Gold, Silver Boys bounced early
Of the 14 teams who make up the Gold and Silver divisions of the CSAA none of the boys teams will be taking part in Regional play.
Newaygo, Hesperia, Morley Stanwood and Central Montcalm made it into District finals but Coopersville, Hart, Pewamo Westphalia, amd Alma triumphed over the final four CSAA survivors.
Fremont, Grant, Tri County, Chip Hills, Big Rapids, White Cloud, Holton, Lakeview, and Kent City were one and done while Reed City defeated BR before falling in the semis.
Now it is the girls turn.
At Grant there are 6 strong teams competing to move on to the Coopersville Regional with Fremont opening the action against Comstock Park Monday.
CP ring a bell Packer fans? It was the Panther boys team that ended a magical season for Fremont who came into the opener riding a 17 game winning streak. A Park team that won only 5 times all season took them out before bowing to eventual champ Coopersville by a point in the semis.
The Panther Girls? They went 14-5 and won 7 of their last 8 claiming a share of the OK Blue title
The Pack (12-8) stumbled a bit toward the end of the season before posting a pair of wins at the finish. Both teams have won some tight games and lost a few as well. Fremont will need Vandenberg, Jamieson, and Miller to step up big and they may need some late game heroics from Shriver who shines in the clutch. Getting a few long distance hits from Curnett would help immensely. The 5 losses by Park were by a total of 19 points or less than 4 a game so keeping it close will be vital for Fremont.
Newaygo (13-7) gets the winner in the semis and the Lions behind the leadership of Jaylee Long won 6 in a row before falling short against a really good Whitehall team in the season closer. Jaxi Long, Goodin, Mathis, Frisbie and Ruehmeier fill out a starting squad that has evolved into a formidable fivesome and there is bench help led by Mya Berwald and Sanchez. Coach Thomasma has done a great job in developing this young team.
If their opponent is Fremont the Packers won both contests with Newaygo by 3 points, one in overtime. The Lions need to stay out of foul trouble which has plagued them in most of their losses.
Grant will face Coopersville a team that had a strong season going until the last two weeks of the season when they dropped three in a row, beat a Kenowa Hills team that cannot score points and needed 2 overtimes to knock off the Blue cellar dwelling Allendale Falcons.
The Tigers are a good team, much better than the squad that began the season and they finished strong. The Broncos will be tough to tame though and while Grant has the advantage of playing at home, 5 of their 8 losses have been in their own gym. This one is tough to call and will come down to which team can put together a hot streak at the right time.
The winner gets Sparta (13-7).
Tri County (12-6) faces a tough Alma (14-4) team in Shepherd. Should the Vikes win two games and get to the finals they would likely face Central Montcalm for the third time this season, a team that won their first two matchups by a total of 81 points. Of course the Hornets could lose to host Shepherd in the opener, but if you’re offered the Blue Jays and 20?
I wouldn’t be inclined to take it.
The Hornets got bounced in the Districts by Big Rapids last year and they have tweaked the team, played a brutal schedule, then marched through an undefeated season with their eye on the prize.
They are not going to have a let up this time.
Hesperia (9-9) opens play in their gym facing Hart( 9-10). We don’t know much about either team except they have both won 9 games.
The winner faces White Cloud where sharpshooter Brown is wrapping up a stellar career and would love to have a shot at heading to McBain for Regional play. Strait is back from a mid season injury and playing well and Watson has emerged as a force in the paint.
The Spartans of Mason County Central (15-5) are in the upper bracket and should be in the finals since they face a Shelby team they have handled easily twice this season. MCC has only lost to 3 teams. Oakridge and Whitehall twice each and Manton. Should the finals see Cloud facing the Spartans it could be a shootout.