Basketball Is Back!
Cloud, Tigers, Devils Open With Wins; Panthers Split While Lions and Pack Fall Short
White Cloud 65 Hesperia 24
The Cloud began the season with a convincing win over the visiting Panthers, taking charge early with a 22-7 lead after one and stretching the advantage to 38-15 by intermission.
Coach Wilk: “With having a younger team our coaching staff decided to have our players focus on three things during this game. Hustling, communication, and turnovers. Sometimes players get a little excited for the first game of the year, so we wanted them to go out there and use some of that excitement to our advantage. I thought we hustled all game, our communication was great, and we took care of the ball.”
“The most impressive thing for me was how well rounded our scoring was. Gomez set up our offense and led us defensively. She ended the night with 8 points. Kadence Nickoloff came off the bench for 8 points as well. Gaby Reeve apologized for having an off night “she had 14 points.” Kiara Edwards led the charge with 18 points “two 3’s and an astounding four and ones as the kids would say.” Annie Feldpausch, Brooke Ringler, and Jolena Deaton did a marvelous job on defense for us tonight, and together they also added another 14 points. Tanaya Klammer, Jorja Baker, and Gracy Holmes also got in on the fun contributing with points, rebounds, and steals. Although we are very pleased with the outcome of this game we do have a lot to clean up before we travel to Muskegon Heights on Thursday.”
The Panthers were playing their second game in two nights having opened on Monday with a 31-18 win over Walkerville. Hesperia will head to Muskegon Catholic for a Thursday game
Holton 48 Fruitport Calvary 34
Coach Jordan: “First game and in the first quarter it showed as we came out a little sloppy as expected and were down 14-9 after 1. We knew they had one primary scorer and we were able to shut her down for the final 3 quarters and limit her to one field goal made in the last 3 quarters. She had 9 points in the first quarter.
“Ryann Robins had a big game for us and we need her night in and night out to be this productive. Courtney Boes also played a full game and affected the game in many ways.
Overall happy with the effort but we have a time to clean up as we head into conference play on Friday.
Robins finished with a double double grabbing 10 rebounds to go with her game high 18 points. Courtnet Boes dropped a dozen with 6 boards 5 steals and a trio of assists, Abby Fowler grabbed 7 off the glass to go with 6 points 4 steals and 4 assists and Layl Cannady hit for a half dozen points and added 4 rebounds.
Spring Lake 47 Fremont 34
Turnovers plagued the Packers throughout the game. The Lakers led 13-9 after one quarter and 21-13 at half. The Packers held a 13-8 scoring advantage in the third quarter to make the score 29-26, but quickly fell behind by double digits early in the fourth quarter and could get it no closer than 8 points the rest of the way. The Lakers held an 18-8 advantage in the fourth quarter.
Jessica Bennett led the Packers with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Lily VandenBerg and Khaila Noordyk each added 6 points. Spring Lake was led by Brooke Bolthouse and Ella Andree with 13 points each, while Tessa Britt chipped in 8.
Coach Zerlaut : "It was a frustrating outcome because our girls played very hard tonight. However, we played very sloppy with the ball. We played much of the game in 'panic mode', which resulted in a lot of turnovers. Credit Spring Lake for good pressure defense that we did not handle well tonight. There were positives that we can build on and this team will get better, but it was not the result we expected."
Grant 62 Cedar Springs 24
The Tigers began the season with a roar taking the lead early and never looking back to notch the non conference win.
Julie Ashbaugh was a scoring machine on the night, dropping a cool 25 on the Red Hawks while sophomore Alexa Obenauf hit for 13 points in her Varsity debut.
Jocee Pluene and Jayci Hance helped get the team’s transition going with their strong defensive play
Coach DeLamater: “It was a great start to the season for us tonight. It was hard to know what to expect with only 9 practices and a scrimmage under our belts, but the girls came out ready to play.
Shelby 42 Newaygo 28
The Tigers built a 5 point lead by halftime but the Lions kept them in sight playing their hosts even in the 3rd. The final frame saw the Newaygo shots go cold as Shelby pulled away to secure the non-con win.
Grace Painter led the Lions with 11 points and 7 rebounds. Barbara Toth chipped in 5 points and Addison Goodin pulled down a team high 9 rebounds.
Molli Schultz led the Tigers with 18 points.
Coach Thomasma: "Tough one out of the gate tonight for us. Our girls competed well and kept battling throughout but we just missed way too many shots and had a couple of defensive lapses that cost us. Give a lot of credit to Shelby. They are well coached and their guards really made us pay for the mistakes. We'll get back at practice tomorrow and get ready for Chippewa Hills on Thursday.”
Girls Preseason Hoops
Pack, Panthers, Devs play inaugural WMC seasons; CSAA Gold brings in Cloud, Cats, Hawks and Eagles from the Silver
Now that the football playoffs are in the books it’s time for basketball to move into center stage starting off with the opening of the girls season this week followed by the boys who will begin competition next week.
Some changes will greet the season as Fremont, Hesperia and Holton have taken their game to the WMC while the CSAA combines the Silver and Gold into one 11 team conference.
Newaygo goes on the road for their first game facing Shelby on Tuesday before a Thursday home and conference opener against Chip Hills.
Grant hosts Cedar Springs Tuesday for the Tiger opener and three days later they head to Morley Stanwood for a league matchup.
The Packers open against old rival Spring Lake Tuesday and the Fremont faithful will want to attend since it’s the last time they’ll see the team in their home gym until just before Christmas. That’s 3 weeks and 6 games, by the way.
White Cloud hosts Hesperia Tuesday. While no longer a conference battle an intense rivalry remains intact between these two schools.
Hesperia will host neighboring Walkerville from the West Michigan D League on Monday before their trip down M-20 to the Cloud.
Holton starts the season with a pair of road games. Tuesday has the Red Devils visiting Fruitport Christian as a non-con tune up before plunging into conference play with a trip to Ravenna.
Coach Nate Thomasma
After a remarkable run of success there is no denying that the Lions took more than a bit of a hit via graduation. 4 Starters including three who have taken their game to the college courts have departed.
Grace Painter is the lone starter from last season and is joined by Barbara Toth Lyda Lathrop and Maria Riddering from last year’s team. The Lions welcome 7 newcomers to the team in Sydnee Kirk, Addison Goodin, Jazlynn Baker, Olivia Robeck, Naomi Schillman, and Kija Westbrook.
From The Coach:
Team Strengths: Coachability. Hard working. I like what this team has shown during the first two weeks. The players are willing to listen and learn and are very coachable.
Biggest Challenge: Experience. We have very little varsity game experience coming back this year. Not being able to have Lyda this year will be a big challenge (out do to an injury), so we only have 3 girls that have played varsity basketball coming back this year. The only way to get better is to play in actual games.
Probable Conference Frontrunners: Big Rapids, Kent City, Central Montcalm and Grant
“We talk about working hard, getting better and being a great teammate every day and this group really needs to embrace that. We know that if we do that we will be a much better team in February than we are right now.”
Coach: Josh DeLamater
From the Coach:
“We have 5 returners. Key for us are Julie Ashbaugh (11) in her 3rd year on Varsity, Jocee Pluene (10), and Jaycee Hance (12). Together, they combined for 20 of our ppg last year.
"We added 4 new sophomores on the team who will all contribute in different ways. Alexa Obenauf had a strong freshmen year on JV last year and will have an important part of our rotation."
Team Strengths: We are quick and aggressive.
Biggest Challenge: We seriously lack size.
Probable Conference Frontrunners: Kent City, Morley Stanwood, and Big Rapids will be the top teams to beat.
“This year is a dramatic difference from the team that competed at the top of the CSAA last year. Our biggest challenge will be overcoming the lack of varsity court time for the sophomores joining us this year. Hopefully, the adjustment to the speed and physicality of the varsity game will happen quickly.
White Cloud Indians
Coach Caleb Wilk
From the Coach:
“This year our team is looking to replace roughly 50% of our points per game from last year’s squad. Returning players include seniors Gaby Reeve, Kiara Edwards, Jolena Deaton, and junior Jaden Gomez. Our newcomers include juniors Annie Feldpausch, Gracy Holmes, Kadence Nickoloff, Brooke Ringler, Tanayah Klammer, and Jorja Baker.
“Our backcourt will be led by Jaden Gomez and Kiara Edwards. As a sophomore last year Jaden set the tone on defense by leading our team in steals. Our frontcourt will be led by Gaby Reeve. Gaby will be looking to add onto a very impressive junior season. She led our team in points per game last year, and that number should climb with the amount of work she put in during the offseason. Along with these three players we have many hard workers willing to do the dirty work to grind out tough games. Our main focus this year will be playing tough defense. Defense is all about mentality, and I think we have a team that wants to play aggressively. If we can hold opponents below their season averages we will have a chance to surprise a few teams. Our biggest challenge this year will be our lack of experience on varsity. Our coaching staff is really looking forward to the first few games of the season because we expect to see a lot of growth during the first part of the season.
“Now that we have joined the Silver and the Gold conferences together we know we are going to have some great competition. Kent City is returning some solid players, but we proved to ourselves last year that we can hang with them when we lost to them by 12 at home. I have a lot of respect for coach Raven and the squads he can put together, so I also expect Morley Stanwood to be tough. Last year we played four teams from the Gold, and we went 2-2. All of the teams from the old Gold are tough, but I think Big Rapids, Newaygo, and Grant will be a great challenge for many this year. Newaygo lost a large part of their core from last year, but I know coach Thomasma is going to put a team out on the floor that is ready to go.
“I am excited to see what our young squad can accomplish this year. The first few games will let us know what we need to work on, but we are excited that basketball season is finally here! We open the season at home vs non-conference opponent Hesperia on 11/29.”
Coach Wes Zerlaut
The Packers will be putting a youthful team on the floor and return a trio of starters including Lily VandenBerg (Junior) 4.1 PPG; 3.7 RPG, Khaila Noordyk (Sophomore) 4.2 PPG; 6.0 RPG, and Jessica Bennett (Junior) 5.8 PPG; 4.7 PPG.
Key Newcomers include Mia Clemence (Sophomore), Katie Ackerman (Junior), Maite Corbalromera (Senior), and Riley Chase (Sophomore).
From the Coach:
Team Strengths: Depth and Athleticism
Team Challenges: Experience
Probable Conference Frontrunner: Ludington
“I am excited about this team. We are young and inexperienced, but I anticipate being a team that plays with a great deal of effort and energy. We need to get a lot of players acclimated to the varsity level in a short amount of time, but I think they are up to the challenge and look to be a very competitive group.”
Coach Ty Elenbaas
Key Returnees: Abby Joppich, Noelle Evans, Sky Milner, Mia Milner, and Isabell Valdes
Key Newcomers: Alana Nadjkovi, Ali Townsend, Samantha Logana, Grace Wenberg, Ana Steffens, Kaylee Noffsinger, Emmy Everding, Alivia Tomaras.
From the Coach:
Team Strengths: We are a hard working group with great chemistry.
We are quick learners
Team Challenges: Implementing new systems on the fly. The athletes are learning a new coach and a new league.
“I am really excited to see this group of girls come together. We have great attitudes and we are hard workers. Our returning players have set a great tone to start the season and our newcomers have stepped in and added a lot of skill and enthusiasm.”
Holton Red Devils
Coach BJ Jordan
Key returnees: Ryann Robins, Abbie Fowler, Courtney Boes, Layla Cannady
Newcomers: Aubrey Goyings, Kenzie Greene ,
From the Coach
Team Strengths: Team speed, we have several girls who can move pretty well which should translate into our press well.
Team Challenges: finding roles and getting on the same page quickly, we were young last year and somehow we got younger , only 1 returning senior and with low numbers had to pull up 3 10th graders to get to 9.
Probable Conference Frontrunners: In the WMC Hart is the team to beat and will be heavily favored to repeat as conference champs. Mason County Central will also be a very solid team.
“I feel we can be a very competitive team this year, but defensive effort will be the key to our success. We have to be able to play complete games and take better care of the ball than we did last year if we want to reach our full potential. My starters are returning with a ton of varsity experience and my bench has none, so getting quality minutes from them will be huge for our success.”
Newaygo County has two volleyball players who have become an elite club of athletes who continued their athletic careers into college. Kayla Fisk of Newaygo and Abby Derks of White Cloud now donn Muskegon Community College jerseys and are headed to Nationals on Tuesday, November 15 with their teammates.
Not all teams from the NJCAA will be traveling to Iowa this week. The Jayhawks earned the honor after winning their Regional games over three days beginning November 4 at St. Clair County Community College.
First to go down were Oakland Community College in 3 sets, then Lake Michigan College in a 5 set thriller, where MCC won 17-15 in the 5th. After that, their record was an impressive 28-6 and they were ranked #15 nationally.
Day 2 of Regionals included a faceoff against Mott Community College. The Jayhawks handed them a season-ending loss in four sets.
Day 3 was another chance to defeat Oakland Community College: a feat they handled in 3 straight sets. This win meant the team qualified for Nationals, which would be held in Cedar Rapids, Iowa November 17-19.
The MCC Jayhawks are coached by Rick Rykse, assisted by Samantha Hockstra and volunteer coach Lindsey Balcom.
N3 caught up with Kayla Fisk, one of our favorite athletes for her tenacity and fire with which she plays.
How have you felt transitioning from high school to collegiate volleyball?
It was difficult at first especially juggling two sports.
What do you feel your team's biggest win of the season was?
The second game against GRCC!
If you could choose one aspect of college volleyball you enjoy the most, what is it?
Being at a higher level and playing with girls from other schools.
Did you have a hard time adjusting to new teammates, some of whom were on the opposite side of the net in years past?
No, I actually enjoyed it a lot it was just another challenge for me to succeed.
What is your schedule for Nationals?
We are playing Thursday at 9:00am In Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
CSAA VBall All Conference
Front Row (L-R): Lily Bohen (Central Montcalm), Kaden Perkins (Kent City), Sienna Ososki (Morley Stanwood), Alaina Christensen (Morley Stanwood), Brooke Moore (Morley Stanwood), Marissa Warren (Big Rapids), Lexie Bowers (Kent City), Jacee Hoffman (Kent City) Back Row (L-R): Maia Sexton (Central Montcalm), Kyleigh Weck (Reed City), Jaden Gomez (White Cloud), Maddie Geers (Kent City), Chloee Chase (Grant), Jayci Hance (Grant), Brenna Mossel (Big Rapids), Cailin Knoop (Big Rapids), Christina Malackanich (Reed City), Liberty Durian (Tri-County) Photo Credit: Brittlynn Rose Photography
Cloud’s Gomez, Tigers Chase and Hance placed on first team
Jaden Gomez (Jr.) of White Cloud, and Chloee Chase (Jr.) and Jayci Hance (Sr.) from Grant were named to the CSAA All Conference Volleyball team.
Elsha Gibson (Jr.) of Newaygo, Hailee Brown (So.) of White Cloud and Julie Ashbaugh (Jr.) of Grant were named Honorable Mention.
Front Row (L-R): Jackson Heethuis (Big Rapids), Alfredo Bolanos-Colin (Kent City), Ian Hilliard (Reed City), Dylan Sutton (Kent City), Christian Smits (Big Rapids), Keaton Edwards (Big Rapids), Ben Grant (Lakeview) Second Row (L-R): Deegan Hall (Newaygo), Aidan Royston (Lakeview), Seth Vanderwest (Kent City), Ian Oatis (Grant), Noel Coronado (Kent City), Zuriel Vega (Grant), German Torres (Grant), Porter Chapin (Grant) Back Row (L-R): Heath Rasmussen (Big Rapids), Alexander Hall (Newaygo), Willie Duran (Kent City), Jaret Jaramillo (Kent City), Jared Pell (Tri-County), Owen Gammons (Big Rapids), Lucas Zanetti (Grant), Gage Cronk (Grant) Photo Credit: Brittlynn Rose Photography
Lions Hall and Hall make first team
Three teams finished the conference season with a 5-1 mark, Kent City, Big Rapids and Grant. The Tigers placed 6 players on the AC team with seniors Lucas Zanetti, German Torres, Porter Chapin, Gage Cronk, and Ian Oatis along with sophomore Zuriel Vega being named. Senior Cristian Zacharias received Honorable Mention.
Newaygo posted a 3-4 record in the league and had 2 players named to the squad Deegan Hall and Alexander Hall, both seniors. Ezra Foster, also a senior was named Honorable Mention.
CSAA Boys All Conference Cross
Front Row (L-R): Jake O’Neil (Chippewa Hills), Gage Hoffman (Central Montcalm), Ryan Allen (Reed City), Graham Coston (Central Montcalm), Brodie Delamater (Grant), Jaren Vogel (Kent City), Samuel Martini (Kent City) Back Row (L-R): Owen Westerkamp (Big Rapids), August Rohde (Reed City), Anthony Kiaunis (Reed City), Ben Knuth (Big Rapids), Ramon Hernandez (Tri-County), Andrew Hardy (Central Montcalm), Ty Kailing (Reed City), Gavin Rykse (Tri-County) Photo Credit: Brittlynn Rose Photography
Tiger Delamater makes first team, 4 Cloud runners are HM
Grant’s Brodie Delamater made the CSAA Boys All Conference Cross team. The Tiger junior put together a solid season including a first place finish at the Portage Invitational three second place finished and a sub-17 minute performance at the Sparta Invitational,
Four White Cloud runners were named to the Honorable Mention squad. Nathan Ciolk and Coleson Cruzan were joined by Carson Foondle and Kaleb Canning on the team. Cruzan qualified to compete at the State finals
Front Row (L-R): Quinn Hatfield (Chippewa Hills), Ava Hollandsworth (Chippewa Hills), Remington Arney (Newaygo), Grace Coston (Central Montcalm), Ashley Choponis (Central Montcalm), Miranda McNeil (Morley Stanwood), Kyah Hoffman (Central Montcalm), Lila Volkers (Kent City) Back Row (L-R): Gracie Houtman (Kent City), Nora Smoes (Reed City), Isabella Max (Kent City), Clara Smoes (Reed City), Anna Pake (Tri-County), Claire Johnston (Morley Stanwood), Oliviah Malloy (Big Rapids) Photo Credit: Brittlynn Rose Photography
13 0f the 15 harriers named to the CSAA Girls All Conference XC team were underclassmen. Remington Arney was the lone Lion runner to be named to the team following an impressive year for the Newaygo junior that culminated in a strong showing at State. Teammates Zoey Walerczyk and Elizabeth Chaffee received Honorable Mention as did Andrea Feldpausch of White Cloud.
Cloud Places 6 on All Conference Squad
Front Row (L-R): Adrian Hernandez (Kent City), Jim Anderson (Kent City), Will Harrison (Kent City), Zayne Moore (Morley Stanwood), Dawson Olsen (Morley Stanwood, Kruz Rumsey (Morley Stanwood), Carlos Brown (White Cloud), Landyn McGowen (White Cloud), Jace Silverthorn (White Cloud) Second Row (L-R): Andy Willis (Morley Stanwood),Ben Grant (Lakeview), Riley Schuberg (Lakeview), Kyle Monterusso (Kent City), Chase Moreno (Kent City), Lloyd Sebright-Johnson (White Cloud), Mason Westbrook (Kent City), Troy Atwood (Kent City) Back Row (L-R): Braden Salladay (Lakeview), Mason Ruether (White Cloud), Kyler Larson (Kent City), David Evans (Lakeview), Ari Baker (Kent City), Nate Compeau (White Cloud) Photo Credit: Brittlynn Rose Photography
None of the names of WC players who made the All Conference team should be a surprise. They were huge factors in forging a 6-3 record and another trip to the postseason for the Cloud.
Jace Silverthorn and Landyn McGowen were the primary offensive weapons employed by QB Mason Reuther and Nate Compeau was on the receiving end of tosses by both Reuther and Silverthorn. Lloyd Sebright-Johnson and Carlos Brown excelled on defense and Honorable Mention selection Greg Edmaiston proved to be a stalwart linemen on both sides of the ball.
Four Lions, & A Trio Of Tigers
Front Row (L-R): Waylon Lingeman (Central Montcalm), Joey Morrow (Central Montcalm), Carter Gawne (Reed City), Mikey Stout (Tri-County), Logan Langworthy (Reed City), Jaeson Aldrich (Chippewa Hills), Chase Dewey (Tri-County), Noah Brandt (Big Rapids), Dylan Bazzett (Newaygo) Second Row (L-R): David Miller, Kyle Crusan (Reed City), Chase Geers (Grant), Trent Behrenwald (Tri-County), Noah Morgan (Reed City), Blake Nelson (Tri-County), Austin Humphrey (Chippewa Hills), Stuart Gould (Tri-County), Logan Hallman (Tri-County), Zander Prince (Big Rapids), Gage Saathoff (Chippewa Hills), Brock Pelong (Chippewa Hills) Third Row (L-R): Caleb Hetrick (Reed City), Xavier Allen (Reed City), Emmett Lingeman (Central Montcalm), Garret Foster (Big Rapids), David Sheehan (Tri-County), Carter Jeffrey (Central Montcalm), Riley Vennix (Big Rapids), Will Strickler (Big Rapids), Seth Jackson (Reed City), Ian Bolden (Tri-County), Isaac Johnson (Central Montcalm), John Ondrus (Reed City), Back Row (L-R): Max Hammond (Reed City), Jace Heck (Big Rapids), Remy Wells (Newaygo), Brayden Hunt (Chippewa Hills), Zach Barnhart (Grant), Josiah Long (Newaygo), Tyler Geer (Chippewa Hills), Owen Behrenwald (Tri-County), Ayden Hewer (Big Rapids), Grant Harkness (Newaygo), Cotter Scholtens (Grant) Photo Credit: Brittlynn Rose Photography
CSAA Gold All Conference
Newaygo and Grant didn’t factor much in the conference race and neither qualified for the playoffs this season but they still put some quality talent on the field and 7 of those players were selected to the All Conference squad.
For the Lions Gant Harkness and Remy Wells were a familiar combination for the passing game while Josiah Long also pulled in passes while being Mr. Automatic when it came to booting a PAT following a Newaygo TD. Dylan Bazzette also caught a lot of passes including those thrown by the opposition as his linebacker skills helped put an end to many drives.
Honorable Mention Isaiah Lopex proved to be a hard hitting player out of the secondary.
We asked Grant Head Coach Jason Hill to give us a few words about his All Conference Tigers.
Zach Barnhart- “Dynamic athlete that regardless of the situation gave it his all every drill, every rep, every snap.”
Chase Geers- “Aggressive, plays the game like he truly loves the game. Always has a positive attitude no matter what was thrown at him.”
Cotter Scholten-”Freak of an athlete, virtually can do everything on a football field. Defensively led the team in tackles and sacks. Once he figures that out his future is very bright.”
Honorable Mention: Hunter Crosby-”Has the potential to be one of the best linebackers in the area. Understands the game, a kid that puts the extra work in, and I foresee a stellar senior year.”
Fremont Runners Compete At State Finals, Pettis Captures All-State Honors
Story by Mike Paige
Photo by Anne Pettis
On November 5, for the 9th straight year, the Fremont boys cross country team competed at the state finals. The team was projected to finish 18th in the field of 27 teams. By race time, sustained 20 mph winds with 30 mph gusts were blowing. That made for tough conditions with runners running into the teeth of the wind for the first ¾ mile and the last 600 meters. The Fremont runners responded, though, with some great performances. They were once again led by Junior Sean Pettis who turned in the best performance of his high school career, running the course in 16:19. He was 34th at the halfway mark and moved up over the second half to finish 29th earning all-state honors. Also running for Fremont, in order of finish, were Johnny Christensen (87th – 17:05), Carter Sherman (99th – 17:16), Henrik Quist (140th – 17:34), Isaac Romero (190th – 18:12), Cole Lowery (208th – 18:25) and Chase Lowery (225th – 18:42). The team ended up 13th with 372 points exceeding projections by 5 positions. Most ran within seconds of season records in less than ideal conditions. According to Coach Somers, “This was a good showing and great experience for a young group that is excited to improve next season.”
Freshman Linnea Paige represented the girls team in her first State Championship race. She ended up 45th in the field of about 250 runners. She hovered in the 40-50 spots throughout the race, losing some ground but picking back up later in the race. Her time of 19:40 was only 7 seconds slower than her previous best. Per Coach Somers, “She is another young athlete who gained great experience running in tough conditions today, and we are excited to see where she goes from here.”
A few of Fremont’s runners, including Paige, will be competing next Saturday at the Michigan Meet of Champions in Shepherd.