By Ken DeLaat N3 Sports
Two huge games on tap Friday with title hopes on the line. In Girls White Cloud welcomes in the Silver leader Kent City for a rematch and in Boys Fremont looks to atone for their lone loss of the season when Reed City comes to town. Holton’s Boys are making a run and sit alone in the second seat in Silver and Fremont sits a mere game behind the Hornets in the Gold Girls race. Grant will see how the match up in their second try against CM Girls who haven’t been lost a regular season game in two years.
Kent City 5-0, 8-2 at White Cloud 4-1, 8-2
Think the Cloud wants this one?
This is the best team the Indians have fielded in quite a while and the Eagles have stood in the way of their ascension to the top of the Silver. To make matters worse they not only delivered one of the Indians losses they took them clean out of the game early , laid it on big and shut them down in the Aerie holding them to 21, nearly 35 points under their average.
This time they are in White Cloud and the fans should turn out big for this one,
And those two losses by KC? The teams they played are a combined 21-1 on the season.
Hannah Brown will be seeing a lot of players coming at her and aiming to limit her points so getting some early help from her teammates will be vital. She knows how to dish the ball and if those dimes result in scoring things will open up for her.
But the Eagles are a seriously good team. If they jump out early watch out They know how to hold a lead and they never, ever let up.
Grant 5-2, 6-5 at Central Montcalm 7-0, 10-0
The Tigers are the only team to stay in the game against the Hornets. CM is deep, talented and seem to swarm all over the court. The one time they were held under 60 points since the Grant game was against the defensive juggernaut of Carson City Crystal and they still won by 17.
Grant has won 5 of 6 and the lone loss in that span came when Fremont’s Chloe Shriver hit a shot as time expired to send the game into an overtime the Pack would win. The Tigers can grind it out and Kirstyn Throop is one of the area’s true clutch performers.
This is only the 4th home game of the season for the Bees and their crowd loves this team that has given them a lot to cheer about the past few years. The Tigers will have to try to contain an offense with a number of players who can fill the nets at any time and their defense opens up a lot of opportunities
Newaygo 4-3, 6-4 at Chippewa Hills 0-7, 1-9
The Lions have two very winnable road games before returning home to face top dog Central Montcalm. This is one of them but the Warriors won’t go down easy and they are tough on teams on their home court. CH doesn’t seem to have anyone who can go 1:1 with Jaylee Long which opens up a lot of possibilities for the ever improving Lions.
Reed City 1-6, 2-8 at Fremont 5-1, 7-3
The prelim to the boys showdown. The Packers have beaten everyone in the league except CM. The Coyotes have won two games against teams with a combined mark of 1-19. Paige Vandenberg could have a field day in the paint and Calla Miller’s defense will wreak havoc in the CH backcourt.
Hesperia 1-4, 6-5 at Holton 0-5, 0-10
The Red Devils have only been within 20 points of their opponents 3 times. Once was against the Panthers who won by an even dozen earlier this season. Holton lost to Kent City by 66 points last week. The week before Hesperia lost to the Eagles by 64.
Big Rapids 2-5, 4-6 at Tri County 3-3, 5-4
The Vikes beat the Cards in overtime in Big Rapids earlier in the season.
Reed City 6-1, 9-2 at Fremont 5-1, 10-1
This is where the Packers wanted to be when the rematch arrived. Winners of 9 in a row since being jostled by the Yotes in Reed City and poised to match up with the co-leader in a game that just might help decide the crown.
Undefeated at home and with a boisterous crowd behind them the atmosphere looks to be electric in the Fremont gym. The Coyotes will likely look to get Karnemaat in foul trouble early but this is a Packer team with some serious depth and a lot of people who can knock it down. A key factor early on will be how physical they will be allowed to play as these two strong teams will be looking to test each other and neither squad is shy about banging bodies on the boards
Newaygo 4-3, 7-4 at Chippewa Hills 1-6, 4-7
Warriors held their own against Reed City then were blown out by Fremon. They took the Cards to the limit then had to come back late to beat the Indians on Tuesday They generally don’t score a lot but they can play a little D
The Lions lost back to back against league leading Coyotes and undefeated Mohawks. This is an opportunity for them to bounce back and Swinehart will need Cantu , Brummel and Bhyan to have their outside game on. If they can open it up for him inside he will have a field day
Grant 3-4, 6-6 at Central Montcalm 4-3, 5-8
Coach Joe Schuitema’s team is getting better...they just aren’t getting bigger. Limited in size bth n the court and in numbers they live and die by the three point game and when they’re hitting they can light up a gym in a hurry. Seth Schuitema dropped 33 on the Wildcats Tuesday and Carter Chase does so many things well including hitting the clutch shot when needed. The Hornets will present some challenges and were the last team to defeat a smoking hot Cardinal team.They always play tough at home and will be following a tough act with their undefeated girls team opening the evening’s competition.
Big Rapids 4-3, 7-5 at Tri County 0-6, 2-10
The Cardinals woke up after stumbling to a 3-5 start and have fired off 4 wins in a row beginning with a take down of the Coyotes in that vaunted Reed City gym. Those 4 wins are by a total of 11 points or less than 3 points a game. Earlier this year they posted a 50 point drubbing of the Vikings and while TC has improved it was still 50 points.
Kent City 3-2, 6-6 at White Cloud 2-3, 2-10
The Eagles won by more than 40 points at their first meeting. The Indians couldn’t solve the KC defense and couldn’t find the basket all night. They’re shooting better but they will likely need close to 60 points to have a shot and they’ve only gotten there once against a team less talented than the Eagles.
Hesperia 0-5, 0-13 at Holton 4-1, 5-7
The Red Devils are surprising a lot of folks and it looks like the success of the football team has been contagious. The Panthers are a game group of six who will wear down by sheer attrition if anyone gets in foul trouble.
Morley Stanwood 5-0, 11-0 at Lakeview 1-4, 3-8
The Mohawks are a very good team playing a struggling Wildcat team