Monthly Archives: February, 2017

RECAP: Cougar Women, Red Hawk Men Grab Wins

Kalamazoo Valley and Lake Michigan split a varsity basketball doubleheader Saturday, with the 6th-ranked KVCC Cougar women winning over the 20th-ranked Red Hawks 79-74, followed an 87-72 men’s win for Lake Michigan.

Despite the close final, the Cougars led the women’s contest the entire way, although it remained tight throughout.   It was 19-13 after the first quarter and 36-34 at halftime.   The Red Hawks scored first to tie the game at the start of the third, but Kalamazoo Valley got back ahead 58-53 by the end of the frame.   Their lead was as big as 13 points in the fourth quarter, although Lake Michigan did their best to stay in it.

KaLeah Ryan led the way with 25 points.  Sierra James added 19 with another 16 by Chloe Salman.  Topping Lake Michigan was Jade Mosier’s 22 off the bench.  Hailey Maas had 20.    The regular season series is a split, as the Red Hawks won at home back in January.  However, the win does put KVCC alone at the top of the MCCAA Western Conference at 9-1, LMC is 8-2.   The Cougars are now 17-3 overall with Lake Michigan at 16-5.

In the men’s contest, Kalamazoo Valley started ahead by as much as six points.   About halfway through the first half, they traded the lead three times.  The Red Hawks took it for good and had a 48-33 lead by halftime.   Their largest lead remained at 15 points until very late in the second half.   The Cougars got back within single-digits a few times, but couldn’t complete the rally.

Six players for Lake Michigan had double-digit points in the 87-72 victory, led by 18 from Brian Harris.  Gavis Rasler was next with 15.   For KVCC, Grant Mitchell scored 16, followed by 15 from Donny Lewis.   Both teams are now 8-13 overall, with Lake Michigan tied for sixth in the Western Conference at 5-5 and KVCC eighth at 2-8.   LMC won the January meeting as well, completing the season sweep.

The Kalamazoo Valley squads travel to Ancilla on Wednesday evening.   That same evening, Lake Michigan hosts Mid-Michigan.

Listen back to Saturday’s games below:



RECAP: Free Throws Give Paw Paw Boys the Edge Over South Haven

For the first time since January 16, 2015, the Paw Paw boys basketball team defeated South Haven, winning on their home court Friday over the Rams 53-48.   In a very tight contest, free throw shooting played a key role.   Paw Paw finished 20-29 at the line to a 10-21 mark for South Haven.

The Rams had the lead initially and didn’t fall behind until about halfway through the first quarter.   Paw Paw never lost the lead from there, although the lead never got to double-digits.   They took a 30-21 lead into halftime and while South Haven got back within one on multiple occasions, the Rams never could get ahead.    Luke Toliver led the way with 27 points for Paw Paw, including a 10-13 mark at the free throw line.   Nathan Smetana added 15.   South Haven was topped by DaShaan Palmer’s 13 points and numerous blocked shots.

The Paw Paw boys now sit at 11-3 overall and 4-2 in the Wolverine Conference North Division.  South Haven remains on top in the North at 5-1 and 11-5 overall.

Meanwhile, Paw Paw’s girls continued their dominance over South Haven, winning 77-50 in a game that was never in doubt.  Brooklyn Walker led all plays with 15 from Paw Paw.  Mackenzie Newell added 12.   South Haven got 10 from Frances Lyons.  Paw Paw improves to 8-7 overall and 3-3 in the North Division, while South Haven is 4-13 and 0-7 in league play.

Both Paw Paw teams play Three Rivers Tuesday with the girls staying home and the boys traveling.   The South Haven boys play at Vicksburg Tuesday with the girls hosting Vicksburg.

Listen back to Friday’s games below:



PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Valley Hosts Lake Michigan

bb-2-4Listen live Saturday afternoon on the Slocum Sports Network to men’s and women’s college basketball with Kalamazoo Valley hosting Lake Michigan.  The women’s contest is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip off with the men at 3 p.m.

The women’s game features the two squads at the top of the MCCAA Western Conference standings, both at 8-1 in league play.   Lake Michigan, ranked 20th in NJCAA Division II, holds the tiebreaker over the 6th ranked Cougars thanks to an 89-64 Red Hawk victory over Kalamazoo Valley on January 4.  Lake Michigan has been a recent nemesis for the Cougars, as the Red Hawks knocked them out last season in the District G final, 68-65 in overtime.

So far this year, KVCC is 16-3 overall.  They’re riding an eight-game winning streak, last losing to Lake Michigan.  The Red Hawk women are 16-4 with a seven-game winning streak, last losing on January 7 at Mid Michigan.

The records are close to even on the men’s side as well, with KVCC at 8-12 overall and 2-7 in league play, while Lake Michigan is 7-13 and 4-5.   The Red Hawks won narrowly when they hosted the Cougars on January 4, 79-76.  Lake Michigan has won six consecutive men’s meetings against Kalamazoo Valley with the last Cougar victory on February 22, 2014.     Both teams got wins in their last contest on Wednesday, 78-64 over Glen Oaks for KVCC and 104-96 over Kellogg for Lake Michigan.

Listen to both of Saturday’s games live via the Slocum Sports Network.  The women are scheduled for 1 p.m. with the men at 3 p.m.

PREVIEW: Paw Paw Hosts South Haven in Boys and Girls Basketball

Listen live Friday on the Slocum Sports Network as Paw Paw High School plays host to the South Haven Rams Friday in boys and girls varsity basketball.   The boys game in particular is highly anticipated with both squads looking to extend a five-game winning streak.

The Paw Paw boys sit at 10-3 overall, with their most recent loss coming in their first meeting with South Haven, 59-53, back on January 6.   Paw Paw since has topped the likes of Sturgis (11-2), Otsego (8-6) and Plainwell (7-6).   Scoring 64.3 per game and allowing 53.1 per game, Paw Paw is second in the Wolverine Conference North Division at 3-2.

South Haven sits at the top of the division at 5-0 and holds an 11-4 overall record.  They haven’t lost since dropping a quadruple overtime contest at Edwardsburg (71-65) on January 13.   The Rams have also beaten Otsego and Plainwell in their current five-game winning streak and additionally have a win over a 6-4 Buchanan squad.   The South Haven boys hold a four-game winning streak over Paw Paw, who last defeated the Rams on January 16, 2015.     The Rams are scoring 58.6 per game while allowing 52.1.

In the earlier boys contest, the Rams saw a strong performance from senior post DaShaan Palmer, who led the team with 22 points.  Teammate Luke Toliver added 14.   Paw Paw was led by Trey Brennan’s 20.

In the girls meeting that same night, Paw Paw pulled off a 55-35 victory off a 15-point effort by Brooklyn Walker.  Frances Lyons was the lone Ram to reach double-digits with 10.   Entering the rematch, Paw Paw is 7-7 overall and 2-3 against the North division.  South Haven is 4-12, trying to snap a six-game losing streak.  They’re 0-6 against the North and have lost at least 12 consecutive meetings with Paw Paw.  (The MHSAA’s records online end at the 2008-09 season).

Listen to both boys and girls action Friday on the Slocum Sports Network.   The girls varsity is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the boys after, tentatively at 7:15.

RECAP: Blades, Mustangs Earn Wins and Spot in SWMHSHL Top Four

The Southwest Michigan Blades topped Portage Northern 2-1 and Portage Central downed the Kalamazoo Eagles 6-4 Wednesday night at Wings West.  Because of these two games, the Blades and Portage Central are guaranteed to finish in the top four of the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL) standings, meaning they’ll be in the tournament semifinals in two weeks along with Kalamazoo United and Mattawan.  Meanwhile, Portage Northern and the Eagles will finish in the bottom two and be relegated to consolation games.

The first game remained scoreless until 2:09 remained in the second period.  Will Todd scored for the Huskies with an assist by Drew Fitzgerald and Tyler Simon.  Portage Northern stayed ahead until 5:16 was left in the third period as a Jaxon Dobrolowski powerplay goal evened things up.  Then with 58.9 left, Mason Fitch scored on a wrap-around for what would be the game winner.    The Blades move to 16-7-1 overall and 4-4 in league play, good for fourth. They advance to the tournament semifinals for the first time in eight years.  The Huskies fell to 5-15 and are at the bottom, 1-8 in league play.

In the second game, two quick goals in the first three minutes (William Anderson, Konnor McLeod) gave Portage Central a 2-0 lead after the first period.  Max Mones made it a three goal game in the second, but a Blake Jarrett powerplay score put the Eagles back within two, 3-1, after two.   Skyler Sorensen quickly made it a three goal game again, but David Kiel matched him 18 seconds later for the Eagles.   But two minutes after that, with 12:10 remaining, McLeod pushed the Mustangs back up by three.

They would need the cushion as penalties, including a major for checking from behind, set up two Eagle powerplay goals.  James Wressel and Zachary Blackwell put the score at 5-4 with 8:12 left in the game.   However, the Mustangs were able to hold on from there, sealing the game in the final minute on an empty netter by Kobe Vincent.  The win moves the Mustangs to 8-12 overall and 5-4 in league play, third best.   The Eagles drop to 7-12-1 overall and 2-6-1 within league play.

These four teams will meet again, but in a different combination next Wednesday with the Eagles against the Huskies, and the Mustangs against the Blades.   Before then, the Blades meet Kalamazoo United in league play Saturday.   The other three have non-conference games ahead.  Portage Central travels to Byron Center Friday, Portage Northern hosts Lowell/Caledonia Saturday, and the Eagles host Marysville Saturday.

Listen back to Wednesday’s games below:



PREVIEW: League Positioning at Stake as Blades Play Huskies, Mustangs Meet Eagles

Listen live Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network to action from the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL).  Set for 5:30 p.m., the Southwest Michigan Blades face Portage Northern, followed by Portage Central versus the Kalamazoo Eagles at 7:45 p.m.

With two weeks until the league tournament, these teams are sitting third through sixth in the six-team standings.  Those who finish in the bottom two spots miss out on a chance at the conference tournament title.   Entering these games, Portage Central is third with eight points (4-4), followed by the Blades with six points (3-4), the Eagles with five (2-5-1), and the Huskies with two (1-7).

The Blades and Eagles both will be missing key players following game disqualification penalties during the 4-3 Blades victory on Saturday.   The Eagles had Nicholas Burr tossed with Schuyler DeVries and leading scorer Evan Wilson both getting disqualified for the Blades.

For the Portage Northern Huskies, a loss guarantees them a spot in the bottom two.    They enter at 5-14 overall against the 15-7-1 Blades.  The Blades won 5-3 over the Huskies back on January 4, but they’ll missing Wilson, who tallied a hat-trick last month.

In the second game, the Portage Central Mustangs are 7-12 overall with the Eagles at 7-11-1.   The Mustangs topped the Eagles 4-1 when they met on December 21.  Portage Central has won six consecutive meetings with the Eagles, with the last Eagle win on February 5, 2014.  The Mustangs can secure a top four spot with a victory or draw.

Listen to both games live on the Slocum Sports Network.   The Huskies and Blades meet at 5:30, followed by the Mustangs and Eagles at 7:45.

RECAP: Pennfield Boys Down Otsego 60-53

The Pennfield Panthers won Tuesday night at home in boys basketball over the Otsgeo Bulldogs 60-53, putting them at 8-4 overall and dropping Otsego to 8-6.   The Panthers started strong, taking a 12-2 lead initially.   Otsego ended the first quarter on a  7-0 run and kept the game close, finally getting their first lead just before halftime with a 20-19 score at the break.    The third quarter saw five lead changes with Pennfield ending the quarter ahead 39-38.  Although Otsego stayed within single-digits throughout the fourth quarter, Pennfield never relinquished the lead and held on for the 60-53 win.

Cousins Ron and Francois Jamierson tied for the most points in the win, getting 16 each for the Panthers.  Devaire Todd added 12 for Pennfield.   Otsego’s Bill Woodhams led them with 15.  Addison Atwater scored 10 points.

The Bulldogs visit Three Rivers on Friday.   Meanwhile, Pennfield will host Marshall Friday.

Listen back to Tuesday’s game here: