EAST LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — South Christian’s quest to win its first state championship in 18 years fell short Saturday night after a 44-38 loss to Ferndale.

The Sailors last won a state title in 2005 and were attempting to win both basketball and football state titles in the same calendar year.

“It was a really hard-fought game and I thought we played at our speed but it got away from us a little bit,” first-year Sailors coach Taylor Johnson said. “A couple turnovers, a couple calls didn’t go our way and they made a couple big 3-pointers.

“But it doesn’t take away from what we accomplished this year,” he added. “We’ve been through it all, including three season-ending injuries, and to still make it to the state finals is an incredible feat.”

Ferndale led 8-4 at the end of the first quarter, but the Sailors responded and outscored the Eagles 12-6 in the second quarter.

Senior Nate Brinks drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Sailors a 16-14 halftime lead.

The game was deadlocked at 28-28 entering the fourth quarter, but an 8-2 spurt by Ferndale in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter made it 36-30 and the Sailors were never able to recover.

Senior Jacob DeHaan and junior Jake Vermaas led the Sailors with 14 points apiece, while senior Sam Medendorp added seven points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

The state title by Ferndale was the program’s first since 1966.