Friday Basketball Preview
By N3 Sports Team
Some intriguing matchups dot the area Friday as basketball returns after our recent wacky weather pattern knocked out Tuesday’s schedule.
In the CSAA Gold an undefeated Newaygo team (6-0, 3-0) heads west to take on Fremont (5-2, 2-1) whose boisterous fan base makes their home floor a tough venue for visitors.
The Lions have some serious scoring threats with Cameron Fisk and Connor Swinehart working the paint, Morgen Manlick and Mitch Karrip hitting from outside and Jamie Pike who can catch fire as he did last week pouring in 9 straight points.
The Packers possess a balanced scoring attack led by...
...Ryan Geeting and Sam Kaastra. Cooper Kukal can be counted on at both ends of the court and sophomore Logan Karnemaat has shown flashes of becoming a top tier player.
Newaygo was to play the Big Rapids Tuesday but after the cancellation they won’t be seeing the highly regarded Cardinal team until January 23rd. Fremont saw the talented Gold leaders last week the first of two losses against a pair of the area’s top teams.
It will be the first CSAA hardcourt meeting between these long time rivals.
When their offense is clicking Grant can be dominant as they were against Central Montcalm and Reed City but twice they have been held under 40 points. Spencer Naffziger Casey Geers and Shane Gardner are a few of their offensive threats and Naffziger displays some quickness on the boards and on defense.
Tri County (0-6, 0-4) is struggling and yet to post a win but the Vikings played well in their last game against Chippewa Hills and will come into Grant hungry.
White Cloud (0-3 0-6) at Holton (0-2 4-4) The Red Devils won their Winter Showcase Tournament; the Indians have struggled on both ends of the court. Both are looking for their first conference win and at the end of the evening one will get it.
Hesperia (2-4, 1-1) hosts Lakeview (3-3, 3-1). The Wildcats share 2nd place in the Silver with Kent City. The Panthers have wins over Hart and White Cloud.
Grant (1-7, 0-3) has struggled on offense but started to find the range in their last game against Reed City when they took the Coyotes to overtime before falling short.. They will be looking to snap a 7 game skid led by top offensive threat Ashley Herin.
Tri County (4-3, 2-1) is in a cluster of three teams chasing the Central Montcalm frontrunners. Their 3 losses have been by a total of just 7 points.
Newaygo (1-2, 2-4) is an enigma. When the shots are falling they can take charge on the floor but they’ve had games when the offense doesn’t show up and that has led to their 4 losses. Kylee Chesley leads a team of scrappers with Mollie Frisbee, Madison Cook, Faith Smith and Madison Bush among those who will need to put up points as well if the Lions are to keep pace against the Packers.
Fremont (6-2, 2-1) is never out of a game. They can attack on the offensive end and possess many weapons including Packer sharpshooter Bre Harris who not only lights it up but plays an in-your-face defense that forces opposing teams into errors. If you try to stop Harris, Hali Garcia steps up or Natalie Jamieson gets hot or Riley Sweet knocks it from outside. Anna Patenge is a strong presence in the paint and can fill it up as well.
If it’s a close game watch out. The hosts are lethal when the clock is winding down.
White Cloud has won 2 in a row after 6 straight losses to open the season including handing the 6-1 Mason County Eastern squad their second loss. They visit Holton (2-4, 0-2).
Hesperia (1-5, 0-2) picked up their first win last week against Ravenna before falling to White Cloud. They will host Lakeview (2-1, 2-5).