Monthly Archives: March, 2017

GAME AUDIO: Kalamazoo College Men’s Lacrosse Flattens North Central 15-0

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Thursday on the Slocum Sports Network, the Kalamazoo College Hornets mauled the North Central University Rams 15-0.   The win pushes K to 4-3 overall and gives them a three-game win streak entering MIAA play next weekend against Albion.   A full recap can be found via Kalamazoo College.    You can listen back to the broadcast of the game below:

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo College Meets North Central in Men’s Lacrosse

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Listen live Thursday evening at 7 p.m. ET on the Slocum Sports Network to men’s lacrosse as the Kalamazoo College Hornets will host the North Central University Rams.   It’s their first ever lacrosse meeting with the Hornets in only their second season and the Rams in their first.

Kalamazoo College is looking to build momentum heading into the MIAA conference schedule starting next weekend.   The Hornets are 3-3 overall with victories in their last two contests, 15-3 at Oglethrope and 8-3 at Mount St. Joseph.   With a win, they would match their win total from last season’s 4-9 debut season.

North Central, based out of Minneapolis, is still looking for men’s lacrosse victory number one.   The Rams are 0-3 on the season, having played their closest game last week in a 6-4 loss to the University of Northwestern-St. Paul.

Listen to the contest live on the Slocum Sports Network with the action set to start at 7 p.m. Eastern Time.   Live video is also available via K-College’s Livestream.

RECAP: Covenant Takes Quarterfinal 49-40 Over Kalamazoo Christian

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In front of a packed house at West Ottawa High School Tuesday night, the Covenant Christian Chargers won 49-40 over the Kalamazoo Christian Comets in a boys basketball Class C quarterfinal game.

The Chargers started hot and held the biggest lead of the game at the end of the first quarter, 17-6.   The Comets got back within four before halftime, but a Tyler Cammenga three-pointer just before the buzzer gave Covenant a 26-19 halftime advantage.   Kalamazoo Christian finally took the lead in the third quarter, although they trailed 33-32 at the end of the third.   The Comets got back ahead briefly in the fourth, but the final lead change came midway through the frame on a Carson Meulenberg triple.

Kalamazoo Christian trailed by two, 40-38, with 1:57 remaining.   On an inbound, the Chargers found Meulenberg open for a quick jam.  The Comet offense missed a three on their ensuing possession, followed by Trent Koole score, giving Covenant a six-point lead.   The Comets made it back within four, but no closer.   Koole finished 4-4 at the free throw line in the final minute to keep Covenant in front for good.

Koole led his team with 17 points, followed by Meulenberg’s 14.   Jordan Katje and Drew Scheffers topped Kalamazoo Christian with 18 and 10, respectively.  Scheffers, along with Alex Visser, Ridge De Jong, and Trey De Jong, played in their final high school basketball game.

“I’m so proud of the way that they battled back against a very, very good team tonight,” said Kalamazoo Christian coach Brennan Davis, who wrapped up his first season as the Comets head coach.

“Tonight, the better team won.  However, I told my kids, I would never trade any of them for any other player that we played against.   I love those kids.  They’re a special group of young men,” said Davis.

Kalamazoo Christian finishes at 18-8 in their most successful season since their 2008 championship.  For Covenant, they improve to 20-5 and head to the semifinals for the first time since their 1994 title.   They’ll play Manton Thursday at 2:50 p.m. from the Breslin Center at Michigan State.

Listen back to the quarterfinal below:

PREVIEW: Kalamazoo Christian vs Covenant in Boys Quarterfinal

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Listen live on Michigan Sports Radio Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. from West Ottawa High School as the Kalamazoo Christian Comets meet the Covenant Christian Chargers.  Originally set for 7 p.m. at Davenport University, the game was moved to 7:30 at West Ottawa because of the need for a larger venue.  For both schools, this is their first trip to the quarterfinals since their most recent state championship win, coming in 2008 for the Comets and 1994 for the Chargers.

Kalamazoo Christian sits at 18-7, fresh off their 51-33 regional final victory over Quincy.   In the last two weeks, the Comets also defeated 12th-ranked Schoolcraft and fourth-ranked Hackett Catholic, both one-loss teams entering the postseason.  Kalamazoo Christian is averaging 60.3 points per game overall and 44.0 allowed per contest.  Their defense has tightened up even more in the postseason, allowing 39.8 through their five playoff games.

Covenant Christian is 19-5 off of two incredibly tight regional games.   They defeated Muskegon Heights Academy 51-50 in the final seconds and survived double-overtime against seventh-ranked Pewamo-Westphalia.  The Chargers are averaging 61.5 points per game while allowing 51 per contest.

Listen to Tuesday’s quarterfinal game live on Michigan Sports Radio Tuesday evening with tip off set for 7:30 p.m. at West Ottawa High School.  The winner moves to the semifinals at the Breslin Center Thursday against either Manton or Negaunee.

RECAP: Country Day Ends Marshall’s Repeat Bid

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The Country Day Yellowjackets advanced to the Class B girls basketball state championship by eliminating the defending champion Marshall Redhawks 46-42 Friday evening at the Breslin Center.  The win moves Country Day to 25-1 overall and to their 16th championship appearance with chance to add a 12th title.   Marshall finishes at 23-3, ending the high school basketball careers of five tremendous seniors.

The first quarter saw eight lead changes with Marshall finishing the frame ahead, 19-17.  They had the game’s largest lead of six-points in the second and didn’t trail until Destiny Pitts sank a three-pointer at the buzzer for a 27-25 Yellowjacket halftime lead.  Country Day stayed ahead in a defensive 6-5 third quarter as both teams dealt with players in foul trouble.  The Redhawks briefly took the lead twice in the fourth quarter, but Country Day finished at the free throw line for the win.

Pitts topped the Yellowjackets with 13 points, followed by Tylar Bennett with 10.  Marshall’s Nikki Tucker and Jill Konkle scored 13 each.  They, along with fellow seniors Georgianna Pratley and sisters Carlee and Taryn Long, finish their high school basketball careers with a championship and semifinal appearance.

For Country Day to win their 12th title, they’ll have to knock off another defending state champion, as last year’s Class C winner Arbor Prep moved to 27-0 by defeating Freeland 54-47.   The Class B final is Saturday evening at 6 p.m.

Listen back to the semifinal contest below

PREVIEW: Marshall Battles Country Day in Semifinal

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Listen live Friday evening on Michigan Sports Radio to the first Class B MHSAA girls basketball state semifinal between the Marshall Redhawks and Detroit Country Day Yellowjackets.   The game is set for 6 p.m. from the Breslin Center at Michigan State University with the winner advancing to the championship Saturday at 6 p.m.

Marshall is the defending class B champion and sits at 23-2 overall.  Their 2017 postseason has mirrored their 2016 run to this point, defeating the same five teams to start; Comstock, Harper Creek, Lakeshore, Otsego, and Grand Rapids Catholic Central.  Tuesday’s 49-27 over GRCC avenged one of their two regular season losses.

For Country Day, they’re 24-1 overall with postseason victories over Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Macomb Lutheran North, Clawson, Croswell-Lexington, Goodrich, and Detroit Mumford.  No girls basketball coach in Michigan has seen more success than Frank Orlando, who has a state-record 760 victories and 11 championships since taking over the program in 1981.   The Yellowjackets fell to Grand Rapids South Christian in the semifinals last season.  Two seasons ago, they claimed their most recent title.

Both teams have an average margin-of-victory around 28 points per game, although they’ve taken different paths to get there.   Country Day’s offense is averaging a stellar 68.1 points per game while allowing 40.2.   Marshall’s defense is holding teams to 30.5 per contest, while scoring 58.1 on average.    The Redhawk offense is led by first-team all state senior Nikki Tucker, averaging 15.1 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.    Country Day has two first-team all state players, led by the Class B player-of-the-year in senior Destiny Pitts and her 22.7 points per game.  The other, junior Kaela Webb, scores 14.6 per game.

Listen to the semifinal contest live on Michigan Sports Radio with tip off scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday.   The winner plays in the championship Saturday at 6 p.m. against Freeland or Arbor Prep, who meet in their semifinal at 7:50 p.m. Friday.   Both squads enter their semi at 26-0.  Arbor Prep is the defending Class C state champion, while Freeland is looking for their first ever title, having made it to the final once in 1998.

RECAP: Kalamazoo Christian to Quarterfinals with 51-33 Victory Against Quincy

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The Kalamazoo Christian Comets are on to the Class C boys basketball quarterfinals for the first time since their 2008 championship season, thanks to a 51-33 victory over the Quincy Orioles in the Regional 17 final Wednesday at Bangor High School.  The Comets found offensive production from eight different players and used smothering defense to keep Quincy’s top scorer Nathan Karney off the board until the fourth quarter.

“We focused on getting the ball out of his hands,” said Comets head coach Brennan Davis.  “He didn’t get open.  We have a couple great defenders.  We really executed on both offense and defense.”

Quincy initially started ahead by three, but the Comets took an 11-9 lead by the end of the first quarter.   The Orioles briefly got back ahead, but Kalamazoo Christian ended ahead 10-7 in the quarter for a 21-16 halftime lead.   The third quarter is where the Comets assumed control, winning the frame 15-6 and holding on from there.    Offensively, Alex Visser and Drew Scheffers led the way with 11 points each for Kalamazoo Christian.

“We don’t rely on one guy,” said Davis.  “Noah DeJong’s defense was amazing.  Drew Scheffers hitting big shots, that kid’s so clutch.”   Davis also credited Adam Ritsema’s effort off the bench, seeing more time due to an illness to Jordan Katje.

Quincy finishes the season at 20-5.  Freshman post William Dunn led their offense with 18 points.   Karney, the lone senior in their lineup, scored seven.  Kalamazoo Christian improves to 18-7 and advances to the quarterfinal round Tuesday at 7 p.m. from Davenport University.

“One of our main goals this year was to win a district title,” said Visser.  “It just feels good to bring it all together at this point in the season and just start playing well.”

Next up is Covenant Christian, who defeated Muskegon Heights Academy at the buzzer to win their regional final 51-50.

“They execute, they love to shoot the three,” said Davis of the Chargers.  “We’re really gonna have to play our best basketball to beat them.”

You can listen to Tuesday’s quarterfinal game live on Michigan Sports Radio at 7 p.m.  You can listen back to the regional final below:

RECAP: Marshall Shuts Down GRCC 49-27, Advances to Final Four

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The defending Class B girls basketball state champion Marshall Redhawks are heading back to the semifinals after defeating Grand Rapids Catholic Central 49-27 in Tuesday’s quarterfinal game at Otsego High School.  The Redhawks never trailed in the contest and started the game on a 10-4 run.   Their lead jumped to 14-6 by the end of the first quarter, 23-9 by halftime, and 39-20 for the end of the third quarter.

Marshall senior Nikki Tucker had a stellar performance, nearly outscoring the Cougars on her own with a 26 point performance.

“She was pretty darn good, wasn’t she?” said coach Sal Konkle after the game.  “She was a coach’s dream tonight.   She’s been so focused the last couple weeks.   We talked about shot fakes and she sure as heck shot-faked the heck out of them and created space for herself to score.”

Younger sister Natalie Tucker and Carlee Long each had eight points for Marshall.  Topping GRCC with eight was Shaniya Huggins.

For the second straight season, the Redhawks end the Cougars’ season in the quarterfinals.   Marshall also avenges one of their two regular season losses, as GRCC beat them in January.   The Cougars finish the year at 24-2 with Marshall moving to 23-2.    The Redhawks move to the semifinal Friday at 6 p.m. at the Breslin Center at Michigan State University.    They’ll meet second-ranked Detroit Country Day (24-1), who was a semifinalist last season.   That game is scheduled for broadcast via Michigan Sports Radio.

NOTE:  Due to unsolvable technical issues at Otsego, the broadcast of the Marshall/GRCC game has been cancelled. I am incredibly sorry and can’t apologize enough to all of those who wanted to hear this game.

It’s unbelievably frustrating to have this occur in a state quarterfinal, of all games. I strive to provide high-quality content and this is simply unacceptable. I will do everything in my power to make sure this never happens again and plan to provide great broadcasts in the future, including the semifinal on Friday.

RECAP: Kalamazoo Christian, Quincy Head to Regional Final

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The Kalamazoo Christian Comets and Quincy Orioles will meet in the Regional 17 boys basketball final on Wednesday following tight victories Monday night at Bangor High School.   The Comets needed a bucket as regulation ended to force overtime and eventually defeat the Schoolcraft Eagles, 53-47.   The Orioles traded the lead nine times with the Cassopolis Rangers, but held it at the end with a 64-60 final.

Kalamazoo Christian led for almost the entire first half, although their lead was never bigger than six points.   Schoolcraft had a very brief one-point second quarter lead and put the score at 25-23 Comets into halftime.  The Eagles had a 31-30 lead by the end of the third and remained ahead throughout almost all of the fourth quarter.  The Comets erased a six-point hole in the final 1:27 to force overtime.  With four seconds remaining down two, Kalamazoo Christian inbounded to Jordan Katje under the basket for the bucket to force OT.

Overtime began with a three-pointer, followed by a basket-and-one from Alex Visser to put Kalamazoo Christian ahead for good.  Schoolcraft made it back within two in the final minute, but the Comets finished strong at the free throw line to avenge their two regular season losses to Schoolcraft earlier this season.  Kalamazoo Christian finished 11-14 at the foul line, including a perfect 7-7 from Drew Scheffers, with the Eagles 7-15 by comparison.  Visser led all players with  18 points, followed by 12 from Scheffers and 10 by Katje.  Schoolcraft senior Caleb Eustice scored 16 in his final game.   The Eagles end the year at 22-2 with Kalamazoo Christian improving to 17-7.

In the other game, the first quarter saw five lead changes with neither team leading by more than four.  Cassopolis led 16-14 after one and never trailed in the second quarter.   The Ranger lead got as big as nine, but Quincy was able to tie it up just before the break for a 27-27 score at halftime.

After four more lead changes, the Orioles ended the third quarter ahead, 41-40, then started the fourth on a 6-0 run.   Cassopolis tied the game back briefly, but Quincy remained on top for much of the fourth quarter.  With 17 seconds remaining, the Rangers had the ball trailing 62-60 and a chance to tie or win.   Tyrese Hunt-Thompson’s shot try missed and Nathan Karney grabbed the board with six seconds remaining, securing the win after making both of his free throws.

Karney finished with 16, going 8-10 at the foul line.   Freshman William Dunn topped the Orioles with 19.  Sophomore Hunt-Thompson topped Cassopolis and all players with 21 points, followed by senior Shane Los’s 17.   The Rangers finish at 18-5 with Quincy improving to 20-4.

The Regional final is now set for Wednesday at 7 p.m. from Bangor and can be heard live on Michigan Sports Radio.    Quincy has never gone beyond the regional round, most recently losing in the 2009 final to Schoolcraft.  The last time Kalamazoo Christian made it through the regional final was the 2008 season, which ended with a state championship.

Listen back to Monday’s games below

KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN VS SCHOOLCRAFT

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QUINCY VS CASSOPOLIS

PREVIEW: Marshall Meets GRCC in Quarterfinal Rematch

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Listen live Tuesday at 7 p.m. on Michigan Sports Radio as the Marshall Redhawks and Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars meet at Otsego High School in the quarterfinals of the MHSAA Class B girls basketball state tournament.  These squads met in last year’s quarterfinals with Marshall winning 41-30, en route to the program’s first state championship.

This time around, the Redhawks enter at 22-2 and were ranked sixth in the final Associated Press poll.   Marshall’s only losses came to #3 Williamston in their season opener (37-31), and to GRCC (42-34) in the East Grand Rapids Showcase on January 28.    Since that defeat, the Redhawks have won eleven consecutive games, with each victory by 20 or more points.    This includes their four postseason wins against teams with a combined 68-25 record, the same four teams they defeated to start last season’s title run.

For the Cougars, they’re 24-1 overall with the only loss coming to Muskegon Mona Shores (59-52) in their season opener.   They’ve featured stellar defense all season, allowing 30.8 points per game and only 22.8 per game in the postseason.   Since 2009, GRCC has made it to the quarterfinals seven times, winning the state title in 2010 and taking second in 2012 and 2009.

Many players from both sides are back from last season’s quarterfinal game.  Embry-Riddle commit Nikki Tucker topped all players last season with 17 points for the Redhawks.   In this season’s meeting, Marshall’s Carlee Long and GRCC’s Kyra Bussell each had 13 points.   The Cougars also had 12 points from Central Michigan commit Sophia Karasinski, who they won’t have Tuesday because of a torn ACL suffered in their regular season finale.

Listen to Tuesday’s quarterfinal live online via Michigan Sports Radio with tip set for 7 p.m. from Otsego.   The winner advances to the Breslin Center at Michigan State to play either #2 Detroit Country Day (23-1) or Detroit Mumford (18-7) in the semifinal Friday at 6 p.m.