By Ken De Laat
Look for our tourney preview coming Sunday.
Chippewa Hills (2-14, 2-12) at Grant (4-11, 4-9)
While the Tigers have struggled this year the Warriors have two wins, a narrow midseason victory over Reed City and Wednesday’s win over Beal City. The same Aggies that won their season opener against Chip Hills and haven’t won since. Neither team scores a lot but Grant had their highest output of the year the first time these squads met and won by nearly 30 points.
And that was in Remus.
Should provide some Mo for the Tigers as they head for a Monday tourney game against TC.
Big Rapids (12-4,10-3) at Newaygo (14-1,13-0)
A couple weeks ago this looked like it had the makings of a title match but that was before the Lions roared past the crowd and wrapped up an early championship.
The Cards are a good team but they were no match for Newaygo on their home court and this time they’re playing in Lion Country and Goodin has been playing like a woman on a mission of late giving her teammates plenty of scoring opportunities when opponents seek to stop her.
Central Montcalm (11-4, 10-3) at Fremont (5-11, 5-8)
After having a 7 game winning streak (and any title hopes) dashed in a convincing fashion by Newaygo the Hornets regrouped,have peeled off three straight wins and are primed to head south for tourney play in Portland.
The Packers have improved but they haven’t beaten anyone with a winning record yet, though they took a tough Sparta team to the buzzer earlier this week. Even so, this will be a tough W to get. They were within striking distance in their last contest with the Bees but fell apart in the final period. Miller would have to be on her game and Zerlaut’s defensive work will be vital but look for Jessica Bennett. She has developed a nice touch around the basket and fared well against CM first time around.
Holton (6-10, 2-6) at Morley Stanwood (8-5, 6-2)
Record aside the Devs are perhaps the most improved team in the area. Bossett has amped up her game and the future looks good with freshmen Robins and Fowler taking some first year Varsity lumps while gaining valuable court time.
But MS is way good and making up for 37 points they lost by in the first go-round with the ‘Hawks is asking for a whole lot of improvement.
Hesperia (7-5, 3-5) at White Cloud (7-7, 5-4)
The Panthers have quietly put together a solid season including a 4-0 non conference record and are riding a 4 game win streak behind the tough trio of Bayle, Tinkham and Romero.
We haven’t heard nor seen much of WC lately, but they have struggled offensively. Still, they took down the Panthers in the opener by holding them to 25 points.
Of course Bayle poured in a cool 36 on her own in a game last week.
Chippewa Hills (3-12, 2-10) at Grant (7-9, 6-7)
CH is another team better than their record. They hang around in most games but if opponents jump out and grab a double digit lead the floodgates open.
The Tigers escaped with a win in Remus earlier this season on a Saturday afternoon as Schuitema and Burrows lit it up.
This one's in Grant and Coach Schuitema would like to see a little Mo on the floor as they head for a third go-round with rival Newaygo on Tuesday.
Big Rapids (15-1, 12-1) at Newaygo (6-9, 6-7)
The only thing that stands between Big Rapids and an outright title is the Lions.
Tall order for Newaygo to steal one from a team that has lost one game all season and that one by a single point.
The Cards have scorers but it’s their defense that has won them games.
A lot of games.
Stephens, Mortenson and Decker will have their hands full and could use a bit of a hot hand from Long to stay in this one.
Reed City hung the only loss on BR. They kept it close and caught a little lightning in a bottle at the end. The Lions will have a hard time recovering if they fall behind early because the Cards seem to find a second gear when they smell blood, but should they be able to stay within range, they have the shooters to pull off an upset
Central Montcalm (4-11, 3-9) at Fremont (12-4, 11-2)
Tougher than it looks for the Packers but if their offense is on we don’t think CM can score enough to keep up. The Hornets have been in most games and we’re still puzzled as to how they beat Morley, so Fremont can’t be looking ahead to tourney time.
Besides they need a win to tie for the title in case Big Rapids stumbles at Newaygo.
If you read our piece on Braiden McDonald getting to 1000 you may have noticed there were two sets of brothers who made the list of Packers who finished with four figures.
Jordon McDonald may not make it to 1000, but he has the kind of smooth shot that will result in a lot of points before he graduates.
Holton (12-5, 9-0) at Morley Stanwood (9-5, 8-1)
The Red Devils have locked up a share of the Silver crown but a win over the Morley would give them the outright title their season deserves. Poling, Monette and Fialek will need to share the wealth since MS will go after the hot hand and if Brant could replicate the outside shooting that helped bring down the ‘Hawks in the opener we’re certain Coach Swanson wouldn’t mind a bit
Hesperia (0-12, 0-8) at White Cloud (5-8, 3-6)
To say it's been a tough season for the Panthers would be an understatement but Coach Worcester’s guys have put it all on the floor every game despite a season long winless streak.
They lost the season opener against the Cloud by 40. We think they’ll get closer but the game is on the Indian home court and Venema, Reuther, Watson, Cox and the rest we get plenty of scoring opportunities with the Panthers yielding over 65 points a game.