Packers, Tigers Meet For District Title; Cloud advances to Finals
By Ken DeLaat
Photos by Mike Gesler, Catalpa Photography
It seemed only right that once the dust settled the Tri County District Finals would involve a pair of teams with a good chunk of history behind their rivalry. When the Tigers defeated Newaygo it was perhaps the most competitive of the games played thus far and with the Pack cruising to a win over Tri County the two teams faced opposition from outside their conference in the semis.
And both teams won.
The teams will do battle Friday at 7pm
In the Class C Districts at Shelby White Cloud emerged with a win over their neighbors to the west and will be playing for the district crown as well. Their game begins at 6pm in Shelby
Fremont 55 Sparta 46
The Packers jumped out to a 6-2 lead behind a pair of Ben Schmidt buckets and the Riley Krim to Logan Karnemaat combination but Spartan sharpshooter Logan Armockfired in a pair from distance to give Sparta an 8-6 lead. Bailey Baddis hit a basket to tie then Schmidt go to the line and converted a pair for the lead Fremont would hold the rest of the game.
The Packer defense was outstanding all night making penetration close to impossible for the Spartan offense. Attempts were leading to turnovers and on one try inside Karnemaat who had already rejected a pair of attempts simply took the ball out of the hands of Kyle Grice when he went up for a shot and passed it to Schmidt who hit a streaking Krim down the floor for a layup.
Sparta. Armock and Grant Kelley managed a pair of buckets as the half came to a close that kept the Spartans in the game though down 7 points.
Sparta kept coming after the Packers with Garrett Cheslek holding his own in the paint with Karnemaat but each time they edged closer the Packers would put some distance between them.With the margin staying at 7 the third was winding down then at the buzzer Wyatt Kaastra took a pass at the top of the key and buried it for a 3 pointer and a 10 point Packer lead heading to the final frame. In the fourth the teams were exchanging buckets with Fremont adding an extra here and there off turnovers. Finally Sparta was forced to foul in an attempt to get back into the game and the Packers “I thought that was one of if not our best defensive effort of the season,” said Coach Pete Zerfas. “We rebounded well tonight. Our outside shooting wasn’t there in the first half but our defense created opportunities for us on the offensive end.”
“In the 4th we were able to get out in transition thanks to the defense ramping it up even more.”
Karnemaat finished with 14 points 14 rebounds and 5 blocks on the night. Krim reached double figures with 10 points while Calvin Miller notched 7 to go with his 7 boards and Kaastra hit for 5.
Grant 73 Belding 31
This one was a blowout from the start with the Tigers scoring at will against the outmanned Knights. Frederick Hull and Michael Frey started the offensive outburst and the Tiger defense never let Belding get anything going.
White Cloud 51 Hesperia 45
The Cloud took the rubber match of this season series with a hard fought combacke win over the Panthers
Hesperia took the lead before the half and held a 5 point lead heading to the 4th but the Indians put togtheer a strong charge to finish in front.
“We didn't play our best game but we came away with a victory and now we have a shot at the district finals,” said Indian Coach Bob Jones.
Eight Indians found their way into the scoring column led by Andy Newfer with 17 points. Buck Seabrook hit for 10 points and Steven Holt finished with 9.
Jake Klemundt and Scott Peters each scored 16 points for the Panthers and Logan Balkema hit for 9.
The Indians will take on the host Shelby Tigers in the District Finals Friday night at 6pm