By Ken DeLaat- N3 Sports
There exists some serious talent among the girls teams in our area and most of the players will be playing in local gyms beyond this season. One exception is Hannah Brown the senior from the Cloud who just set the school’s scoring record last week.
The Gold is still a bunch of teams looking up at the Hornets but these are each good young squads so CM will have some challenges as they defend their title and try to get past districts this year. The Silver has Kent City and the Eagles have Kenzie Bowers who leads a talented team in quest of defending their title.
In Fremont Coach Krim has a youthful team however the core of this team has Varsity experience thanks to a rash of injuries last season so the additions to the team will benefit from the leadership on the floor. Miller can rifle it in from outside and VandenBerg usually gives up height but never heart with her blue collar inside game. Jamieson does so many things well and Shriver is a gamer.
Since a season opener win over Montague on December 4th the Packers have been on the road and Friday begins a home stand that will see them play 7 of the next 8 games in their own gym. Only thing is, they will face a Hornet team that hasn’t lost a regular season game this season or last.
The Pack might have some struggles as evidenced by their two losses when they scored just 25 points, but the defense will keep them close in most games and my hunch is the offensive firepower of this team has yet to emerge. They might find CM a lot to handle but they will certainly win their share of games going forward.
Newaygo is also young with Varsity experience. The Longs and Ruehmeier can do damage on the offensive end and Frisbie blankets opponents with her intense defensive play. The Lions game against White Cloud proved this team can win close ones and the next three games, beginning with a home contest against the BR Cardinals Friday, should give fans an idea of how good this team might be. Next week they will be traveling to Fremont and then Tri County two teams, like the Lions, off to a strong starts.
Tri County had quite the run in the final year under Coach Overbeek and when he departed along with a bundle of seniors he left Bowen, Longstreet, Miller and Sickelsteel for the new Viking mentor Alyssa Alger
Bowen is part of the wealth of talented underclassmen pounding the girls basketball courts this season and she is one of those players who tend to make their team better with an inspired and unselfish approach to the game. The Vikes will return to play Friday when they welcome in the Coyotes then next week Grant and Newayo also travel down Kendallville road to face TC.
Grant has started the season 1-4 with each of those losses coming against quality teams with a collective record of 17-5. They almost ended the Hornet two season win streak in game 2 and lost a tough opener to the Cloud but the blowouts against Kent City and Sparta saw them buried early by shooting woes. The Tigers will welcome the Warriors of CH in Friday before taking on TC and Newaygo next week. These three games should give an indication of what the rest of the season will look like.
White Cloud is featuring the farewell tour of one of the area's most prolific shooters as Brown continues to fill it up for the Indians while displaying strong defensive skills. Their last game was a battle royale as Brown, Schulz, Bowman, Strait,and Watson each contributed down the stretch only to fall short against the Lions.
The Cloud will have a good season but they still haven’t been able to figure out Kent City. The Eagles seem to have had their number the past two years. The teams face off again the end of the month in White Cloud and the Indians play five winnable games before that rematch.
WC doesn’t resume play until next Tuesday when they travel to Holton.
Hesperia is 4-1 which is a good thing. Three of those wins were against teams with a collective 1-14 record, but they also handed Pentwater their only loss of the season against 4 wins.
The Panthers resume play by hosting Lakeview on Friday. The Wildcats have won twice against teams that have yet to find a W this season.
Four of Holton’s 5 losses have been by 25 points or more. The 5th loss was to Hesperia by a dozen the closest the Red Devils have gotten to an opponent. It looks to be a long season for Coach Baker’s squad.