Friday night at the Fremont/Grant basketball game the Packer Cross Country Team unfurled the 2019 Division 2 State Championship Banner.
The Championship runners were Nathan Walker, Conor Somers, Adam Ward, Ben Paige, Mikko Vesma, Josh Zerfas and Colton Best.
In addition nine XC runners were recognized for logging 500 miles (boys) or 500 KM (girls) over the past summer:
Taava Johnson, Lillian Houtteman, Conor Somers, Erin Norton, Leah Converse, Nathan Walker, Josh Zerfas, Alyssa Gustman and Gavin Orcutt.
Packers pound Tigers, Eagles fly past Panthers, MS comeback beats Cloud, Cats claw Red Devils
Fremont 62 Grant 29.
It was over quickly.
After Tiger Kirstyn Throop popped in the first bucket of the game Calla Miller hit a triple and scored off a steal, Haley Zerlaut nailed one from distance, Paige VandenBerg scored, and Natalie Jamieson dropped one in before Kassidy Doornbos got Grant back on the board. Kaitlynn Bennett resumed the Packer scoring followed by Briana Webber splitting from the stripe and another steal and score by Miller. That ended the first and the Pack were up 18-5.
The second began with two quick scores by VandenBerg and Chloe Shriver to make it 22-5. The Tigers scored the next 7 points all from the free throw line then a Jamieson basket and 2 steals and scores by Miller and the half ended with the hosts up 28-14.
The second half was more of the same as 5 Packers combined for 21 points in the third and then with the bench emptied they continued to build the lead in the final frame.
Miller finished with 17 points and a host of steals, VandenBerg scored 10 and grabbed 8 boards, Shriver hit for 8 points and Webber finished with 6 points courtesy of a pair of triples. Jamieson also scored 6 and Zerlaut added 5.
Doornbos and Sara Arends each finished with 7 points for the Tigers with Throop and Savannah Passage scoring 5 apiece.
Fremont (5-0, 6-3) will travel to Tri County Tuesday to take on the Vikes while Grant (3-2, 3-7) hosts Newaygo.
Kent City 63 Hesperia 17
The Eagles overwhelmed the Panthers with a 29-6 first quarter explosion to stay tied with Morley Stanwood atop the Silver standings.
Coach Grodus: “Kent City is a well coached team with experienced athletes. They hit 7 3 pointers in the first quarter. They certainly deserve to be rated #2 in the state.”
Emily Bayle led the Panthers with 10 points to go with her 2 steals and Emmi Tinkham hauled down 8 boards. Becci Castillo tallied a pair of assists for Hesperia.
Kenzie Bowers hit for a game high 17 points for the Eagles with Jenna Harrison (11) and Mikayla Loew (10) also reaching double figures.
Morley Stanwood 43 White Cloud 33
In a very physical contest the Cloud had the ‘Hawks on the ropes for much of the game as they led by as much as 10 points in the first half and reached the break up 20-13.
But they couldn’t hang on and by the early minutes of the fourth the hosts finally got in front and stayed there to remain undefeated and in a tie with Kent City for the top spot in the Silver.
White Cloud (2-2,5-4) will host WMC co-leader Hart on Tuesday while MS (3-0, 8-0) will battle for Silver supremacy with a visit to Kent City.
Lakeview 44 Holton 37
Other CSAA Games
Central Montcalm 62 Chippewa Hills 23
Big Rapids 45 Reed City 38
Packers Nip Tigers; Devs Make It 4 in a Row; Cloud, Panthers Fall Short
Fremont 67 Grant 63
Packers escape, Chase reaches 1000
The Fremont gym was packed on Friday night. Not only was second place Grant coming to town, the state championship banner was to be unveiled by the Cross Country team at halftime so there was a celebratory mood in the place. After all, the team was undefeated and though given a scare by the Lions earlier in the week, the Packers survived with a win and were looking at holding on to the top spot in the Gold.
The Tigers came in hungry. The team had won their last 3 conference games and outside of a lopsided loss to D1 powerhouse Zeeland East they were in each of their losses to the end. They brought a substantial crowd of their own to town with a student section poised to celebrate four year Varsity player Carter Chase when and if he should score point number 1000 as well as dishing out some of the same chants and actions the Packer “6th man” student body is known for at home.
It looked to be a good game between a pair of good teams and on this night they did not disappoint.
Grant shot out of the gates on fire. After Elliot Butchart opened the scoring with a bucket Chase and Seth Schuitema banged home triples off one shot Packer possessions, and Diesel Rose who was a force in the paint despite being in foul trouble much of the night, sent home a shot off a rebound and it was suddenly 10-0 Tigers.
Packer Carter Moon split a pair from the stripe but Orion Evans found Rose underneath then Chase scored after another one shot Packer possession and Coach Zerfas called for a time out with the home team looking up at a 14-1 deficit on the scoreboard.
The Packers regrouped and ran off 15 points including a pair of three pointers by Lane Converse and Jacob Visser and 5 free throws to end the first quarter with a 16-14 lead.
It was a physical game with what seemed to be an abundance of controversial calls that drew an outpouring of vocal disagreements from the crowd, the benches and the players. The teams see-sawed in the early minutes of the second with Chase collecting point 1000 as part of a run that saw the Tigers open up a 6 point lead. Moon then hit 2 in a row to pull the hosts within 2.
Then came the technical.
A close call on Chase was met with protests and the T sign was given. That began a 14 point run by the Packers starting with Moon hitting 3 of 4 from the line and including scores by Tristan Campbell, Christian Kennedy and Joshua Zerfas. Only a basket by Rose in the final minute got Grant back on the board but by then Fremont took a 38-28 lead into the break.
The second half began with Campbell heading to the line to split a pair then Schuitema got heated up scoring a dozen points in the quarter whle dishing off a pair of pases to Rose and Evans to get the lead down to 2. Visser once again came up big by firing one in from beyond the arc. The Packers held the lead but Grant kept coming back with Chase going 4-4 at the line to make it a 1 point game then Campbell hitting to push the lead to 3. The Tigers were poised to take the last shot but a foul was called giving possession to the Packers and Zerfas hit off a rebound to close the quarter at 55-50 Packers.
Braiden McDonald hit 2 from the line to open the 4th and stretch the lead to 7 but the Tigers had another run left in the tank with Rose, Evans and Schuitema scoring to make it a 2 point game. Kennedy answered for Fremont, McDonald hit another 2 from the line then Rose scored adding a free throw and Chase hit a bucket to get the visitors within a point. Kennedy came up big again with a basket that Chase answered with a long distance triple to knot it up with just over a minute to play.
The Packers held the ball until the clock wound down to about 20 seconds when Kennedy drove the lane and scored what proved to be the winning bucket.Grant missed their last attempt and fouled Campbell who converted both to give Fremont another close win.
Kennedy finished with 16 points, McDonald hit for 14, and Campbell finished with a dozen points to go with his 14 boards and 8 blocked shots. Moon scored 12 first half points, Zerfas dished out 5 assists and scored 6. Visser hit for 6 points adding a pair of blocks and 4 rebounds and Coach Zerfas called Visser’s game his best as a varsity player while also citing the defensive play of Converse and Jaxx Miller as key factors in the win.
Chase dropped 22 points (including number 1000), Schuitema canned 17 Rose muscled in 13 and Evans finished with 7.
Fremont (5-0, 8-0) will hit the road next week to face TRi County and Chip Hills while Grant (3-2, 3-6) will play at home for the first time in a month when Newaygo comes to call on Tuesday before hitting the road again for a trip to Big Rapids.
Holton 58 Lakeview 38
Coach Houseman:”It was 33-12 at halftime. Nathan Slowik had 22 points, Drew Trygstad had 14 and Aidan Poling had 13. Everyone got a good amount of playing time.”
Holton (3-1, 6-3) will host Kent City on Friday.
Morley Stanwood 55 White Cloud 34
The ‘Hawks ran their record to 7-0 with a home win over the Cloud.
Coach Jones: “We came out very slow and were down 22 to 2 in the first and 34 to 8 at halftime. We decided to play with a little heart and out scored the host team by five in the second half.” Sam Venema led the way with 10 points and Taylor Bode added 8.
Kent City 77 Hesperia 16.
Coach Worcester: “We continue to improve every game. I have a young group of men who come out every game and give it 100%. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of these guys. The score may reflect negative a first glance but you really have to be at each practice and game to see the progression these kids have made since the beginning of the season. This is the beginning of what will be a great program.”
Hunter Gudyka led the Panthers with 6 points while Kent City’s: Carlson Eli led the Eagles with 18.
Other CSAA Games
Reed City 55 Big Rapids 52
Central Montcalm 63 Chippewa Hills 42
Lions 54 Vikings 51
It was a night of great entertainment. The Lady Lions were coming off a few tough losses where the third quarter proved to be their downfall and in need of a solid four quarter team effort.
Junior Sophia Frisbie got the scoring started with two free throws and a layup. TriCounty's Gracy Kelly found the bottom of the net for 2 but then Frisbie drained two more 3s to set the Lions on fire. Jaxi Long crashed inside the key to get 2. But then the Vikings' Alicia Bowen saved them from being in a hole too large with 2 field goals, allowing the Vikings to see themselves only 3 points behind the Lions at the end of the quarter.
The momentum swing was fierce in the 2nd quarter with TriCounty tying it up quickly. At this point the battle really began. Both the Lions and Vikings were fighting to keep their team with the advantage, but neither could manage to pull away. With the game tied up at 18 with 3:30 left in the half, Newaygo's Emmerson Goodin took it to the hoop aggressively and with command, seemingly making a statement. But TriCounty wasn't having it. Back and forth, Goodin another basket, but then Kelly drops a 3 from well outside the line to tie it at 24. The fast breaks were plentiful, the pace exhausting. Seconds before the buzzer sounded for the half, Bowen hit a 3 to put the Vikings up 27-25.
The second half was immediately a clash of strong willed girls who had zero interest in being the first team to let the pace slack or the ball be given up easily. Kendall Mathis rebounded the ball, setting up Jaxi Long for 3 to tie the game at 30 with 5:59 on the clock but TriCounty immediately put down a 3 followed by Ashley Bialek draining yet another 3 to put the Vikings up by 6. The defense took over at this point, making it nearly 3 minutes before anyone would score again. Bodies strewn across the floor, bruises already appearing on arms and knees. Bialek ended the scoring drought by hitting a 3 and then Goodin scored two to end the Lions' end of the drought. Then Sophia Frisbie, a senior and defensive spitfire, took control and made sure the 3rd quarter wasn't the end of the Lions again. She hit a 3 followed quickly by a 2. Jaxi Long hit her own field goal to tie the game back at 41 to end the 3rd quarter.
This game would be decided in the last 8 minutes. The Lady Lions started the 4th quarter as they usually do, with intensity and a determination to win. They went up by 6 after Frisbie hit a 2 and Jaylee long hit for 4 points of her own. A timely time out by TriCounty's coach, Alyssa Alger, got the Vikings back in the right mindset, however, and they came out scoring, putting themselves back within 2 with just under 4 minutes to go. Jaxi Long controlled the ball, took a foul on her made shot, and made the free throw. Bialek took her turn receiving a foul and made 2 of the 3. Newaygo tried to play keep away at this point, but TriCounty's Mackenzie Nagelhout hit a 3 from deep in the corner to keep them within 2 with only 39 seconds left. The Lions managed to control the ball, Jaylee Long got fouled, made 1 of the 2 free throws and their defense stopped the last attempt by TriCounty to get back in the game.
Coach Thomasma said, "The girls showed some toughness tonight. We have been scuffling the past few games and fell behind tonight in the third quarter but they kept fighting. It was a good win against a well coached TriCounty team."
Sophia Frisbie led the Lions with 17 points. Jaylee Long chipped in 14. Jaxi Long had 12 points to go with 7 steals. Emmerson Goodin rounded out the scoring with 11 points.
Newaygo improves to 5-4 (2-3). TriCounty drops to 4-4 (2-3).
Lions 77 Vikings 51
The only aspect similar to the boys and girls games on Friday night in Newaygo was the speed with which the players sprinted down the court for a full 32 minutes. While the girls stayed tied through the 3rd quarter, and close throughout, the Newaygo boys came out with a 7-0 lead in less than 2 minutes of play. And the scoring didn't stop there. Ashton Stephens, Wyatt Mortensen, Francisco Rios, Carlos Magaña and Noah Painter all found the bottom of the net time and time again.
Newaygo took full advantage of their speed across the depth of the team. Starters and non-starters alike were sprinting and moving with intensity like the home gym hasn't seen yet this season. To their credit, TriCounty didn't quit or slow down or lessen their intensity, despite not finding much reward for their efforts. Newaygo went up by 10 and then by 19, quickly climbing the scoring ladder. Going into the locker room, Newaygo was up 50-28.
In the 3rd quarter, Rios lit up the floor from behind the 3 point line, but the Lions' rotating players slowed their scoring a bit. In the 3rd quarter, the Lions only outscored the Vikings 19-14. And in the 4th quarter, the Vikings beat the Lions 9-8, but it wasn't enough to close the gap.
The Lions' head coach Joe Barrette said "Fun team win in front of a nice home crowd tonight. Starting to believe in the things we are trying to do and our kids' work paying off."
Francisco Rios had 14 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds. Carlos Magaña also had 13 points and 5 rebounds. Noah Painter earned 9 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds for the Lions.
By Ken DeLaat- N3 Sports
Tri County (2-2, 4-3) at Newaygo (1-3, 4-4)
The Lions keep knocking on the door but thus far they have either won big or lost close ones. The defense keeps teams within reach and when the team is hitting their shots they are unstoppable but when it goes cold it seems hard for them to regroup.Still, the team has a lot of talent and should they solve the ongoing 3rd quarter letdown that has plagued them the season should produce a good share of wins.
The Vikings have played two one point games in a row losing to the Coyotes and nipping the Tigers. If TC looks at tape they will focus on shutting off Jaxi Long so Jaylee Long,Goodin, Ruehmeier, Mathis, Frisbie et al. will likely get some scoring opportunities early on. If they can force the Vikes to call off the double team the Lions chances will look a lot better.
Especially if they hold their own coming off intermission.
Grant (3-1, 3-6) at Fremont (4-0, 5-3)
The Tigers haven’t played at home in nearly a month and now they visit a tough, albeit closer,venue in Fremont. Four of their games have been decided by 2 points or less. They stung a good Hornet team, outlasted the Coyotes and ran past the Warriors in their 3 Gold wins before TC knocked them from the conference top spot they shared with the Fremont.Throop, Rider and Longcore are among a bevy of Tigers who can find the hoop with regularity
The Packers are relentless. Shriver and Jamieson are all over the court, Miller does a nice job at the point and Curnett is a defensive demon.
Then there is Vandenberg who is putting together a run of dominant games.
They go deep into the bench and seem to believe in themselves and their teammates. The Pack doesn’t get rattled and twice we’ve seen them shake off early deficits to take control of games.
We said early on the conference race would be wide open and thus far the Packers have taken charge. The Tigers sit alongside BR one game behind. They need this one because a loss would put them 2 games behind a team that doesn’t look to lose many going forward.
Lakeview (0-3, 0-9) at Holton (0-3, 2-5)
Likely to be a low scoring contest. The Red Devils average only 28 points per game.
White Cloud (2-1, 5-3) at Morley Stanwood (2-0, 7-0)
The Cloud is a solid team and they should give the ‘Hawks a good game, but MS is home, undefeated and can light it up while playing good defense. They have taken apart lesser teams and earlier this week outlasted the previously undefeated Trojans of Lake City.
Should Strait,Bowman, the ever scrappy Scarlavai have huge games and the Cloud post players hold their own they might be able to grab one here with Morley having their sights on a trip to the Aerie next week.
But it looks to be an uphill climb in a tough venue.
Hesperia (2-1, 3-5) at Kent City (2-0, 7-1)
The Panthers have improved as the season has progressed.
The Eagles are simply a really good team whose only loss was earlier this week to the Big Reds of Muskegon, a game they nearly won against the co-leader of the OK Black a D1 power conference.
Coach Grodus has done a good job with the Panthers and taking down the Eagles in a conference game on their home court might be a bit too much to expect, but if you want to see perhaps the premier player in the CSAA come to the game take a look at KC’s Kenzie Bowers.
Tri County (1-3, 2-4) at Newaygo (1-3, 2-6)
How do you figure the Lions?
They haven’t won much and the teams they have beaten have only won a single game between them, but outside of the blowout at Morley they have given their opponents all they could handle including nearly pulling off a huge win on Fremont’s home court earlier this week.
Close may not count in the win column but this team seems to be getting to where they want to be. Rios, Mortensen, Magana et al. are scrappy players who can bang it with bigger teams and they have one of the best bench coaches around.
The Vikes can score but seem to struggle when it comes to keeping their opponents from scoring more. They have yielded 162 points in their last 2 games and BR dropped 85 on them in the season opener. Newaygo doesn’t possess that kind of firepower but look for them to put more on the board than the 41 they have averaged the last 3 contests.
Grant (3-1,3-5) at Fremont (4-0, 7-0)
The Tigers have quietly climbed into second place but they have yet to beat any of the top tier teams in the Gold, though they took CM to the wire before losing by a bucket. Chase, Schuitema and Long can rain down the points and the Tigers don’t get cheated in the paint though usually at a height disadvantage.
The Packer express nearly got derailed Tuesday when the Lions found a way to slow down the fast paced Fremont offense. They survived and it may have been a good experience in the long run for a team that has sprinted past a number of opponents enough to empty the bench on more than a few occasions.
Coach Zerfas will want to get his juggernaut offense going early meaning McDonald, Moon, and Campbell putting early numbers in the book or spreading the wealth enough to scatter the Tiger defense.The last thing the Packers want is for the game to be tight at the end given the propensity of the Tigers to hit from distance.
Lakeview (1-2, 2-5) at Holton (2-1, 5-3)
The Red Devils ran their winning streak to 3 on Tuesday and return to Silver play at home against a Wildcat team that has won two in a row but doesn’t score much and struggles against the better teams on their schedule.
Holton is one of those better teams and while they may not pour in the points they score a whole lot more than the ‘Cats and are playing in front of a friendly crowd on their home court.
Holton has Kent City coming in next week, a game that should provide a good gauge of where the Devs are at in terms of possibly challenging for a title, but Coach Houseman will ensure his team doesn’t look past this one.
White Cloud (1-2, 2-4) at Morley Stanwood (2-0, 6-0)
The defense of MS has been outstanding this season. Only the Hornets of CM have scored over 50 and the offense feeds off their play on the other end of the court.
The Cloud is coming off a tough OT loss to Hart. They don’t generally score a lot and are facing a tough defense on the road against a team that is undefeated.
The ‘Hawks have been idle for a week and a half and have a big game coming up Tuesday but a whole lot would have to fall WC’s way for them to have a decent shot against a team that has rolled past some good teams in their last 3 games.
Hesperia (0-3, 0-7) at Kent City (2-0, 3-2)
The Panthers are struggling through a tough year and average under 30 points a game. The Eagles are at home, have a lot of shooters, and have a Saturday contest before hosting co-contender MS on Tuesday.
Look for the Eagle starters to get some rest early on.
Millett, Ostyn capture wins on Senior Night
On Wednesday January 15th it was Senior Night at Grant, as they hosted Fremont in a CSAA gold conference match.
The teams hit the halfway point tied before the state ranked Packers pulled away in the 2nd half of the dual. Fremont currently holds the #7 spot in D3.
Seniors and four year Varsity wrestlers Billy Ostyn (125lbs) and Joe Millett (130lbs) won their matches to lead the Tigers. Also winning were Kaiden Pascoe (112lbs), Brady Jacobs (135lbs), and Caleb Thompson (215lbs).
After the Senior Presentation the crowd was to an amazing performance by the Grant Competitive Cheer team.
Grant now sits at 17-4 as a team on the season, 3-2 in the CSAA gold conference. The Tigers travel to Lakeview Saturday January 18th for an individual tournament.
B-Packers Survive Lion Attack, Tigers Tame Vikes, Devs Make it 3 in a Row
G- Long, Vandenberg Put on Offensive Duel
Fremont 46 Newaygo 43
The Packers came in undefeated, averaging 74 points a game and playing on their home court.
The Lions arrived with just 2 wins under their belt and those came against teams with a combined record of 1-11.
A mismatch? Not so fast.
The Lions stifled the high powered Packer offense frustrating them inside and creating enough opportunities for themselves to nearly pull off an upset win
Coach Zerfas: “We were flat out lucky to win. Newaygo came in and completely outplayed us for 30 of the 32 minutes. Newaygo owned the paint tonight, got most of the 50/50 balls and had twice as many offensive rebounds as us even though we had a size advantage. I thought Coach Barrette was the far better coach tonight with a better game plan to start the game breaking our full court traps and attacking our half court defense. Newaygo also played as a team while we played a very uncharacteristic selfish game. From the first minutes we were behind and trailed most of the game except for briefly in the third quarter. Early in the 4th we were behind by as many as 10 before we were able to make a run. We took a lead with under 2 minutes to go and were able to hold on despite missing 4 of 6 free throws after being fouled.”
Coach Barrette: “Great effort and team defense slowed a talented offensive team down, we just were not able to finish enough plays.
We let one slip away tonight, but took a big step toward where we want to go.Backcourt Wyatt Mortensen and Francisco Rios handled full court pressure all night getting us easy looks.
Braiden McDonald led the Packers with 16 points with Carter Moon adding 14.
For the Lions Mortensen hit for 11 while Rios dropped in 10 while taking down 7 rebounds.
The Packers (4-0,7-0) host Grant Friday.
Newaygo (1-3, 2-6) will be at home against Tri County.
Grant 87 Tri County 63
Up 15-11 at the end of the first quarter, the Tigers played brilliant team basketball with seven players scoring in the second quarter to take a 49-28 half time lead. The 3rd quarter was similar as six players scored and the lead was extended to 73-40.
Leading the way for the Tiger offense was Carter Chase with 21 points. Seth Schuitema hit for 18 and Brett Long dropped in 14. Orion Evans chipped in 8, with Diesel Rose adding 7.
Luc Flinthoff led the Vikings with 18.
Grant (3-1, 3-5) currently tied for second visits Fremont Friday to take on the first place Packers.
Holton 58 Black River 22.
Coach Houseman: “We played great team defense tonight. The score at the half was 30-6 Holton. Nathan Slowik had 24 points, Aidan Poling had 14. Everybody got playing time. We are now 5-3 on the year!!! Thanks Coach Houseman.”
The Devs (3-1, 5-3) will look to extend their winning streak to 4 when they host Lakeview Friday.
Oakridge 91 Hesperia 22
Fremont: 50 Newaygo 44
The Packers and Lions mixed it up in an exciting conference contest Tuesday with Fremont pulling out the win to stay atop the Gold standings.
But it didn’t come easy.
Both teams had big first halves scoring the ball in this game. After Fremont took a 5 point lead at the end of one when the dust cleared at the break the Lions had crept to within 2 behind the red hot hands of Jaxi Long who poured in 22 first half points for the visitors. The beginning of the second half saw the shooting cool off with the Lions only managing 4 3rd quarter points allowing Fremont to push the lead to 8 entering the final frame.
Newaygo came back and started to see some shots fall but the Packers were able to hold them off with some clutch shooting down the stretch.
“Jaxi Long was phenomenal in the first half,” said Coach Zerlaut. “ We couldn’t slow her down. In the second half, Chloe Shriver and Avery Curnett tag-teamed to play fantastic defense on her.
“Paige Vandenberg had a monster night. She was huge for us on both ends of the floor and we got contributions from all of our players, right to the final buzzer.
“ It was a good team win for us.”
Vandenberg drained 24 points grabbed a dozen boards and ruled the paint on the defensive end rejecting 5 shots from the field. She hit 10 of her 16 shots including one from distance and ended with a solid 3-5 from the stripe. The Shriver/Curnett combo limited Jaxi Long to 2 second half points after her huge contribution before the break and Natalie Jamieson finished with 11 rebounds and 3 assists.
Coach Thomasma: “I thought the girls played hard but Fremont played a better game tonight and made some key plays down the stretch. All the credit to them."
Jaxi Long led the LIons with 26 points and 8 rebounds while Emmerson Goodin and Lily Ruehmeier each had 9 boards for the Lions.
The Packers (4-0, 5-3) have now won 5 of their last 6 and will host the Tigers of Grant Friday.Newaygo (1-3, 4-4) will be looking to improve their conference mark when the TC Vikings come to town.
Tri County 41 Grant 40
Bayle has monster game in Pentwater, Venema nets 21 in Hart
Hesperia 63 Pentwater 41
Emily Bayle fired in 30 points, ripped down 11 boards, nabbed 8 steals and dished out 7 dimes in a decisive non-com win over the Falcons.
Coach Grodus: “This was a great team effort both offensively and defensively. We played good defense in the 2nd quarter to open up the lead. Rachel Romero got us started with 9 in the first quarter.”
Romero finished with 16 points and Emmie Tinkham collected 8 rebounds.
The Panthers (2-1, 3-5) will visit undefeated Kent City Friday for a Silver matchup.
Hart 54 White Cloud 48
The Cloud took the Pirates into overtime in their Monday night game in Hart but the hosts broke way in the extra frame for the win.
Sam Venema lit it up for WC dropping in 21 points to lead all scorers while Alex Elder hit for 9 and Steven Holt added 7.
White Cloud (1-2, 2-4) will return to conference play Friday when they visit the undefeated ‘Hawks of Morley Stanwood.
G-Shriver starts the Packer engine, Lions struggle in 3rd, Doornbos helps Tigers go 3-0 in Gold, Bayle cans 22 in Hespo win, Cloud breezes past Devs.
B-Pack wins again as Moon & Campbell dominate inside, Lions go cold in 3rd. Coach less than thrilled in RD win,Tigers win big, Panthers lose big.
Morley Stanwood and Kent City are scheduled for Saturday night but weather looms over a possible cancellation.
Fremont 51 Central Montcalm 44
Chloe Shriver opened the game with a bucket and added a free throw giving the Packers a 3-0 lead.
The Hornets then took charge canning the next 13 points and building a 10 point lead before Shriver scored again just before the period ended at 13-5 in favor of CM.
Shriver scored the first points of the second and Maddie Wagner hit for the visitors before Calla Miller scored off a steal From there until the break the teams exchanged points as the Packers aced it at the charity stripe with Shriver, Kaitlynn Bennett, Natalie Jamieson and Miller converting 8 of 8 to keep the Pack within 5 at intermission.
Fremont came out hot after the break with Shriver and Paige VandenBerg hitting shots to get the hosts within a point but London Eldridge and Bailey Vissman scored and stretched the lead back to 5.Jamieson Miller and VandenBerg answered giving the Packers the lead and the teams seesawed back and forth with the Hornets clinging to a one point advantage going into the final frame.
In the fourth the teams battled for the lead and after Miller canned one for a 3 point lead Vissman found the nets from long range to tie the game with 4 minutes left. Jamieson then came up big snaring a steal and finishing with a basket while being fouled. She converted to push the lead back to 3.
On the next possession for CM VandenBerg came up with a huge rejection on a Hornet shot and took a Miller pass on the other end to push the lead back to 5. Eldridge answered then Miller and Eldridge exchanged buckets before Shriver split 2 from the line.
With the Packers up 48-44 the Hornets pushed the ball inside but Jamieson came up with a big steal then got the ball to Haley Zerlaut who was fouled.
Stepping to the line she cooly canned both to put the game out of reach and notch another come from behind win for Fremont.
Shriver led the Packers with 14 points, while also playing great defense. Miller had 12 points and 6 steals Jamieson hit for 10 points, and grabbed 4 steals, and Vandenberg finished with 9 points.
Eldridge led Central Montcalm with 12 points, and Vissman scored 11.
The win improved Fremont's overall record to 4-3 and 3-0 in conference play. The Packers continue conference play at home on Tuesday against Newaygo.
Big Rapids 45 Newaygo 39
The Cards outscored the Lions by 6 points in the third and held off their visitors to grab the conference win.
Emmerson Goodin had 10 points to go with 9 rebounds, Jaxi Long hit for 11 points and Sophia Frisbie finished with 9 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals.
Coach Thomasma:"Big Rapids played a good game tonight and made some key plays down the stretch. All the credit to them.”
Newaygo (1-2, 4-3) will visit Fremont on Tuesday.
Grant 54 Chip Hills 27
The Grant Tigers were back in conference action tonight, traveling up to Chippewa Hills. The Tigers were in control from the start, jumping out to a 17 to 4 lead after 1 quarter of play. Grant would continue to keep distance from the Warriors over the course of the next 3 quarters to earn their 3rd conference win.
Kassidy Doornbos led the Tigers with 13 points.
Grant (3-0, 3-5) heads to Tri County Tuesday to take on the Vikings.
Coach Paulsen:"We played a great team game where everyone scored and played hard. It was a great win to start up the conference season after the new year."
Hesperia 46 Lakeview 20
Emily Bayle knocked down 22 points while dominating the glass with 14 boards and snaring 8 steals as the Panthers built a 28-10 lead by intermission and kept the ‘Cats at bay in the second half to secure the win.
Emmi Tinkham also reached double figures dropping in 10 for the visitors and Becci Castillo dished out 4 assists.
Coach Grodus: “This was a great team effort both offensively and defensively. Our defense played well with 18 steals.”
Hesperia (2-1, 2-5) will travel to Pentwater Monday to take on the Falcons.
White Cloud 59 Holton 21
Reed City 61 Tri County 60
Fremont 78 Central Montcalm 64
The Packers showed no signs of rust despite a 3 week layoff as they thundered to an 8-0 lead in the first minute and a half, then held off a number of Hornet runs to remain undefeated.
Tristan Campbell opened the scoring followed rapidly by buckets from Carter Moon, Braiden McDonald and another by Campbell. Asher Vissman put CM on the board with a triple and Micah Johnson followed with a 2 to cut the early lead to 3 before Christian Kennedy and Moon scored to push it back to 7.
Moon tripled and hit a 2 pointer followed by a Campbell three and another bucket by Moon. CM got buckets from Evan Shaffer and Gunner Hill but McDonald hit for two and Jacob Visser canned one from distance and the firstended with Fremont holding a 27-13 lead.
The Packers pushed the lead to 18 midway through the second and it took an 11-2 run by the Hornets to keep them in striking distance as the half ended with the home team up 43-34.
After the break Hill split a pair at the line to get CM within 8 but it was the closest they would get the rest of the night . Although they made a couple of runs in the 4th the Packers came up bi when they needed to including a thunderous slam dunk by McDonald off a steal.
“It took a total team effort in the win to beat a very talented and deep Central Montcalm team,”said Coach Zerfas.
Moon led the team with 19 points while pulling down 10 rebounds and Campbell was a monster on the glass finishing with 15 boards and a matching 15 points. Kennedy finished with 16 points and 5 steals and Joshua Zerfas was all over the court collecting 6 assists 6 rebounds and 8 points. McDonald added 13 points to the cause.
The Hornets were led by Trey Chapin who hit for a game high 21 points with Shaffer hitting for 17 and Hill adding 11.
Fremont (3-0, 6-0) hosts Newaygo Tuesday.
Holton 56 White Cloud 30
Coach Houseman: “We didn’t play very well tonight. I am always thankful for the win, but I am trying to challenge our kids to develop the mindset that we are competing against ourselves. Each day we step on the floor, we are trying to execute to perfection. Obviously perfection is unattainable in basketball, but the closer we get to it, the better we are as a team. We need to focus on what we do, not who our opponent is. Each player and coach does their job to the best of their ability and we can’t lose. We need to Win the Day everyday!”
Nathan Slowik led the Red Devils in scoring with 21 points, Lukas Ramaekers hit for 17 and Aidan Poling added 9.
Big Rapids 52 Newaygo 41
The Lions held tough on the road against the Cardinals trailing by just a point at the break but the hosts took charge in the third building a 7 point lead the visitors could not overcome.
Coach Barrette: “We played hard, but could not find the bottom of the basket tonight. We were outscored by 11 from the free throw line.”
Wyatt Mortenson led the Lions with 10 points, Ashton Stephens hit for 9 and Dave Gonzalez finished with 7.
Newaygo (1-1, 2-4) travels to Fremont Tuesday to face the Packers.
Grant 69 Chippewa Hills 32
Lakeview 45 Hesperia 23
Reed City 75 Tri County 61
Newaygo at Big Rapids
The Lions have won twice. Those teams have a combined record of 0-8
Big Rapids has lost twice. Those teams have a record of 10-0.
They’re in BR, the Cards have a very strong starting 5 and don’t lose a lot with the first few off the bench.
Newaygo will give it all they’ve got, but it is going to be an uphill battle trying to contain the speed and firepower the Cardinals possess.
Central Montcalm at Fremont
The Hornets have faced one team with a winning record and that was 3 days ago when Morley took them down in Stanton by a 16 point margin.
Granted the ‘Hawks are a good team but so are the Packers.
Add to that the visit to the Packer home court. Few places can match the crowds that fill the gym on game nights and the boisterous student section makes their presence known with authority.
Look for the hosts to come out using their speed and stifling defense to grab an early lead and if any of their sharpshooters are hitting it will be tough for the Hornets to put any sting into their game.
Grant at Chippewa Hills
The Tigers need a win. They have knocked on the door in their first 3 without a win then after taking down Reed City they went south to face a couple of strong OK teams losing big to a D-1 Chix team and falling a bit short against the Falcons of WC.
This might be the game they need to get back in the W column. None of the three teams the Warriors have lost to possess a winning record and only once have they been within 20 points.
The Tigers as we have said, are a better team than their record indicates and this is the third of 5 road games in a row before facing Newaygo at home a week from next Tuesday.
Holton at White Cloud
The Red Devils have looked strong in the early part of the season.
Though their 3 wins came against squads with losing records they have been most impressive in the games they have lost holding leads and staying close to 3 teams with a combined record of 17-0.
Finishing has been an issue in those games.
Tonight they visit White Cloud, a team that has improved a good deal but doesn't look to have the horses to keep up with the Devils. Holton is averaging over 10 points a game more than the Cloud who struggle on the offensive end and the RD’s have played a rougher schedule going in. Not saying WC can’t pull one out on their home court but a lot would likely have to go their way.
Hesperia at Lakeview
One team will get off the schneid as both sit at 0-5 thus far. The Wildcats don’t score much but the Panthers average under 30 a game including managing just 13 points at Newaygo earlier this week.
Morley Stanwood at Kent City
A battle for early Silver supremacy. The ‘Hawks have torn through their schedule thus far but that schedule has been easier than the path KC has taken.
While they look to be pretty even going in the Eagles are at home and the two losses before the break came against high quality teams with postseason aspirations.
Should be a really good one.
Tri County at Reed City
The good news is the Vikes have won 2 in a row making them undefeated against teams who are winless.
The not so good news? Against the better teams on the schedule the results were not so good as MS and BR each won handily.
The other good news?
They play another winless team tonight.
The other not so good news?
They play at Reed City, traditionally a tough place for visiting teams.
Newaygo at Big Rapids
The Lions have a chance to step up on the road when they face a Cardinal team possessing a good defense and a sporadic but occasionally prolific offense.
The Lions also can slap an in-your-face defense on opponents and can score in spurts so it could well be a back and forth battle. With as many as 5 teams in contention for the title this one looms large for both teams.
It’s on the Cardinal court but the road doesn’t seem to trouble the Lions. They have a toughness to them and when the offense is clicking they are tough to beat.
Central Montcalm at Fremont
Two more teams who will battle for the top spot in the Gold. The Packers were impressive in the way they clawed back against the Cardinals and grinded out a low scoring win with defense and sheer resilience.
The Hornets have filled in their graduation gaps pretty well and while not the powerhouse of last year they know how to win and staved off a serious late run by the Lions.
While the comeback against BR was admirable the Pack needs to score early tonight or CM will creep ahead and suddenly be up 10 points and game management is one of the Hornet strengths.
Grant at Chippewa Hills
As always the Tigers are having another enigmatic season with the lone win coming against a formidable Hornet squad. Three of their losses saw them in the game until the end and the other two were to teams with a combined 12-1 mark.
The Warriors have trouble scoring and Grant has a good defense. If the Tigers can spread their scoring around they should be able to put up enough points to have a good shot at a win.
Holton at White Cloud
The Cloud has a bevy of scorers and can press a team into submission if they grab an early lead.They beat a pretty good Shelby squad earlier this week and we saw them take it to Kent City before the Eagles began raining home threes.
The Red Devils don’t possess the scoring power to match WC and haven’t the defense to contain them.
Hesperia at Lakeview
The Panthers have yet to score less than 30.
The Wildcats have yet to score 30 though they came close against Kent City and still lost by 53 points.
Morley Stanwood at Kent City
Two undefeated teams and while the ‘Hawks have a pretty tough defense it would be mind boggling if they could hold down the Eagle scoring machine, a team able to fire from distance with astounding accuracy.
Morley can score as well and they will definitely have to if they want to stay close enough to pull out a win.
Tri County at Reed City
The Vikes have lost twice to teams with a combined 12-1 mark.
They have beaten three teams with a combined 4-17 record.
Reed City is 0-5