15 Lifters to Represent Grant at the State Powerlifting Meet
By Christi Evans
On Saturday, February 24th at Mona Shores High School, 3 additional Tiger lifters qualified for the State meet. 7 women and 12 men represented Grant.
Medaling in the women’s competition were previously qualified JV lifters Abbi Konicki with 2nd place in her weight class and Heather Crosby with 1st place in her weight class, previously qualified Varsity lifters Miriam Delgado with 2nd place in her weight class and Jaida Blair with 3rd place in her weight class, and new Varsity qualifier Amy Cruz with 2nd place in her weight class.
Medaling in the men’s competition were new JV qualifiers Jonah Nelson with 3rd place in the 114lb class and Colin Scholtens with 3rd place in the 242lb class, and Varsity lifters (all who had previously qualified) Jared Evans with 2nd place in the 181lb class, T.J. Railling with 1st place in the 194lb class, Chaise Konicki with 1st place in the 242lb class, and Marcos Garza with 3rd in the super heavyweight class.
The Tigers will compete at the State Meet on March 9th and 10th at Lake Orion High School. JV men and women compete on Friday, March 9th. Varsity men and women compete on Saturday, March 10th.
District Tournament Preview
The Girls District was a patchwork of interesting games including a final that saw Tri County survive an incredible 22-0 run by an amazingly resilient Sparta team. The Vikings will move on to face Class B powerhouse South Christian on Tuesday.
Now the boys are up.
MONDAY GAMES AT TRI COUNTY
Fremont vs. Tri County
The Packers were red hot winning 11 of 12 before finishing on a bit of a rough patch dropping 3 of their final 4 and 2 in a row. Their lone win during that skid? Tri County.
The Vikings come into the game having just completed a winless season.
Fremont won both previous encounters by comfortable margins though both games stayed close for the first half. The Packers are deeper, taller and possess better shooters than TC and not a lot has changed since they met just 10 days ago.
Except the Packers have lost two in row.
Newaygo vs. Grant
Making a prediction on a game like this is akin to forecasting weather in Michigan. You can have boatloads of data and research and maps and likely scenarios and such but when it comes down to it, the weather is going to do what it’s going to do.
The Tigers have won 4 of their last 5 games with their lone loss to Newaygo. The Lions are roaring into the postseason with 9 wins in their last 10 games and playing with a high level of confidence.
In mid-January the Tigers held home court with an 8 point win over their northern neighbors. The Lions responded 10 days ago taking the game by 15.
Who knows here? The Tigers have some hot hands capable of canning from distance but so do the Lions. Look for some battles on the glass with both teams likely to be tossing up a ton of triple tries.
Either way these teams won’t be leaving anything on the floor. It’s the classic rivalry game, a shot at winning the season series and most important of all?
Loser goes home.
Vikes survive furious Spartan rally to capture District crown
By Ken DeLaat
Photos by Catalpa Photography
The title game in Fremont between Sparta and Tri County turned out to be two separate contests.
The first was a Viking dominated performance that saw them build a 23 point lead just minutes before the end of the third quarter.
Then there was Part Deux. An absolutely unbelievable comeback by the Spartans who went on an amazing 22-0 run to close the gap to a single point with 2 minutes on the clock.
Emma Overbeek scored the first 6 points for the Vikes finding her way into the lane each time while answered by baskets from Maria Anderson and Elie Andersson. T.C.’s Alicia Bowen ripped a three and the Spartan catalyst Delany Armock sank a pair from the line as the team's tested each other. The Vikes got the ball in to Jessica Thompson who spun for a score and Julia Bice added off a stop to make it 13-8 TC. In the meantime everything Spartan sharpshooter Mia Vandenberg put up was bouncing off or spinning out of the rim.
Then Armock picked up her second foul and went to the bench.
TC responded with an Overbeek triple and a Taylor Reed tally after a steal. Jenna Hoover hit from distance to end the 9-0 Viking run but two straight baskets off the hands of Tricia Slavens made it an 11 point edge before Bowen scorched another three to make it 14.
Sparta brought Armock back on the floor and her triple along with a pair of free throws by Maryn Larson kept the margin within reach at 13 heading for intermission.
The second half started with the Vikings taking charge and running off a quick 10 points. Larson hit another pair from the charity stripe that were answered by a Slavens bucket and with less than 2 minutes left in the third the Vikings were in the driver’s seat with a 41-18 lead.
Then it began.
Armock hit for two then Vandenberg whose shot and betrayed her all night hit her first points of the game a rifle shot from beyond the arc. A stop and a Hoover triple followed by a turnover and another Vandenberg three and suddenly the lead was an even dozen heading into the 4th.
With Armock leading the charge the Spartans battled back while the Vikings could not connect. Armock connected twice, Larson scored and Vandenberg nailed another three but it was the second Larson basket that made it a one point game. The Spartans had just completed a 22-0 run and Tri County was scrambling to find someone to stop the bleeding with less than 2 minutes remaining as a game they had well in hand was slipping away along with their title hopes.
Dayoni Mahlich one of TC’s senior players did not want this to be her last game. Her team had gone cold and needed some quick relief so she came down court and promptly zapped in a triple to make it a 4 point game and breathe life back into the Viking offense.
Sparta missed a shot then promptly began fouling to get back in the game. Bowen went 1-2 and Overbeek did the same to make it a 6 point lead but the Spartans clawed back with a free throw off Armock and a tough rebound bucket by Vandenberg so with 14 ticks it was again a 3 point lead.
The Spartans fouled Overbeek, another senior member of the Vikings. She had scored the first of her teams points and now she would score the last. Her first free throw gave TC the 4 point edge they needed.Vandenberg split at the line for Sparta but by then just 2 ticks were left on the clock and The Vikes were heading for Grant and Regional play.
We caught up with a happy but clearly emotionally spent Coach Chris Overbeek afterwards.
“How about Mahlich stepping up and hitting that three? There was a lid on that basket and it was a huge shot for her and us.
“We played as well for 2 ½ quarters as we have all year. You know we talked a lot in the locker room before the game during the game and at the half about not allowing runs. To win tournament games you need to have runs but not allow them.We had a heckuva run in the second and third quarter but they answered with a huge one.
“I told Matt(Sparta Coach McCallum) afterwards what a great job his kids did not quitting.I was just glad we pulled it out. The girls said “Coach we just made it more exciting, that’s all,”
“Now we’ll get ready for South Christian and see what we can do,” he added. “I know I’ve got a lot of film to watch this weekend.”
The Vikings (15-8) will face off against the OK Gold champion Sailors (18-4) Tuesday at 7:30pm in a game preceded at 6pm by Comstock Park vs, Oakridge. The Regionals are being held at Grant.
White Cloud 53 Hesperia 33
“A great defensive game and well balanced offense were the keys to victory Wednesday night,” said Coach Kurt Brown as his team moved another step toward a possible District title with a convincing win over the Panthers.
“After watching a double OT upset win by MCC, we made sure that wasn’t going to be the story in the second game. “
Earlier the Spartans outlasted a highly regarded Shelb team who had won both of their previous meetings. The game against Hesperia was the third between the squads with the Indians winning the first two.
Hannah Brown fired in 19 points to pace the offense and handed out 4 assists while Elexis Plotts dropped in a dozen snared 8 boards and nabbed a pair of steals. Olivia Bowman was all over the court knocking down 11 points grabbing 7 rebounds dishing out 4 assists and pilfering 3 steals.
The Indians will be taking on the Spartans in the championship game beginning at 7pm on the Spartan home court at Mason County Central with the winner moving on to Regional play at Morley Stanwood beginning Tuesday March 6th.
Second half surge keys win for TC
By Ken DeLaat
Photos by Catalpa Photography
Tri County 46 Grant 29
The bigs did battle early on as Kylie Patton scored the first two baskets for Grant answered by Jessica Thompson and Tricia Slavens for the Vikes but it was the defensive show put on by Patton and Thompson taking center stage as they each rejected a trio of shots in the first few minutes and pounded the glass for rebounds in a preview of what turned out to be a game long scenario.
TC was up 10-7 after one and the second began with two Thompson buckets and one from Slavens before Nicole Whan cooled off the run with a score. Julia Bice replied with a three pointer to push the lead to 10. Kylee Wemple launched her second bullseye from distance for the Tigers then Patton and Whan scored to edge Grant to within 4 by the half.
The third began with a Patton bucket and ended with a triple by Jill Arends at the buzzer. In between those scores the Vikings tallied 14 points with contributions from Alicia Bowen, Grace Miller, Summer Longstreet, Slavens and Thompson. The 4 point game was now a commanding 13 point lead heading into the final frame.
The fourth saw much of the same from the Vikings who continued to spread their offense around getting points from Emma Overbeek, Errin Kamp, Mickalia Sprik and Dayoni Mahlich. Wemple fired in another three and a two with Emerson Cole and Kirstyn Throop adding buckets but the Vikings had grabbed both the win and a spot in the finals against Sparta.
10 Vikings made the scoring sheet led by Thompson and Slavens with 10 each. Wemple paced the Tiger offense finishing with 11 points Patton hit for 8, and Whan scored 4.
Friday’s District Final will tip off at 7pm in Fremont.
Spartan defense knocks Pack from tourney
By Ken DeLaat
Photos By Catalpa Photography
Sparta 36 Fremont 14
The Fremont defense opened their semi final matchup with Sparta by holding the Spartans to 11 first quarter points.
Unfortunately , the period ended with the Packers staring up at an 11 point deficit.
An offensive meltdown that rained turnovers and featured an inability to get off a decent shot buried the Packers early. The loss put a cap on a season that has delivered its share of adversity with transfer issues, key injuries, a bite from the flu bug and the challenge of having younger players pressed into duty to compensate the injuries.
The Packers were 10-1 when they scored more than 40 points a game and after tonight they would have been 11-1.
Except they could not score.
The game was 10 minutes old and well into the second quarter when Anna Patenge split a pair of free throws to put the Pack on the board after 16 straight Spartan points. It took another 2 minutes before Calla Miller broke away off a steal and put in the first field goal to cut the lead to 15, the closest Fremont would be the rest of the night.
Sparta held a 22-3 lead by intermission and it was 5 minutes into the third before a Paige VandenBerg basket ended the second half drought.
To their credit the Packers never stopped battling. The defense continued to try to contain Mia Vandenberg who canned shots from distance with the accuracy of a layup and Delany Armock who made 19 trips to the charity stripe and hit on 10.
This night however belonged to the Spartans. The team that had been bested by the Packers on their home court early in the season by nearly 20 points and stumbled to the finish line losing 8 of their last 9 came to play Wednesday night and secured a place in the finals.