By N3 Sports
Some key games this week as the conference races begin to heat up at the schedule’s halfway point.
The Gold looked like it could shape up to be a Cardinal/Coyote race early on before Fremont took down Big Rapids in a thriller at home and a 1-4 Grant team knocked visiting Reed City from the unbeaten ranks. The Pack followed up by grabbing a road win in Stanton over the Hornets then fighting off a relentless Newaygo team for a double overtime victory. The Tigers fell to Chip Hills on the road before delivering a trouncing in Tri County.
The two teams meet Tuesday night in Fremont’s gym and the stands will be filled with fans from both sides in what should be a tough matchup. While Fremont heads out for a Friday game against the Vikes, Grant’s task gets no easier as they host their rivals up the road.
Newaygo stayed in contention for a win in each of their losses to the three teams sharing the top spot. They were in contention for a win at the highly unfriendly Coyote gym in the season opener, nearly beat Big Rapids on the Cardinals home floor then took the Packers to double overtime before falling just short, also on the road. After hosting TC they get to the halfway point by taking their game to the Tiger court. The good news is all four of the teams the Lions are staring up at will play in the Den the second half.
Tri County is struggling to get in the win column and haven’t the height to compete with bigger squads who control the glass on both ends. The conference his filled with good teams possessing an advantage in depth as well as height. The Vikings will battle every opponent and any team looking past them on the schedule could be in trouble.
After Tuesday the trio atop the standings will whittle to one or two depending on the outcome of the Tiger/Packer matchup. Big Rapids and Reed City go at it for the first time so one team will emerge with their second loss.
Tiger Coach Matt McCorkle feels Fremont might be the team to beat for the title.
“They have size and are scoring the ball right now.”
By N3 Sports Team
Tri County 53 Grant 29
The Vikings took control early and never let up as they rsn their home record to 4-1 with a victory over the Tigers.
"That was likely our most complete effort of the year,” said Viking Coach Chris Overbeek. “Offensively, our spacing and timing was the best it's been. We did a great job of not turning the ball over. Jessica Thompson was a force inside on both offense and defense. We received a lot of contributions from a lot of girls."
Grace Miller knocked down 15 points, Thompson hit for 11 and Dayoni Mahlich added 8. Emma Overbeek cleaned up the glass pulling down 10 boards. Tricia Slavens dished out a team high 4 assists.
White Cloud 53 Holton 27
The Indians made it three in a row with a win over the Red Devils and moved into a tie with Morley Stanwood for second in the Silver.White Cloud was led by Hannah Brown with 20 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals. Olivia Bowman chipped in 9 points and 5 rebounds. Alexis Strait stuffed the stat sheets with 9 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 6 steals. Hallie Schulz controlled the boards securing a team 10 rebounds. The Indians improve their record to 6-4. White Cloud will be back in action tomorrow when they host Walkerville.
Grant 82 Tri County 53
The Tigers clawed their way back into the Gold race with their win over the Vikings and look to take the next step when they face Fremont on Tuesday.
“It was nice to get all of my players who played in the scoring column,” said Tiger Coach Matt McCorkle.
Holton 51 White Cloud 41
The Red Devils evened their conference record at 2-2 while the Cloud fell to 0-8.
Buck Seabrook led the Indians with 14 points,Steven Holt hit for 9 and Jared Elder finished with 8.
Lion Long rips nets for 21 in losing effort
The Packers leapt out to a 101 lead but the Lions behind a stellar performance by freshman Jaylee Long worked their way back into the game and got to halftime trailing by 4.
The second half saw the visitors battle Fremont and finally knot the game halfway through the final period but the Pack held off the challenge and emerged with the win.
“This was a pretty evenly matched game and was close all the way to the final,” said Packer Coach John Krim. “We were able to hold Jaylee Long scoreless in the 4th behind a great defensive effort by Chloe Shriver.”
"It was a pretty good offensive game for both teams,” Lion Coach Nate Thomasma stated. “ Both teams played well in spurts. Both teams played a good hard clean game. Give credit to Fremont, they made the plays at the end of the game to pull it out."
Long finished with 21 including a quintet of triples while Sophia Frisbie knocked down 8 and Madison Bush added 6. Daisy Hagen led the Lions with 6 rebounds.
Calla Miller led a balanced Packer attack with a dozen points, Paige Vandenberg tallied 11, Anna Patenge scored 9, and Riley Sweet notched 8 for the hosts.
Fremont (5-4, 2-3) will host Grant while Newaygo (2-6, 1-3) will be at home against Tri County
Schmidt keys comeback in 2 OT win
Fremont 75 Newaygo 71 (2OT)
The Packers and Lions put on a show for a packed house of appreciative fans Friday night as the game took a pair of overtimes to decide on the outcome.
Fremont started strong pushing to a 18-9 lead after one and going to intermission with a ten point advantage,
The second half saw the full court pressure of the visitorss beginning to take its toll on the Packers forcing turnovers and slicing the lead to a single digit heading into the final frame.
In the 4th Newaygo’s pressure continued to be effective and the Lions pulled into the lead by a midway through the period and increased it to a half dozen but with about a minute left in regulation a steal put it in the hands of Ben Schmidt who halved the lead with a triple.
Fremont fouled and the Lions could not convert and with just a few seconds left in regulation Calvin Miller took a pass and launched a game tying three pointer at the buzzer.
The Lions jumped out to a 4 point edge in the first OT but Schmidt was relentless for the Pack as he scored and delivered several key passes including a late bucket by Micah Whittle, but it was sharpshooter Bailey Baddis who popped in the shot from beyond the arc to send it to the second overtime.
Once again the Lions grabbed the advantage in the second extra session but Schmidt hit one for the tie and Wyatt Kaastra launched one from downtown that found the rim to put the Packers in front.
Forced to foul, the Lions put Schmidt at the line with 5 seconds left and he converted to finish off an exciting contest between a pair of tough teams.
Schmidt finished with 10 assists and 14 points while Logan Karnemaat ripped the nets fro 19 grabbed 11 boards and rejected a quintet of Newaygo shots before fouling out with 2 ½ minutes left in regulation.
Connor Swinehart battled in the paint collecting a game high 22 points and 14 rebounds. Mitch Karrip hit for 16, Morgan Manlick finished with 11 and Jacob Polasek added 8.
“What a wild and fun high school basketball game,” said Packer Coach Pete Zerfas. "So many kids from both side played their hearts out and it was a back and forth slugfest.”
“We missed our chances late in regulation” said Lion Coach Joe Barrette .”Credit goes to Fremont for making more plays down the stretch.”
The win keeps Fremont (5-2, 4-1) in a tie for the top spot in the Gold. They will host Grant on Tuesday while Newaygo (2-3, 4-3) will welcome in Tri County.
Cloud still searching for win #1
It should turn out to be quite a race in the Gold with three teams at the top and three more a game back. But it’s early and after a few more games teams will have been through the conference once and things will begin to shake out a bit.
The Silver currently looks like a two team race and they face each other Friday. Morley has a good squad at 5-1, and 3-1 in the conference but the Eagles (7-0, 3-0) are blasting past teams and are playing this one at home.
Fremont 69 Central Montcalm 49
The Packers showed no letdown from their emotionally draining, come from behind victory last Friday as they traveled to Central Montcalm and came away with a convincing win over the Hornets.
While the team has struggled in the opening minutes this season there was no evidence of it in Stanton Tuesday where they put together a solid first quarter to stake an 18-12 lead they would hold to the final buzzer.
“It was the first time this season we’ve led after the first,” said Coach Pete Zerfas. “Central Montcalm is a good team. We just rebounded well which allowed us to run.”
Logan Karnemaat led the way in scoring and glasswork pulling down 10 boards to go with his 20 points. Calvin Miller continues to make his presence known on both ends of the court while tallying 17 points and Wyatt Kaastra knocked down 8.
Fremont (4-2, 3-1) hosts Newaygo Friday.
Big Rapids 63 Newaygo 59
The Cardinals were back home after being knocked out of the unbeaten ranks in Fremont on Friday and fell behind Newaygo early as the visitors took a 13-8 led after one. The next two frames got the job done for BR as they hit the half up by a layup then ran to an 11 point edge entering the fourth. The Lions made a run but ran out of time and the Cards joined Fremont and Reed City in a tie for top spot in the Gold.
“We let them control tempo and made too many mistakes to beat a good Big Rapids team on the road,” Siad Coach Joe Barrette.
Connor Swinehart paced the production on offense with 21 points to go with his 13 boards while Mitch Karrip and Kade Bhuyan hit for 9 apiece.
Newaygo (4-2,2-2) travels to Fremont Friday.
Reed City 80 Tri County 56
The Coyotes shook off their loss to Grant Friday and ran past the Vikings to remain tied atop the Gold standings.
“We are getting there, we just can't put together 4 decent quarters,” said Coach Josh Delamater.
The Vikings also yield a good deal of size to opponents more often than not.
Bryce Hallman led all scorers with 22 points including going 7/9 from the floor.
Tri County (0-6, 0-4) will host Grant Friday.
Walkerville 71 White Cloud 41
The Wildcats ran to their 5th win of the season as White Cloud dropped their seventh straight
Darrion Holland led the Cloud with 17 points and Steven Holt added 13.
The Indians will be looking to get into the win column Friday when they host the Red Devils of Holton.
Chippewa Hills 60 Grant 52
It’s a long bus ride to Remus but even a longer one home when you follow up a big conference win with a tough loss on the road. A loss that pulls you a game in back of a trio of league leaders at this early mark of the season.
Grant (2-5, 2-2) will hit the road again on a much shorter trip as they head over to Tri County on Friday.
Story by Mike Gesler
Photos By Catalpa Photography
Grant 34 Chippewa Hills 30
The Lady Tigers of Grant were home tonight in a CSAA Gold Conference match up against the Warriors of Chippewa Hills. On paper the two teams appeared fairly equal, and on the court this parity transformed into an exciting game. The young Tiger squad has been steadily improving, and tonight they began to fire on all cylinders.
From the opening tip off, both squads put forth a strong defensive effort making it difficult for either team to find the hoop. Both teams pressed each other tight, creating one turnover opportunity after another. By midway through the first quarter, it became apparent that if you are a fan of high scoring games, this was not going to be one of them. The difference came down to the battle of the boards of which the Tigers slightly edged out the Warriors. By the time the first half came to a close, the Tigers lead by four, 17-13.
The third quarter though would solely belong to the Tigers. Grant was able to hold Chippewa Hills to just two points while gaining an additional ten of their own. That would put the Tigers in a controlling lead heading into the final eight minutes of the game. But Chippewa Hills was not about to rollover so easy. The Warriors bravely fought back while the Tigers began to make some mental errors giving away some easy turnovers. In the end though, there just wasn’t enough time for Chippewa Hills to overcome their twelve point deficit, and the Tigers celebrated a well-deserved win.
“It was definitely a win we needed just because we have been doing a lot of the right things, and [the girls] haven’t seen the reward yet. To them the winning is the reward. So it was great to see them reap the benefits of what we have been trying in practice,” Coach Paulsen commented. “We make the right plays, we play hard, and I can’t even fault the girls ever for that. Our backcourt is young, and I think as the seasons goes we’ll get better. We’re not even halfway through the season yet. Chip Hills is physical. They didn’t quit. I thought we did some good things. Like I said, if we don’t turn it over, we have a few more opportunities to make some plays and stretch the game out.”
While the Lady Tigers can celebrate tonight with a victory, more good news for Tiger fans is that junior center, Kylie Patton, is expecting to return to play next week. The prognosis on her right knee is a sprain, and she is just awaiting medical clearance.
The Tigers were led tonight by sophomore guard, Kirstyn Throop, with ten points, and sophomore forward, Savannah Passage, with eight. Also contributing for Grant was Jill Arends (5), Nicole Whan (4), and Emerson Cole (2). The Tigers now go on a two game road stretch beginning with Tri-County this Friday and Fremont next Tuesday before heading home to meet Newaygo on the nineteenth.
Gold Leaders Stay Undefeated
The top tier trio from the CSAA Gold Division continued to dominate the league Tuesday night with a three pack of wins over area teams
Big Rapids 52 Newaygo 35
The Lions who were hammered by the Hornets Friday faced a Cardinal team known to grind down opponents with Jaylee Strickland headlining a formidable starting five and a deep bench.
Newaygo kept BR in reach during the first half entering intermission down just 4 points but the Cards came out of the locker room on fire and pushed the lead to 15 entering the 4th.
"We played a much better game tonight than we did on Friday,” said Coach Nate Thomasma. “The girls really competed well. Madison Bush, Jaylee Long and Sophia Frisbie led the team with 9 points each while Alexis Brocker and Daisy Hagen provided some strength on the boards."
Strickland finished with 21 for the visitors.
Newaygo (2-5, 1-3) heads to Fremont Friday while Big Rapids (9-0,4-0) will head to Stanton for a showdown of a pair of undefeated title contenders.
Central Montcalm 49 Fremont 32
The Hornets came in riding a 9 game winning streak to open the season and possessing an opportunistic offense that can score in bunches
They did just that Tuesday night during a first quarter that saw the Packers dig themselves an early hole behind turnovers and poor shooting. Down 21-8 after one the hosts regrouped but still reached halftime staring at a 17 point deficit.
“After the first quarter we played hard and better the rest of the way but just couldn't close the gap,” said Coach John Krim Shriver also picked CM pockets to finish with 6 steals
Calla Miller and Natalie Jamieson paced the Packer scoring with 8 apiece while Chloe Shriver and Riley Sweet hit for a half dozen each.
Libby Ledford fired in 4 triples for the Hornets on her way to a game high 15 points.
Fremont (4-4, 1-3) will host Newaygo Friday while CM (10-0, 4-0) matched undefeated records with Big Rapids.
Reed City 64 Tri County 47
The third of the undefeated Gold teams stayed that way Tuesday as Reed City paid a visit to the Vikings. The Coyotes took an early lead going up 15-11 after one then edged out to a 29-22 lead by the half. While the Vikings were holding their own on the glass the visitors popped in a half dozen triples before intermission to stay in front.
“When Reed City is allowed to play their style, they are very tough to beat,” said Viking Coach Chris Overbeek. “ We handled their pressure very well in the first half, we just missed too many easy shots.”
Grace Miller poured in 23 points to lead the Vikes while taking down 5 rebounds and Emma Overbeek notched another half dozen points for the hosts.
Tri County (3-6, 1-3) will be hosting Grant (2-6, 1-3) and Reed City (8-0, 4-0) will welcome in the Warriors of Chippewa Hills
White Cloud 58 Mason County Eastern 20
Make it two in a row for the Cloud who dominated the Cardinals in their Monday night matchup
With a well balanced attack and a great deal of energy the Indians ran to a 20-1 lead after the first and cruised to the win.
Hannah Brown led the offensive output canning 23 points on the night while dishing off a trio of dimes as well. Alexis Straight hit double figures with 10 points to go with her 4 boards and 2 assists and Olivia Bowman stuffed the stat sheet with 8 points, 3 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals.
Elexis Plotts held court on the glass pulling down 7 rebounds and Kayla Pasch came off the bench to hit for a half dozen points
White Cloud (2-5-4, 2-1) will look to make it three inn a row Friday when they host Holton (1-7, 1-2).
Teams will compete in conference quad on Wednesday
The Grant Wrestling team took 2nd place at the Kingsley team invitational on Saturday January 6th. The Tigers opened by defeating Roscommon 58-13, then bested Traverse City Central 54-16, before taking down Elk Rapids and Forest Area 66-6 and 70-0.
The Tigers faced Gladwin in the championship losing 33-39 in a back and forth match.
Going undefeated on the day for the Tigers with 5-0 records were Emma Morey, Hunter Humphreys, Jimmy Montney (2 pins) and Gabe Castro (2 pins). Earning 4 victories each were Jake Breen (2 pins), Billy Ostyn (2 pins), Joe Millett, Jagarr Jenerou (2 pins), Kalub Bonter and Austin Ulrich (3 pins). Drew Luoma pitched in 3 wins with 2 pins and Caleb Thompson also won 2 matches. That puts the season record for Grant Wrestling at 14-6.
The Tigers travel to Fremont on Wednesday for a conference quad against Central Montcalm and Reed City.
The Fremont Packers continued their season with another tournament placement this past weekend. They were 4-0 in their pool play before moving on to face Byron Center in the Championship round.
After starting off at the 140 pound weight class and leading the dual 13-0, the Packers and Bulldogs traded the lead back-and-forth, with Byron Center winning the final 3 bouts. And the the championship 45-31.
Every Packer wrestler had a winning record for the day:
Cade Breuker, Trey Breuker, Parker Dalson, Elijah Rought, and Cody Routley were 5-0.
Matthew Halasinski, Chase Knudsen, Kyler Kolk, and Chaz Wheater were 4-1.
Matthew Long was 3-1.
Eli Beasley, Alex Bordeaux, Seth Couts, Jager Kibart, were all 3-2.
Gage Montague was 1-0.
The dual scores for the day were:
Fremont 78 Wyoming 3
Fremont 74 Lee 3
Fremont 66 Kelloggsville 13
Fremont 82 Muskegon 0
Fremont 31 Byron Center 45
Fremont’s overall record currently stands at 17-7 and they will host a conference quad on Wednesday.
Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Reed City 58 Grant 45
Even though tonight’s game will go down in the record books as a loss, the Lady Tigers are considering it a success.
“We got better this week. The game showed it. I think we had 45 points. That’s testament to the girls believing we can still do it. I like the way we competed, and I like the way we played, and I think we are trending the right way,” stated Grant’s head coach, Paige Paulsen. The Tiger’s matched up without their starting center, junior Kylie Patton, against CSAA Gold Conference rivals, the Coyotes of Reed City. Patton is out an indefinite period of time after suffering a knee injury during practice. This would prove to become the Achilles Heel of Grant’s defense.
To say the game was physical may be an understatement. Early in the first quarter, Grant’s junior guard, Cecelia Male, went down with an injury, and was unable to return to play. Turnovers abounded amongst both teams. And the refs were handing out fouls like it was a Two-For-One sale; some 44 between the two teams. Yet despite Reed City’s high pressure play, Grant stayed competitive the entire game. However it would be the lack of Patton in center that Reed City’s size was able to exploit under the boards.
“I thought it was a great game, especially since we competed the whole time,” coach Paulsen shared. “We had to overcome a couple injuries, and everybody stepped up and contributed. Reed City is a very physical team, and I thought we held our own, and at some times even out matched their physicality. If we could have eliminated some of those turnovers, made some free throws, maybe down the stretch it would have been a little different, but it was still a great job of the girls to keep playing with that intensity the entire time. I mean down fifteen or seventeen and still making it a game.”
Leading the Tiger’s effort was sophomore guard, Nichole Whan, with 19 points. Savannah Passage shot seven, and Emerson Cole and Angela Contreras both contributed six. Also contributing were Jill Arends (4), Brooklyn Presler (3), Alyssa VanSingel (3), and Kirstyn Throop (1). The Lady Tigers next face Chippewa Hills in another CSAA Gold match up on Tuesday at 7:00 pm in Grant.
Grant 59 Reed City 51
Grant’s focus over the winter break was to get healthy and focus on the upcoming conference matchups. The Reed City Coyotes would be their first test in a five game run of CSAA Gold Conference games. With everyone healthy, the only questions left was how focused are the Tigers, and can that focus overcome Reed City’s physical size?
The Tiger’s wasted no time showing their fans that Reed City’s size was not an issue, and that their focus was dialed in. Senior guard, Tyler Naffziger, opened up Grant’s scoring effort with a baseline three, and that’s all it took to fuel the aggressive Tiger’s tanks. The Coyotes were unable to even put up a single point until the Tiger’s blazed by with 20 points of their own. The rest of the game would not fare much better for the Coyotes. While Reed City made up some ground in the second quarter while Grant played their bench personnel, the Tigers were able to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the game.
“We started so fast. I think we made five threes in the first quarter. We shot the lights out. We are a good shooting team and inevitably you regress back. We knew they weren’t going to keep turning the ball over, and they made a run,” Grant’s head coach, Matthew McCorkle stated. “I’m really pleased with my bench especially in the fourth quarter. I had some guys, Cole Chase, knocking down some threes. I love to see that especially since we have been practicing hard over the break, and everybody got to play so I was glad to reward the bench guys with some run too.”
Sophomore guard, Carter Chase, led the Tiger’s scoring effort with 19 points, and Tyler Naffziger closely followed with 18. Cole Chase added to the effort with 10, as did Michael Frey (6), Frederick Hull (2), Karlton Zerlaut (2), and Brett Long (2). The Tigers now head into a three game road trip starting with Chippewa Hills on Tuesday at 7:00 pm. They will also face Tri County on Friday, and then to Fremont the following Tuesday before returning home to play Newaygo.
Tri County 52 Chippewa Hills 36
The Vikings have struggled with falling behind early this year but Friday night on their home court they raced to a 17-7 advantage after one then outscored the Warriors in the second to head toi intermission with a 32-15 lead in hand.
The teams played even in the second half and the Vikes came away with their first conference win of the season.
"We got off to a great start, but were real complacent in the second half,” said Coach Overbeek.
Grace Miller canned 16 points to lead the offense while Dayoni Mahlich finished with 8. Jessica Thompson played well in the paint grabbing 7 rebounds.
On Tuesday Tri County (3-5, 1-2) hosts undefeated Reed City (7-0, 3-0) one of three teams without a loss atop the Gold Division.
“We are excited for the challenge," added the coach
White Cloud 42 Hesperia 31
The Indians evened their season record at 4-4 and picked up their second Silver win Friday night.
“It took us a half to shake the rust off from the long break but we kicked it in gear in the 2nd,” said Coach Kurt Brown.
Hannah Brown poured in 20 points and snared a pair of steals while Alexis Strait added 8 points, 2 steals, and 2 assists. Elexis Plotts collected 8 rebounds and Layna Yeiter provided a spark coming off the bench to hit for 7 points while taking down 7 boards.
Emily Bayle led Hesperia with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The Cloud will host the Cardinals of Mason County Eastern (2-3) Monday night.
Chippewa Hills 57 Tri County 42
The Vikings made a late run in the final period coming back to pull within 6 but the Warriors pulled away for the Gold Division win Friday.
“We were plagued by foul trouble for two of our key players all night ” said TC Coach Josh Delamater.
Hunter Merchant paced the offense with 13 points while Chase Jelinski grabbed 8 boards to go with his10 points.
Hesperia 59 White Cloud 58
The Indians took an early lead and were up by double digits halfway through the final period when the Panthers made a run to overtake their hosts in the final minute. The Indians scored to retake the top spot before Nathan Wybenga shook loose with 12 ticks on the clock for a clutch shot that proved to be the game winner.
Jacob Klemundt fired in a game high 29 points for the Panthers to go with his 10 boards and 5 steals. Wybenga finished with a dozen points and 4 rebounds.
Darrion Holland hit for a team high 20 points for the Cloud. Sean Kakoczki and Steven Holt dropped in 10 edach and Buck Seabrook fired in a trio of triples to finish with 9.
White Cloud (0-6, 0-3) will travel to Walkerville (4-3) Tuesday in search of win number one while Hesperia (2-4, 1-2) goes south to take on the Cardinals of Orchard View (2-4).