Newaygo 66 Big Rapids 64
Newaygo knew they were playing the top dog in the Gold Tuesday. Just last Friday the Cardinals took back sole leadership in the conference by defeating Fremont the only team to hang a loss on them this year.
The Lions knew who they were playing and also knew they nearly came away with a win on the BR home court a couple of months ago. That game began a tough patch for Newaygo. A double overtime loss to the Packers was followed by an easy victory over winless Tri County, but losses to Grant and Morley made it 4 out of 5 in the right column and pretty much took them out of the conference race. After the loss to the Mohawks Coach Joe Barrette seemed to question the effort he saw on the floor an issue the team addressed during a practice session before the next game against Reed City..
They haven’t lost since.
The Lions battled a tough Cardinal team from the tip-off to the buzzer and came through in the clutch to knock their visitors back into a tie with the Packers.
Those same Packers who will be coming into town Friday.
Newaygo edged to a one point lead after the first and the teams got to intermission with Newaygo doubling their lead to 2 points at the break.
The second half saw more of the same with the Lions holding back the Cardinal runs and trying to contain Braeden Childress the primary offensive weapon in the BR arsenal.
With the game tightening and a minute remaining Cooper Heinzman stepped in front of a driving Childress who committed the charge, his 5th and final foul of the game and the turnover allowed the Lions to hold on for the win.
"Our kids played hard and were able to make enough winning plays down the stretch to beat a good Big Rapids team," said Coach Barette.
Mitch Karrip fired in 21 points and Connor Swinehart grabbed 10 tough boards to go with his 17 points but there were many heroes on this night. Jacob Polasek set the table for his teammates and Morgan Manlick knocked down 10-14 from the charity stripe to finish with an even dozen.
As to their 4 conference defeats the Lions have now delivered paybacks to two of those teams.
The other two losses?
Fremont (Friday) and Grant (a week later).
And both are at home where the Newaygo team has yet to lose.
Fremont 69 Central Montcalm 56
The Packers traveled to Stanton and came away with a win and a share of first place after the Big Rapids loss.
Fremont jumped off to a 10-0 lead at the start and kept the Hornets at bay to secure the conference victory.
“After coming off our first loss of 2018 on Friday, I wasn't sure what to expect tonight against a young, but athletic Central Montcalm team as we were without our two most athletic forwards and second and third leading scorers, Calvin Miller and Riley Krim,” said Coach Zerfas. “ We talked about how it would take a team effort to win and that's exactly what happened tonight.”
Logan Karnemaat ruled the paint as he rejected 11 Hornet shots while dropping in a dozen points and ripping down 15 boards. Karnemaat also accounted for 4 assists on the night.
Wyatt Kaastra and Ben Schmidt knocked down 16 points apiece with Schmidt adding 6 assists and Kaastra dishing out 5.
Carter Moon also reached double figures finishing with 10 points and pilfering CM for 4 steals and Bailey Baddis was once again a force coming off the bench with 10 points and 7 rebounds. Micah Whittle also helped on the glass grabbing 7 boards.
White Cloud 61 Mason County Eastern 51
Break up the Indians?
The Cloud picked up steam after a slow start and pulled away from the Cardinals for their 3rd win in a row Monday night.
“Not a pretty win “ said Coach Jones.”We were able to finish strong and pull it out. “
Andy Newfer ripped in 19 points, Steve Holt hit for 16 and Trent Jones finished with 8 as White Cloud continued to shake off a 0-12 start and keep their streak alive.