Division 3 varsity boys basketball state semifinals at Michigan State University's Breslin Center on Thursday.

This was no ordinary playoff loss. This was an overtime loss. A loss in which McBain held a six-point lead late in the fourth quarter. A loss in which McBain jumped out to a four-point lead less than a minute into overtime

That four-point lead gave me hope that I would get some sort of reprieve as I'd already begun to blame myself for the Ramblers having to go an extra four minutes against Niles Brandywine instead of earning a shot at a state championship Saturday.

I knew if McBain were to lose that it would be my fault.

Why, you ask?

Well, it's all fairly simple.

McBain was winning. Then I turned on the game.

I turned on the game late after missing the majority of the action because I had a doctor's appointment that was both necessary and couldn't be rescheduled to later in the day.

While I was at the doctor, the Ramblers were winning. Even when I got home and checked social media for a score update, the Ramblers were winning.

And then I turned on the game.

Soon, the Ramblers weren't winning anymore.

McBain's six-point lead vanished and went to zero as the game clock struck all zeroes and the buzzer sounded, sending the game to overtime.

Knowing my magical super(stitious)powers, I should have turned off the game. And I definitely would have if Niles Brandywine had scored first in OT. But McBain was up four before anyone could blink, and I thought I was in the clear.

Unfortunately not.

McBain would not score for the remainder of the overtime period, and the Bobcats would finish the final three minutes on a 7-0 run to win 51-48 — sending the Ramblers back home to McBain with broken hearts.

Now, the logical and rational part of me knows full well that my viewing habits from my northern Michigan abode had absolutely nothing to do with the outcome of a high school boys basketball game that was happening about 180 miles away. But there is still that one nagging piece of me that is like, "It's your fault."

Again, I know it's not ... but it might be.

If a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the world, then it is possible — although wildly unlikely and highly improbable — that the simple act of firing up my laptop sent some sort of shockwave that caused a ripple that forced the outcome to be different.

I guess this really just my way of saying that I wish the outcome had been different.

I wish McBain had won.

I wish the Ramblers were the ones playing for a state championship Saturday — because they certainly deserve it after putting together a spectacular season under the veteran guidance of head coach Bruce Koopman and with stellar players the likes of Evan Haverkamp, Ben Rodenbaugh, Clayton Heuker and the rest of the McBain band of basketball brothers.

After taking a loss in Traverse City St. Francis' Northern Michigan Showcase in February and following that up with a closer-than-it-should-have-been two-point win over the Gladiators a few days later, the Ramblers got back to playing "McBain basketball."

And even though they lost Thursday, the Ramblers proved that "McBain basketball" looks a heckuva lot like championship basketball.

Hold those heads up high, Ramblers.