Tigers, Packers open District play Monday; Lions, Vikes, Devils, Cloud and Panthers start Wednesday
By Ken DeLaat
Three teams from the OK Blue mix it up with three from the CSAA Gold in Sparta beginning Monday. Both leagues had dominant teams with Catholic Central (12-0, 18-2) ruling the Blue and Fremont (11-1, 19-1) taking the Gold. While Grant and Fremont play openers Newaygo will wait along with Coopersville to see who will emerge as their opponents. Should Grant defeat the host Spartans a third and rubber match between the Tigers and Lions would be a fun one to watch particularly if the winner would be facing the Packers for the third time as well, this time with a title on the line.
In Hart White Cloud and Hesperia will do battle Wednesday to see who plays in the final. The Cloud has won 4 games this season, two of them against the Panthers. Though getting a win has eluded them Hesperia’s depleted team deserves a lot of credit for sticking it out during a really tough season. The closest they have come to winning?
The last time they faced the Indians.
Holton has swept past both of those teams this season going 4-0. Should they survive a game against the Hart /Shelby winner they would be playing either the Panthers or Indians for the title and the Red Devils hoopsters could join their gridders in adding to the trophy case this year.
Hart has won 10 games this season and Shelby has won 2. This, however is one of those rivalry games where stats and standings go out the window. In their two previous contests this season the Pirates survived on the road in overtime then squeaked out a 1 point win at home
:Grant (7-7, 11-9) vs Sparta (2-10, 8-11 5:30pm Monday
When Sparta defeated a still developing Tiger team in mid December it was their 5th win in 6 games to start the season. They followed up by opening conference play with a win over Spring Lake then lost 10 of their next 11 games in the Blue.
Grant is a much better team than they were then but when they aren’t hitting from outside early they can get in trouble. Good teams can make quick runs as the BR team did on Friday, but the Spartans aren’t likely to have that kind of offensive firepower. They haven’t scored more than 60 in almost three months so if the Tigers can light it up a bit they could be moving on.
Fremont (11-1, 19-1) vs. Comstock Park (3-8, 5-12) Monday following Grant/Sparta game
The Panthers are 5-12 and haven’t beaten a team with a winning record all season.
The Packers have one loss, an early road stumble that sparked the current 17 game winning streak.
Fremont wants to play at home again this season and the only way to do that is to win this district. Should they get past CP they would face a Coopersville team that has struggled against some of the better teams they’ve faced. Teams like the Packers.
Newaygo will play Grant/CP winner Wednesday at 5:30pm.
Tri County will begin District play Wednesday in Belding facing the winner of Monday’s contest between Central Montcalm and the host Black Knights.The game will follow the 5:30pm Alma/Shepherd opener.
White Cloud and Hesperia face off Wednesday (5:30pm) in the Hart District and the same day Holton will see the winner of Monday’s Hart/Shelby matchup (following the Hesperia/WC game)