Greenwood Christian 49 Tri County 45
Greenwood 56 Tri County 38
The Vikings traveled to the fabled Hoosier Gym in Knightstown Indiana during Christmas break to compete in the Border WarsClassic.
TC opened with Greenwood Christian who led 36-24 entering the fourth quarter, before the Vikes reeled off 13 points in a row to take a one-point lead with 3:23 remaining.
The Cougars regrouped, however, retaking the lead on two Izzy Reed free throws at the 3:02 mark and building their edge back up to six with 1:10 to go. Tri County got back within a point in the final minute, but foul shots from Sarah Mangan and Grace Peters allowed Greenwood Christian to hold on.
Tricia Slavens led TC with 17 points with Emma Overbeek hitting for 9.
““We continue to dig ourselves holes and are always fighting back,” said Viking Coach Chrois Overbeek. “ We have tough kids, we just have to start better.”
The next day the team faced the Woodmen of Greenwood High once again playing in the bandbox gym that captured the enigma of Indiana basketball in the 1950’s in the sports classic "Hoosiers".
The talented Greenwood team fought off a late challenge from the Vikings to seal the win.
“We played really well against a very good team,” said Coach Overbeek. “ We were down 7 with 5 minutes left and they closed on a 13-2 run.
Grace Miller paced the scoring with a dozen points and Slavens added 9.
Tri County (2-5) will resume conference play Friday when they host Chippewa Hills.
Newaygo 51 White Cloud 35
Mitch Karrip hot the hot hand from the arc knocking down a quintet of triples to pace the Lion scoring attack in their victory over the Cloud.
The Indians dug an early hole falling behind 13-2 after one and staring down an 18 point deficit by intermission.
“It was a good team win tonight,” said Newaygo Coach Joe Barrette. “We were able to get everybody some extended playing time and are happy to be heading into the Christmas break 3-1.”
The Lions resume play on Friday January 5th when they face Central Montcalm in a CSAA Gold matchup. It will be Newaygo’s first game on their home court this season courtesy of a schedule that has them on the road in 8 of their first 10 games.
Sparta 52 Grant 31
The Lady Tigers of Grant were looking to end their three game losing streak against the lady Spartans of Sparta. The Spartans, however, who were 1-2 as of last week, were looking for a positive note on their season before entering the winter break. And as the first quarter of play ensued, it appeared that both teams were not about to dispense this battle without leaving everything on the court.
Going into the second quarter, the Tigers were only down by four to Sparta’s 15 points. But the second quarter would not be kind to the Tigers. Sparta’s hands and aggressiveness would take its toll on Grant. No matter how well the Tigers moved the ball, Sparta made every opportunity to create turnover after turnover. By the time the buzzer sounded ending the second quarter, the Tiger’s limped off the court with only three second quarter points. The Spartans now comfortably led 30-14.
The second half started out right where the first half left off. Sparta continued their aggressive play while the Tigers continued to turn the ball over via soft passes. However, Coach Paulsen had seen enough, and he let his ladies, and Tiger fans, know it. That was the wakeup call the Tigers needed. And while it stopped the hemorrhaging of easy turnovers, the mistakes of the second quarter were too surmountable for the Lady Tigers to overcome. The Spartans left victorious with a final score of 52-31.
“I thought we came out and moved the ball well,” stated Coach Paulsen. “We got in a lot of trouble with trying to make the extra pass, and they had hands everywhere and got a lot of turnovers. They came out aggressive which kudos to them because they were physical, they were tough, and they ran the floor well. We just kind of got a step behind, and we were never really able to recover.”
Leading the Tiger’s was junior center, Kylie Patton, with eight points, followed by sophomore forward, Savannah Passage, with seven. Nichole Whan, Jill Arends, Kylee Wemple, and Emerson Cole also contributed with five, four, three, and two points respectively. The Lady Tigers next face the Comets of Coloma this Thursday in Coloma at 6:00.
Sparta 50 Grant 45
The Tigers were coming off their first win of this young season against Central Montcalm this past Friday, and looking to make it two in a row before heading into the winter break. In order to do that though, they would have to battle the height advantaged Spartans of Sparta. With both teams sharing an equal record, this clash was bound to be an exciting match up all the way to the final buzzer.
The Tigers and the Spartans swapped boards through the first three quarters of play, and kept the score within two. “I thought we played pretty well,” said Tiger’s head coach Matthew McCorkle. “I mean this has been the story now. We play well for halves or three quarters of the game, but there always seems to be a stretch somewhere where we seem to get lackadaisical maybe on defense, or we forget to execute what we are doing from a defensive strategy, or even on offense and that seems to be our Achilles heel.”
That “Achilles heel” would come in the fourth quarter with freshman guard, Fredrick Hull, finding foul trouble, and both senior guard, Tyler Naffziger, and senior guard, Cole Chase, fouling out. “We fouled way too much tonight too. We kind of shot ourselves in the foot with that a little bit,” stated coach McCorkle.
With five minutes left in the game, the Spartans retook the lead off of free throws. From that point on, it was the Sparta big men that frustrated the Tigers as the Spartans pounded the inside. “That’s our weakness; the lack of size,” coach McCorkle identified. “We just couldn’t do anything about it. I only got one big guy; they got about four. That definitely didn’t help us at all.” And while the Tigers continued to keep the game close, their lack of size and inability to capitalize on free throws exasperated their efforts. At the final buzzer, it would be the Spartans who emerged from the battle as the victors with a score of 50-45.
Leading the Tigers tonight was sophomore guard, Carter Chase, with 13 points. Senior guard, Tyler Naffziger, shot 11 points, and freshman guard, Fredrick Hull, followed with nine points. Also helping in the Grant’s effort was Alex Longcore (4 pts), Michael Frey (3 pts), and Conner Vanderwilt and Karlton Zerlaut both with two points.
The Tigers head into the winter break for a much needed rest. “I’ve got a couple of guys that are hurt. I’ve got a couple of guys that are sick,” stated coach McCorkle. “I think we’ll rest for a little bit, and then coming out of the break our focus is really the conference play now. We only have one [conference] loss, and I thought we competed well with [Big Rapids], so our focus will be on our conference opponents.” The Tigers will head into conference play against the Coyotes of Reed City on January 5 in Grant.
Fremont 59 Orchard View 13
With their captain Bre Harris on the sidelines and coming off a tough loss at Reed City the Packers took to their home court Tuesday evening on a mission.
The Cardinals had no answer for the swarming Fremont defense that didn’t allow the visiting offense to even breathe in the second half holding OV to just 3 points.
Calla Miller and Natalie Jamieson each snared 5 steals, but defense was only part of Jamieson’s game on the night. She proved to be a force on the glass pulling down a game high 14 boards while canning 15 points in the process. Miller help fill the offensive gap created by Harris’ injury by firing in a game high 18 points. Anna Patenge aalso reached double figures finishing with 10 points
“The girls played hard for their fallen teammate,” said Packer Coach John Krim. “ I was very proud of the effort.”
The Packers (4-2, 1-1) resume play on January 5th when they face conference rival Big Rapids at home.
Tri County 53 Morley Stanwood 39
The Vikings got 13 points from Tricia Slavens and 11 from Grace Miller to take the cross conference victory over the visiting Mohawks.
Jessica Thompson led TC on the boards by securing 8 rebounds.
“The team played really well tonight,” said Viking Coach Chris Overbeek. “It was nice to finally see the ball go through the hoop.”
“We are excited to head to Indiana for two games.”
Tri County, now 2-3 overall will be traveling south to play Greenwood Christian Academy of Indiana in the Border Wars Classic at The Hoosier Gym in Knightstown Indiana beginning Thursday December 28.
The Hoosier Gym is where the classic high school basketball movie “Hoosiers” was filmed.
Indians Hold Off Lions
Photos and Story by Alexis Mercer
It is the last game for the girls basketball teams before heading into Christmas vacation and into 2018. The Newaygo Lions hosted the White Cloud Indians for the annual Hoops for Hope game, where each player represents someone who has survived cancer, is currently suffering from cancer or who has passed away having fought cancer. The teams lined up prior to tip off to announce their honorees.
The first quarter was a battle of epic proportion. White Cloud's Hannah Brown handled the ball each time up the court. And Newaygo's Alexis Brocker was ready to defend her. Both girls fought with determination, spirit and skill.
In the first half, it was Newaygo who won the defensive battle while the shots went I the bucket as they were up 22-16 going into the locker room.
The second half, however, was a different story.
Brown came through big for a few shots and Newaygo quickly found themselves tied with 6:25 left in the 3rd quarter.
Breanna Sutherland was huge for the Indians under the basket, posting up, getting rebounds and scoring off the second chances. And Brown just kept it coming.
The Indians were up 30-22 to end the 3rd quarter.
With only one quarter remaining to pick it up, the Lions gave it one final push, coming within 6 points. But White Cloud refused to allow that to happen, keeping the defensive pressure strong.
The final score was Newaygo 29, White Cloud 37.
Jaylee Long led the Lions with 8 points. Sophia Frisbie came off the bench and got 6 points. Madison Bush grabbed 9 rebounds.
Hannah Brown led White Cloud with 17 points.
"We played a great first half. Up 6. We just had a bad third quarter and White Cloud took advantage. God great looks at the basket but the shots just did not fall," said Lions Coach Nate Thomasma.
Newaygo 53 Chippewa Hills 40
Newaygo built a 30-14 lead by halftime and held off the Warriors to capture the win and even their conference record at 1-1 (2-2 overall).
Four Lions reached double figures in scoring with Jaylee Long pacing the group with 13 points. Lily Ruehmeier knocked down 11 while Madison Bush and Alexis Brocker finishied with 10 apiece. Bush, Brocker and Daisy Hagen each pulled down 8 boards.
The charity stripe proved to be a friendly site as the Lions converted 70% of their shots there.
"Really happy with the win tonight,” said Coach Nate Thomasma. “We hadn't practiced in two days because of all the bad weather and the girls persevered and played well.
“ It was a great team win for us and now we need to get ready for White Cloud on Tuesday for our annual Hoops for Hope game. Hannah Brown is one of the best players in the area and their team is well coached and always plays hard.”
Reed City 42 Fremont 37
The Packers lost more than a game Friday night. They also lost the services of their potent point guard and defensive wizard Bre Harris to the two broken bones in her wrist with just over a minute remaining in the game.
Playing up in Coyote country the visitors forged a 28-17 lead at the break led by Calla Miller who fired in 11 points and Harris who hit for 9.
Then the shooting woes began.
The game was a tale of two halves,” said Packer Coach John Krim. “ We handled their pressure very well in the first half and made them pay for pressuring us.
“The second half we couldn't score and couldn't stop them.”
Foul trouble put paint players Anna Patenge and Natalie Jamieson on the bench for extended rests and both fouled out early in the 4th quarter.
The Coyotes cut into the lead and went up by 3 early in the 4th before Miler drilled a pair of buckets to put the Pack up by a point. The ‘Yotes answered with a basket then Harris hit a put-back to regain the lead. RC scored twice more to go up 3 then Harris was knocked down on a layup and came up with the injured wrist.
With time running out the Packers fouled the Coyote player who had missed 7 consecutive free throws but she stuck both and Reed City remained undefeated.
Miller finished wth a game high 15 points adding 4 steals while Harris finished with 9 boards 8 steal and a dozen points.
Kamryn Myers paced Reed City with 11 points while Emily Libey added eight.
Big Rapids 46 Tri County 35
Despite falling behind by a dozen points early on the Vikings battled their way back into the game pulling within 2 points but the Cardinals regrouped to hold off the visitors and remain undefeated 6 games into their season.
“We dug ourselves a hole that we just couldn’t climb out of,” said Viking Coach Chris Overbeek. “We will change some things up for Tuesday and see if we can’t start quicker”.
Grace Miller and Tricia Slavens each finished with 7 points for the Vikes while Emma Overbeek hit for a half dozen.
The Vikings (1-3, 0-2) will be home Tuesday to face Morley Stanwood (3-3, 2-0 ) in a cross conference game.
Newaygo 69 Chippewa Hills 54
Trailing by 5 heading into the final frame and on the road in Remus, the Lions put together a dominant 4th quarter outscoring the Warriors 31-11 to win their second straight and pull even at 1-1 in conference play.
Connor Swinehart continues to be a force on the glass pulling down a dozen rebounds to go with his team leading 20 points. Mitch Karrip fired in 19 for the Lions who converted 17 of 23 shots from the stripe on the night.
The Lions will head north for their 4th straight road game Wednesdayto face White Cloud in a cross conference match-up.
Reed City 57 Fremont 30
The Coyote home court is a tough venue for visitors at any time but Friday night it proved to be a disaster zone for the Packers who turned it over 30 times while shooting a dismal 22% from the field as they went down to their second straight loss.
“After we took a 4-0 lead it was all downhill from there,” said Packer Coach Pete Zerfas
Logan Karnemaat scored 6 points and managed 8 boards as Fremont tumbled to 2-2 and 1-1 in the Gold.
The Packers will resume play after the holidays when they face likely title contender Big Rapids at home on January 5th.
Kent City 75 White Cloud 40
The Eagles are gifted with some fine athletes these days as proven by their success in any number of sporting competitions.
While yet to play in front of a home crowd Kent City blasted their way to their 4t straight win to open the season with a convincing victory over the Indians.
Four Eagles posted double figures in scoring led by sophomore sensation Eli Carlson who dropped in 19. Fraser Wilson and Gavin Mead posted 14 apiece and Miguel Arechiga it for 10.
Darrion Holland led the Cloud with 14 points while Jared Elder knocked in 8.
White Cloud is 0-4 and 0-2 in Silver play. They will host Newaygo Wednesday.
Big Rapid 65 Tri County 54The Cardinals flew out of the gate going ahead by more than 20 points in the first half before the Vikings settled in and began playing their game. TC outscored Big Rapids in th second half but by then it was too late and the Cards remained undefeated on the season with heir 4th straight win.
“Big Rapids plays a brand of unorganized basketball where the just out athlete you at every position on the floor,” said Viking Coach Josh Delamater. “If you play into that, they will run you out of the gym. Once we got past that and took advantage of what they were giving us, we played well.”
Hunter Merchant led the Vikes with 17 points including the 5 triples he knocked down in the second half.
“Hunter sparked our comeback,” added Coach Delamater
Story and photos by Mike Gesler
Kent City 61 Grant 51
After two very close games last week against Whitehall and Big Rapids, the Grant Tigers came into tonight’s game against the Kent City Eagles with their hopes set on walking away with their first win of this season. The Eagles, however, had no plans of blemishing their 2-0 start, and were not so ready to become fodder for the win hungry Tigers. And while the two towns might normally be hospitable neighbors, Kent City was not in a generous mood this evening.
To say things went from bad to worse for the Tigers might be an understatement. And while the final score may not reflect such a callous report, a look into the second quarter says just about everything one might need to know about the game. At the end of the first quarter, the Tigers were only down by two to Kent City’s 13 points. Nevertheless, the Tigers were already starting to show signs that their play was going south.
Freshman forward, Brett Long, was already on the bench with foul trouble, and sophomore guard, Carter Chase, was finding himself flocked and unable to find the glass by the ravenous Eagles. The Tigers then went cold only netting five second quarter points to Kent City’s 20. The fouls began to rack up as did the turnovers. Inside the paint, the Tiger forwards could not get a rebound. By the end of the first half, the Eagles were deflating Grant’s hope with a lead of 30 to 16.
“[I’m] extremely disappointed with the boys,” Grant’s coach, Matthew McCorkle, stated with frustration. “Turnovers were a big theme. That’s three straight games where we turned the ball over every other possession we have. We still don’t box out well on the glass. And that’s probably the game right there; turnovers and rebounds.”
The second half fared better for the Tigers, as Coach McCorkle switched things up by electing to go with four guards and one forward rather than his starting three guards and two forwards. And while the Tigers were able to bring the game within seven points at one point in the fourth quarter, the costly mistakes of the second quarter would be too much for the Tiger’s to claw their way back from. At the final buzzer, Kent City took their third straight win and handed the Tigers another loss 61-51.
Senior guard, Tyler Naffziger, led the Tiger’s effort with 20 points, followed by freshman forward, Brett Long, with eight points. Carter Chase and Fredrick Hull each had seven points for the night. Also contributing were Alex Longcore with four points, Michael Frey with three, and Conner Vanderwilt and Karlton Zerlaut each with one point. The Tigers next visit Central Montcalm this Friday starting at 7:30.
Kent City 55 Grant 28
The Grant Lady Tigers came into tonight with hopes of competing against a very good Kent City Eagles team. However, Kent City’s aggressive defensive press, along with their assertiveness on the boards was more than the ladies of Grant could overcome.
“They were being aggressive, and the best way to attack aggressive is with aggressive,” stated Grant coach Paige Paulsen. “Once we did, once we pushed the ball and looked up, we definitely had more success. But we have to discover that earlier than in the third quarter.”
Right from the opening tip off, the Eagles showed they came unto Grant’s court ready to play ball. Lead by freshman guard, Kenzie Bowers, who would put up 24 of Kent City’s 55 points, the Eagles jumped to a first quarter lead of 16 points to Grant’s nine and never looked back. It seemed as though the Lady Tigers could not find an answer to slow the attack of Kent City. The Eagles pressed hard defensively creating turn over after turn over which scarcely allowed the Tigers to even bring the ball into their shooting half of the court. By the end of the first half, the Eagles had a comfortable 16 point lead of 30 points to Grant’s 14.
The second half did not fare much better for Grant. And while the Tigers finally started to open up shooting opportunities, the Eagles responded with two buckets for every one bucket Grant sunk. In short, it was a long night for Grant and the Grant fans. Kent City walked away with the easy win, 55-28.
“Kent City is a very good basketball team. They played very well,” said coach Paulsen. “You could tell they’re well coached, and they came out and executed a great game plan. At times we looked very capable of competing, and then at other times we kind of forgot how we got to that point.”
Sophomore guard, Nichole Whan, led the Tigers with 11 points, followed by junior center, Kylie Patton, with nine. Also scoring for the Tigers were Kirstyn Throop with three points, Jill Arends and Savannah Passage both with two points, and Angela Contreras with one point. The Lady Tigers next face Central Montcalm Friday night in Central Montcalm starting at 6:00 p.m.
Fremont 45 Sparta 27
The Packers shook off an early cold streak missing their first 8 shots and finishing the first quarter with just 7 points to post 21 in the second and hit the break leading 28-15.
“We came out of the locker room playing good defense and rebounded well to extend the lead going into the 4th,” said Fremont Coach John Krim.
“Sparta never give up and battled to the very end, but we were able to settle down and finish well.”
Anna Patenge had a huge game in the paint for the Pack pulling down 13 boards to go with 8 points, a trio of assists a pair of steals and a couple of rejections off the hands of Spartan players.
Bre Harris has come off an early season injury to play at her usual high level and tonight she canned 14 points while dishing off 3 assists. Natalie Jamieson was also a force on the glass finishing with a ozen rebounds and 4 steals.
Riley Sweet helped spark the 2nd quarter rally taking advantage of some key scoring opportunities
The Packers (3-1, 1-0) will return to conference play Friday when they visit the Coyotes in Reed City.