Tigers, Pack play it close again with different result
Grant 38 Fremont 34
The last time these two teams met fans witnessed a back and forth donnybrook requiring overtime to decide the outcome. When the final buzzer sounded the Packers had the win on the home court of Grant.
This time around the Tigers returned the favor, emerging on top in another close matchup and scrambling the race for second place in the Gold.
The Tigers seem to frequently find their way to the charity stripe where they rarely fail to convert and the 4th quarter saw them can 8 of their 10 attempts to ice the win, including a perfect 4-4 off the hands of Jayna Hance.
Grant Coach Paige Paulson:
“I thought it was a great game plan by both teams. We jumped out to an early 9 to 0 zero lead but Fremont stayed within themselves. We struggled to score from that point but also played some tough defense.”
The teams played to a 13-13 tie at intermission and battled back and forth with the Tigers holding off their hosts in the final frame.
“In the 4th quarter there was great execution by the girls,” added Coach Paulson. “We controlled the ball, made free throws, played defense, and rebounded. It was a well deserved win for the team.”
Nicole Whan dropped in a team high 14 for Grant including hitting 6-8 from the line while Calla Miller paced the Packer attack also knocking down 14. Paige Vandenberg fired in 10 for Fremont who fall to 8-4 (10-6 overall)in conference play. Grant moves to 7-4 (9-7) in the Gold.
With the Newaygo (6-5, 9-6) win over Tri County (8-4, 11-5) four team are now separated by one game in the loss column in the fight for second place. The top spot has already been claimed by one of the state’s premier teams, the undefeated Hornets of Central Montcalm.
Vikings force Lions into extra frame
Photos by Alexis Mercer
Story by Ken DeLaat
The Vikings hadn’t won a conference game all season and a month ago the Lions had handled them on the TC home court.
But that wasn’t the team that showed up Friday night in the Den.
The Lions sprinted out to an 11-2 lead behind baskets by Connor Swinehart, Ryan Brummel and Noah Cantu. TC put on a run of their own behind Cameron Friend Nick Poprawski and Tristen Knox to tie the game at 13. Cantu got to the line and dropped a pair and the first period ended with the Lions on top 15-13.
Poprawski nailed a three to start the second and give TC their first lead of the night. Newaygo edged ahead behind scores by Brummel and Kade Bhuyan then Bryce Hallman fired inn a triple that was answered by an 8-0 run by the hosts. Nick Braunschneider stopped the bleeding but two in a row by Carlos Magana stretched the Lion lead to 9 that was trimmed to 7 by intermission.
Enter Collin Kirkwood who scored and dished his team to a tie late in the third before Cantu and Swinehart put some distance to end the quarter with Newaygo holding a 6 point lead.
Heading into the 4th the Vikings still had a lot of fight left and Poprawski canned a pair of triples to pull TC ahead by a point. Brummel scored to put Newaygo in front then Hallman did the same for TC with Friend adding a shot and suddenly the Vikes were up by 4 and Swinehart the heart and soul of the Lions team had picked up his 4th foul.
Three minutes were left after a Hallman bucket pushed the lead to 6 then Brummel unleashed a three. The teams battled to a 66 tie when Poprawski zipped one from the arc and TC held a 3 point lead with under a minute left.
Brummel stepped up huge when he nailed a clutch 3 pointer that tied the game and 40 seconds later the teams went to overtime.
In the extra frame Cantu popped in two quick triples and the Lions kept the Vikes at bay for the hard fought win.
Newaygo Coach Barrette: “Great win for our Seniors on their last game in our home gym. TC played extremely hard and took us out of some things we wanted to do. Ryan Brummel and Noah Cantu were special down the stretch getting us to overtime then putting it away in the final 4 minutes.”
Cantu finished with 25 points including 10 in overtime while grabbing 9 rebounds Brummel hit on 10 of his 11 shots to tally 22. Swinehart canned 20 and Bhuyan snatched 5 steals and dished out 6 assists.
Poprawski nailed 5 triples as part of his 23 points, Hallman hit for 18, Friend Finished with 11 and Braunschneider added 9.
Long lobs buzzer beating bouncer for the win
Photos by Alexis Mercer
Story by Ken DeLaat
Newaygo 44 Tri County 42
It was undoubtedly the most exciting game this reporter has seen all season.
A hard fought, physical, blue collar battle featuring 10 lead changes, defensive wizardry and a shut the front door final two minutes that electrified the Lions Den.
And it ended in dramatic style, as we all knew it would, with Jaxi Long lifting up a prayer as she stumbled into the paint. A prayer that somehow found the rim, bounced three times and dropped in at the buzzer to end an epic battle between two teams who refused to lose. A heavyweight fight with each participant taking the best their opponent had to give and hanging in to the finish to see who would survive.
It took just 8 seconds before the first whistle and Emma Sickelsteel dropped in a pair to start the scoring. Kendall Mathis drew a foul on the other end and split a pair then Newaygo scored twice more with Jaylee Long hitting a jumper and Mathis banking one off the glass before TC went to the line again. Mary Siple a Viking freshman with some serious game dropped in both of her shots followed by an Alicia Bowen bucket and TC was back in the lead. Grace Miller was sent to the stripe and split for the Vikes then Jaxi Long found a streaking Sophia Frisbie with a lightning pass and Frisbie converted as time expired and the teams ended the first tied at 7.
The second started with the teams trading scores and swapping the lead. The Lions went onna mini run to go up by 6 but the Vikes answered back with 6 of their own to close the half with the teams knotted at 17.
The third quarter saw as much scoring as the first half with Frisbie dishing to Jaylee Long and Lillian Ruehmeier for Lion scores while Sickelsteel poured in a half dozen for the Vikings and when the dust settled TC held a 33-32 lead.
The 4th saw 3 ½ minutes expire before the score changed and it changed in a big way as Frisbie laced a shot from three point range to stake a 2 point lead. A minute later Jaxi Long found Goodin then off a stop popped one in on her own and the hosts had moved ahead by 5 the largest lead either team had held up to that point. Less than 2 minutes remained and with TC down by 5 points quarterback Bowen found Siple who calmly canned one from the arc and it was 40-38 Lions. Jaxi Long scored off a Frisbie pass and Bowen immediately answered to make it 42-40 then after a stop Bowen again got the ball to Siple who hit the game tieing bucket and was fouled. It was the 18th time the Vikes stood at the stripe and they had converted 14 of the 17 prior attempts. This one didn’t fall but the Vikings got the rebound and with the score tied at 42 held for the last shot. With 8 seconds left the swarming Newaygo defense led to a traveling violation giving the ball to the Lions.
Then came the improbable Jaxi Long shot that sealed the deal.
The loss ended a 7 game winning streak for the Vikings.
Newaygo Coach Thomasma: "It was a great basketball game. Both teams played extremely hard and with sportsmanship. Tri-County is a good basketball team and we were very fortunate to come out on top. I'm happy the girls kept their composure at the end.”
Jaylee Long finished with 14 points, 6 boards and 4 assists while Frisbie dished out 6 dimes pilfered 3 steals and scored 5 points. Jaxi Long fired in 10 points , Goodin dropped in 6 and Mathis scored 5.
Sickelsteel led the Vikes with 14 points and Miller knocked down 8 with Siple sinking 7 and Taylor Longstreet finishing with 6.
With Central Montcalm clinching the top spot in the Gold the battle for second involves four teams (TC, Fremont, Grant, Newaygo) within a 1 ½ games of each other in the standings.
Packers survive Tiger attack, claim 2nd straight Gold crown
Story and photos by Alicia Jaimes
Fremont 60 Grant 59
The Tigers tossed everything they had at the first place Packers forcing the game into overtime before falling short in the extra frame and with a Reed City loss to Big Rapids Fremont claimed their second straight conference title.
The house was full as Packer and Tiger fans settled in for the rematch they’ve been waiting for since the two teams played in Grant more than a month ago. Since that game Grant has developed as a unit and came into this one having won 4 out of 5. And Fremont? They have run the table and muscled their way into first place.
Coming out of the gate the Packers and Tigers were back and forth. Fremont ended the first quarter holding a 17 to 13 lead. Diesel Rose nabbed almost half of Grant’s 13 points with a 2-pointer and 4 free throws.
This Tiger team has talent as well as heart and they battled back using their patented pick and roll offense to take back the lead and reach intermission with a 31-28 edge.
Led by Connor Vanderwilt who fired in a pair of triples as part of his 8 third quarter points the Tigers pushed the lead to 5 entering the final frame.
Dwn 8 points early in the quarter a fire was lit under the Packers as they made up ground in the splitting six 2’s between Logan Karnemaat, Carter Moon, Calvin Miller, Chris Kennedy, and Braiden McDonald.
As the countdown began, Packer and Tiger fans alike were on the edge of their seats as timeouts took place, fouls were called, and shots were made. With the Packers ahead 52-50, and time running out the game looked all but done until Seth Schuitema rebounded his own shot and dropped it in to send the game into overtime.
Karnemaat making 6 of the 8 points in the OT period, but the Packers still couldn’t shake the Tigers and with 6 seconds on the clock in a tie game McDonald toed the stripe missing the first attempt then draining what proved to be the game winner. Calvin Miller stepped up and made a defensive stop as time expired and the Packers escaped with the win.
Coach Zerfas: It was a classic Fremont/Grant game from the past of two teams hungry for a win. Our kids just seem to find a way. We made only 3 of 8 free throws in overtime, but 3 were enough for the win. We did not play poorly, Grant just played very well and we didn't panic and came back from being 8 down in the 4th to win our 14th straight game.”
Vanderwilt led the Tigers in scoring as he canned 18 with Rose and Carter Chase knocking down 13 apiece. Karnemaat led Fremont on offense with his own 18, while Calvin Miller scored 13, McDonald hit for 10 and Chris Kennedy tallied 8.
As the two teams shook hands a wild crowd in the background cheered them on and a game people will be talking about for a while was in the books.
Pack Boys, Viking Girls look to extend winning streaks
Ed Note: The Snowcoming Basketball Game Tri-County Vs. Newaygo will be streamed tonight starting at 5:40 p.m. with Play by Play Announcers Hudson Harkness (Newaygo High School Sophomore) and Dave Princer (Tri-County Michigan High School Sports Radio Announcer). Use the link to access the radio broadcast via computer or download the Michigan High School Sports Radio App, Listen Live and Search Tri-County Vs. Newaygo Basketball Girls & Boys Game!
Tri County at Newaygo
The Lions are at home, it’s Snowcoming, Parents Night and likely the final home game of the season. The crowd will be enthusiastic the players, particularly the seniors, should be pretty pumped. The Vikings have won just 2 games all season and Newaygo handled them in the TC gym. All signs point to favoring the Lions but this Viking team can surprise on occasion and have some serious shooters who can get hot. The challenge for them would be to get those shots off. If the Lion defense is performing like they have in the games we’ve witnessed TC is in trouble. Newaygo has been a bit erratic of late losing 4 of their last 5 but those 4 losses came against some of the best teams in our area. At this point the Vikings aren’t one of those teams.
Grant at Fremont
You gotta love the Tigers.Not a lot of height and not a lot of subs and yet they can take charge of a game with a collection of sharpshooters who can hit from anywhere and a relentless defensive effort particularly in the backcourt. They have improved all year and have won 4 of their last 5.
Of course Fremont has won 13 in a row.
The Packers are really good. Karnemaat is an absolute force in the paint then add in Calvin Miller and you have glass dominance.The emergence of McDonald and the steady play of Zerfas augments a deep squad that produces different heroes on different nights. They have shown they can play over foul trouble, hold onto leads and come back from double digit deficits to take the game away from opponents. And if Karnemaat catches fire early it is unlikely he will be contained much less stopped.
The Tigers played the Pack tough on their home turf despite a final score that looked a bit lopsided. And like I said this is a far better Grant team than they were even a month ago.
But a lot would have to go their way. They play in front of a large and loud Fremont crowd against a team making their final home appearance of the regular season (Regionals are here beginning March 5th). A win gives them assurance of a tie for the Gold title and should the reeling Reed City team lose to Big Rapids the championship is clinched.
Schuitema Vanderwilt and Long can all scorch the basket and Chase is a bear to defend. The key will be shooting a high percentage because rebounds are not going to come easy.
Kent City at Hesperia
The season is grinding to an end for Coach Bolles’ team. This is a mismatch as many games have been for the Panthers with a season long thin roster. They have only tallied more than 40 points once all season and Kent City can score. Give this Panther team some credit. They battle to the end regardless of the score.
Holton at Lakeview
The Red Devils can clinch a tie for second place in the Silver with a win. It would also set up a showdown with Kent City next week and the chance to claim sole ownership of the runner-up spot. Ward and Klemundt and Segura are among the Devils who can put up points and the Wildcats struggle offensively.
Tri County at Newaygo
First year Coach Alger has done a great job with this team. The Vikings, like last year, have caught fire heading down the stretch. They just peeled off 7 straight wins including 4 in a row on the road. Bowen is one of those players who makes her team better by doing a lot of little things including an uncanny ability to find teammates who are open for a shot.
The Lions are a bit enigmatic. When firing on all cylinders they are tough to stop but they can be a little erratic at times and they play better when they have a lead. Newaygo has been in 4 games decided by 3 points or less and lost 3 of them. If their ‘A’ game shows up tonight they can prevail but clearly this is not the Viking team they routed earlier this year.
Should be a close one.
Grant at Fremont
This one went to overtime in their initial meeting with the ackers getting the ‘W’. Both teams have lost twice since then and both lost those games to CM and TC.
It should be a close one with Fremont getting a bit of an edge for the home court. The Tigers love to go to the stripe and will look to get there with some slashing moves to the basket. Whan and Arends will score and Throop finds a way to put up points for Grant.Vandenberg continue to be a big part of the Packer inside game and Miller can spoil many a player’s night with her blanket defense.
But if the game is close the Tig’s better put somebody on Shriver who has hit some clutch shots down the stretch for the Packers.
White Cloud at MCE
The Cardinals have fashioned a 6-4 mark on the season but outside of an overtime loss to Manistee Catholic they have not gotten above 50 points and they don’t have the kind of defense that can stop Hannah Brown & Co. particularly with Alexis Strait back on the court. The bus ride to Custer is no treat on a cold night but the Indians are heating up for district play and a possible matchup with the other Mason County school down the road and Coach Brown will have his team ready for this one.
Holton at Lakeview
The RD’s hope they can steal one on the road to get off the schneid. Both teams have difficulty with the scoreboard. Whoever gets to 40 will likely win this one.
Kent City at Hesperia
The Panthers have surprised some teams and at this point of the season have a winning record at 7-6. It isn’t likely they will get #8 when they meet the Eagles who can (and likely will) clinch the Silver Championship with a win. KC has won 8 in a row and nobody in that stretch has even come close.
Girls: Pack, Vikes Stay Tied For Second
Boys: Lucky 13 For Fremont; Tigers, Devils Keep It Going; Cloud Notches #4
Fremont 41 Newaygo 38
The Packers got back to their winning ways as they snapped a 2 game skid with a win over the Lions.The victory kept Fremont in a tie with the surging Tri County team for second place in the Gold.
"Fremont jumped out to a 8 point lead and did a good job of maintaining the lead.,” said Lion Coach Nate Thomasma. “We shot the ball poorly tonight which hurt us."
Paige Vandenburg led the Packers with 13 points and Jaxi Long led all scorers knocking down 19 points for the Lions.
Fremont 8-3, 10-5 Newaygo 4-5, 7-6
Tri County 44 Grant 37
The Vikings sailed on to a 7th straight win.
"Grant is a great, tough team and they took it to us earlier in the year so I was really proud of how the team responded,” said Viking Coach Alyssa Alger.
“The girls are playing very well right now and the new system is starting to click for them. We all are having a lot of fun together right now and it is showing on the court. We play some very tough teams in our league and I think that has prepared us to finish the season strong.”
Jessica Thompson jammed up the scoring book with 10 points, 11 boards and a half dozen rejected shots while Alicia Bowen hit for 9 points grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists.
Tri County 8-3, 11-4 Grant 6-4, 8-7
Grant 70 Tri County 56
The Tigers made it three in a row as they completed a season sweep of the Vikings. Connor Vanderwilt had the hot hand for Grant hitting for 20 while Seth Schuitema knocked down 14, Carter Chase cashed in 13 and Brett Long was the 4th Tiger in double figures finishing with 11.
Tri-County was led in scoring by Cameron Friend with 23.
Grant 5-5, 9-7 Tri County 0-11, 2-15
Fremont 78 Newaygo 52
The Packers continue to roll as they collected their 13th straight win to solidify their hold on the top spot in the Gold.
Coach Pete Zerfas:”For 4 straight games before this one we have only played average in the first half then turned it up in the second half. Tonight was different.”
The visitors ran up a 26-12 lead after one before the Lions played their way to a halftime deficit of a dozen points at 41-29
Then came the second half and a 20-9 run by Fremont that put the game away.
“We had 11 different players score, but 3 players had monster games,”added Coach Zerfas. “Logan Karnemaat had a triple double with 13 points, 11 blocks, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. Braiden McDonald had 26 points and Calvin Miller had 18 points.”
Carter Moon also landed some numbers for Fremont grabbing 5 steals and dishing out 5 assists.
“Fremont proved they were the better team tonight,” said Lion Coach Joe Barrette. “ They turned every mistake into points.”
Fremont 10-1, 15-1 Newaygo 5-4, 8-6
White Cloud 70 Mason County Eastern 39
The host Indians piled up their highest point total of the season as the overwhelmed the Cardinals for the Parent Night victory.
Sam Venema tossed in 23 points to lead the Cloud with Steven Holt hitting for 321 and Chance Montemayor dropping in 12. Every WC player made it into the scorebook in the win.
White Cloud 3-5, 4-13 MCE 1-11 (WM D League), 2-12
Holton 75 Flat River Academy 40
On a cold night the Red Devils came out steaming hot as they fired in a 32 point barrage in the first quarter to take a 22 point lead and never looked back.
Kaleb Kitchka led Holton with 21 points and Chip Wright finished with 8.
Holton 6-2, 9-8 Flat River 4-4 (Independent)
Newaygo 65 Chippewa Hills 41
Down 33-31 at intermission the Lions roared out of the locker room to spin a 21-2 run that put them in the driver’s seat and secured the conference win.
Coach Bearrette: “Good effort on the defensive side of the ball tonight. We played together and took a step back in the right direction”
Connor Swinehart pooped in 15 points while working the glass for 7 rebounds while Kade Bhuyan fired in 13 points to go with his 4 assists and 4 steals.
Newaygo 67 Chippewa Hills 33
The relentless Lion defense forced 31 turnovers and ran away from the Warriors in the second half.
Coach Thomasma: "I thought tonight was a good win for us. We came out and jumped on them early and we were able to build on that lead. The whole team brought good energy which made a positive impact."
Jaxi Long led the Lions with 22 points while nabbing 6 steals and dishing 3 assists. Jaylee Long hit for 11 points and Kendall Mathis had a solid inside game with 5 points and 5 rebounds.
Boys: Karnemaat’s Last Second Bucket Gives Pack Comeback Win, Devils Stake Claim to Second in Silver
Girls: Cloud Keeps Holton Winless, Packers Feel the Sting
The weather continues to be a big player in the local hoops schedule with many games being cancelled out and a limited amount of teams taking to the hardcourts.
Fremont 55 Central Montcalm 53
Cruising along with a 2 game lead in the Gold and riding an 11 game winning streak the Packers were stalled by weather Friday and forced to head into Stanton for a Saturday game against the Hornets.
A huge crowd saw the home team take charge early and hold a 17 point lead halfway through the third quarter.
Once again it was the bench that pulled the Packers out of the doldrums as they battled back to knock 8 points off the lead running off 9 straight points to end the third.
In the final frame the starters came back on the floor and finally caught the Hornets with 3 minutes still the clock.
Coach Zerfas: “ At that point it was back and forth with all five starters making big plays down the stretch. Carter Moon was fouled on a 3 point attempt and made all three free throws. Braiden McDonald had a late steal and made 2 free throws. With 45 seconds to go Calvin Miller made a go ahead jump shot, then with 8 seconds CM hit a 25 foot bank-in 3 point shot to tie. After we called time out Joshua Zerfas drove the length of the floor, split two defenders and lobbed a pass to Logan Karnemaat who had his man sealed above him.
Logan dropped in the two footer as time expired.
“It was not a good first 20 minutes for us. We were completely outplayed, but afterwards I told the team you cannot play your best game of the year all 20 games. It's a long season, and being able to come back in front of a boisterous crowd on the road after playing our worst 20 minutes of the year shows just how tough and good we are.”
Braiden McDonald and Carter Moon had 13 points, Karnemaat finished with 8 points and 8 blocks, Miller and Julian Echavarria had 7 points each and Zerfas had 7 assists, 4 in the last 4 minutes to go with 4 points and 0 turnovers.
Fremont 9-1, 14-1 Central Montcalm 5-5, 6-10
Holton 63 White Cloud 43
The Red Devils moved into second place in the Silver by grabbing a road win over the Indians while Kent City fell to Morley Stanwood.
“It was hard fought game on both sides,” said Cloud Coach Bob Jones.”Holton’s lead was down to 3 at one point in the fourth quarter but we just couldn't get over the hump.”
Nate Slowik fired in a game high 21 points while Aaron Herron and Derek Pouch popped in a dozen apiece. Sam Venema led the Cloud with 11 wnd Steven Hilt and Dexter Cox each hit for 10.
Coach Jones also singled out the valuable minutes logged by Jake Foster, Trent Jones, Chance Montemayor and Alex Doke.
Holton 6-2, 8-8 White Cloud 3-5, 3-13
White Cloud 55 Holton 25
It was a frigid night outside but things got hot in the White Cloud gym as the Indians poured in 10 from beyond the arc enroute to convincing 55-25 win over the winless Red Devils.
Hannah Brown continues to add to her school scoring record firing in 26 points while dishing out a six-pack of assists and working the glass for 5 boards.
The team welcomed back Alexis Strait who has missed a month with an ankle injury and she shook off the rust with a dozen points while also collecting 6 dimes on the night.
Cassie Watson continues to be a force for the Indians as she numbered 5 in points, assists and rebounds and Jemi Perrin found the basket for 8 points..
The win combined with Morley’s loss to Kent City gives the Indians sole possession of second place in the Silver.
White Cloud 6-2, 10-3 Holton 0-9, 0-14
Central Montcalm 65 Fremont 24
There has been no doubt all season who was in charge of the Gold. The Hornets continue to buzz through the opposition as they smothered the Packer offense and rolled to their 14th straight win on the season.
Coach Krim: “I've been coaching a long time and can honestly say that is one if not the best team I have ever coached against. We had a very good week of practice, we were prepared as to what they like to do both offensively and defensively, and really thought if we played well we could keep the game competitive.”
The Bees scored the first 7 points before Fremont got on the board and the Packers battled to pull within 4 points at 9-5.
An 8-0 Hornet run in a raucous gymnasium filled with CM fans spelled doom for the packer hopes for an upset and the rout was on.
It was the 9th time in 10 games CM has bested an opponent by 20 or more points and in 7 of those the margin was more than 30.
Natalie Jamieson was a bright spot for the visitors with a team high 7 points and 5 steals.
Fremont 7-3, 9-5 Central Montcalm 10-0, 14-0
Packer septet heading for Regionals
Fremont hosted MHSAA Wrestling Districts and placed in seven out of the fourteen weight classes. At 285 pounds, the Packers had both finalists, seniors Chaz Wheater and Austin Kukal. Wheater won the championship and Kukal finished runner-up.
Fremont’s Eli Beasley placed 3rd at 103 pounds, defeating his opponent from Sparta by a pin.
Other Regional qualifiers for the Pack were Gage Breuker at 119 , Matt Halasinski at 140 , Chase Knudsen at 160 and Tyler Kolk at 189. . Each finished fourth.
Fremont hosts the Individual Regionals next Saturday, with the top four in each weight qualifying for state.
Area teams (except White Cloud) hit the road Friday.
By Ken DeLaat
Newaygo at Big Rapids
Boys- The Lions came away with a huge overtime win when the two teams met in the first game after the break Swinehart battled for 28 points and Cantu hitting some key triples to help stave off the offensive onslaught of Martinson.
It was one of the high points of the season for the squad that has dropped three of their last four. The Lion team that had been held under 60 points just once all season has not reached that mark in the last three contests. The Cards were on a 5 game winning streak before being derailed by a Fremont team presently hitting on all cylinders. Newaygo will have to help Swinehart out by hitting from outside and making the press work.If they can do that and try to at least contain Martinson a bit it will help their cause.
Girls- Newaygo handled the Cardinals pretty well the first time around. The hosts don’t score a lot and the Lions can put up points. Last time out BR seemed to have no answer for Jaylee Long and Sophie Frisbie wreaked havoc from the defensive side.The Lions have three tough games ahead with Fremont Tri County and Grant and a win might help build some momentum.
Grant at Chippewa Hills
Girls- Forget the loss to Central Montcalm because everyone is losing to the Hornets. Since the first of the year the Tigers are 7-1 against teams not named Central Montcalm and that loss was an overtime thriller with a tough Packer squad. The Warriors have 2 wins this season against schools from the bottom tier of their respective conferences and are winless in the Gold.
Boys- The first time these teams met the Tigers dug a huge hole and battled back to squeak out a win.Fast forward and Grant is not a team anybody wants anything to do with right now. The Tigers season long tutelage under Coach Schuitema is paying off and when their sharpshooters are hot they are awfully tough to stop. They will more often than not yield the size advantage to opponents but it shouldn’t be a big factor if Seth Schuitema, Vanderwilt and the steaming hot Chase get open.
Fremont at Central Montcalm
Boys- The Packers are rolling. With ample opportunities to play deep into his bench Coach Zerfas has been able to develop a number of weapons and has the talent to counter nearly any situation. Karnemaat and Calvin Miller are an imposing front line and the addition of McDonald to an already talented mix has paid dividends.
The Hornets are grinders and have had success in conference play but they would have to keep the scoring down to have a good shot at this one.
Girls- Fremont has a really good team with Vandenberg, Miller, Jamieson et.al. able to go toe to toe with most any team they face.
The Hornets swarm over other squads and take the breath out of teams with a multitude of scorers, aggressive and effective defense and a deep and productive bench.
The Packers are a good team. Friday they face a great team.
On the road.
Tri County at Reed City
Girls- Last year the Vikings caught fire at the end and battled their way into the Regionals. This year under new coach Alyssa Alger they are making another second half push and come into this one with 5 in a row under their belt including last week when they became the only team not named Central Montcalm to best the Packers on their home court.
The Coyotes really struggle to put points up and the Vikings have scorers up and down their lineup.
Boys- The Vikings play a tough team who has watched their early title aspirations increasingly fad after 3 straight losses including 2 in- conference setbacks. The Coyotes are hungry and playing in front of a vocal home crowd for the first time in a month.Tough game for Coach McCorkle’s squad
Holton at White Cloud
Boys-You have to love the Red Devils. They began the season getting drilled by Sparta after the post football buzz was still humming through the school then lost 3 of the next 4.
Since then they have been a respectable 6-4 but you never quite know which team will show up. They were handled by Morley earlier this week having caught the Mohawks at home stinging from their first defeat but Herron Slowik and Pouch can all score and the Indians will likely need to tally more points than they have been of late. The Cloud has reached 60 just once this season and have been over 50 just twice in the past 6 games.
This one is at WC and while their previous matchup was a 30 point loss at Holton this one should be closer if the Indians can not let the Devils run away early this time.
Girls- Holton has yet to win a game and came closest against North Muskegon last week when they finished within 4 points.
This White Cloud team is not North Muskegon.
Hesperia at Lakeview
Girls-The Panthers and Wildcats should matchup pretty even. Lakeview won the last one in overtime.
Boys- Coach Bolles and his team played the ‘Cats tough first time around but ran out of gas and players. Here’s hoping they break the season long skid with a much coveted win.
Grant 71 Morley Stanwood 66
Watch out for the Tigers.
With three weeks left before Grant travels south to take on Sparta in the District opener this team has began to show a bit of a bite.
After knocking off Gold contender Reed City last Friday they hosted the Mohawks who sit atop the Silver with an undefeated record.
An undefeated record that is no more.
The Tig’s jumped out to a 17-12 lead after one then kept the pressure on building the advantage to 41-28 by intermission. The ‘Hawks made a run after the half but the Tigers were up to the challenge and held off the visitors for the win.
Carter Chase canned a game high 24 points with Connor Vanderwilt hitting for 17 and Seth Schuitema also reaching double figures with 15.
Aidan McLaughlin led MS with 18 points.
Fremont 72 Tri County 36
Joshua Zerfas banged one in from beyond the arc to give the Pack a lead they would hold throughout the game.
The Vikings looked to take the air out of the ball early and slow down the high powered Packer offense but aggressive defensive play foiled the strategy as Fremont ran off the first 10 points and led 33-22 by the half.
After the break Fremont exploded out of the locker room to put up 29 points while holding the Vikes to 11 and coasted in for their 11th straight win.
Braiden McDonald continues to make his presence felt in the Packer stat book leading the team with 15 points. Calvin Miller and Logan Karnemaat hit for 10 apiece Carter Moon and Chris Kennedy each knocked down 8, Julian Echavarria scored 7 and Noah Christensen tallied 6.
Fremont is now 13-1 on the season and sit atop the Gold with an 8-1 record.
Holton 45 Fruitport Calvary 42
The Red Devils evened their mark at 7-7 with a win over Calvary.
Nate Slowik led the team in scoring with 15 while Aaron Herron dropped in 11 and Derek Pouch also hit double figures with 10.
Evart 9 White Cloud 53
The Cloud was looking to make it two in a row but they fell short on the road against the Wildcats.
Sam Venema led the Indians with 18 points, Steven Hld hit for 16 and Jake Foster dropped in 8.
Shelby 45 Hesperia 32
Tha Panthers put up a battle before falling to the Tigers in a nn conference contest. Jacob Klemundt scored 10 for Hesperia and River Montague making his second Varsity appearance notched 5 for the Panthers
Kent City 61 Newaygo 44
Tri County 42 Fremont 39
The teams battled back and forth all night before Mary Siple dropped in a shot to put the Vikings up by a point with 24 ticks left on the clock.
On the ensuing possession the Packers missed the shot and fouled sending TC to the free throw line where they closed out the game for their 4th straight win.The loss ended a 5 game win streak for the Packers now 9-4 with a 7-2 record in the Gold. The Vikings are also 9-4 and 6-3 in conference play.
Back and forth game the whole way. Mary Siple put TC ahead by 1 with just over 24 seconds left. We came down and missed and fouled. TC closed it out from the free throw line. The line was the difference in the game as TC finished 12 for 15 while Fremont was just 5 for 14
Grant 56 Morley Stanwood 46
The Tigers defeated the Mohawks in their cross conference matchup.
North Muskegon 49 Holton 45