Listen live Tuesday and Thursday on Michigan Sports Radio to Regional #9 of the MHSAA Class B girls basketball state tournament at Three Rivers High School. Tuesday at 5:30 p.m, the defending Class B state champion Marshall Redhawks (20-2) face the Lakeshore Lancers (18-6). Then around 7 p.m., the hosting Three Rivers Wildcats (10-13) play the Otsego Bulldogs (19-3). The winners meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Regional final.
So far, 6th-ranked Marshall has begun their 2017 postseason the same way they did in 2016, with wins over Comstock (55-29) and Harper Creek (69-31). Like last year, the Redhawks face Lakeshore for their third playoff game and they hope to replicate the 62-44 win from 2016.
For the Lancers, they easily dispatched Berrien Springs (73-28), Benton Harbor (67-15), and Buchanan (59-31) to get back to the regional round. Lakeshore has won 15 or more games in six consecutive seasons, but haven’t gotten beyond the regional round since 2006. They were denied in their last regional final trip in 2013, falling 50-49 to Marshall.
On the other side, few people expected Three Rivers to be involved in the regional beyond their hosting duties. The Wildcats had lost twice in the regular season to Vicksburg and Edwardsburg, but downed them in the district tournament 46-30 and 41-32, respectively. Three Rivers hasn’t made it out of regionals since they were state runner-up in 2011. They’re one of only two teams still in the Class B field with a losing record and once again would have to beat a team they fell to twice in the regular season.
Otsego defeated Three Rivers 49-23 and 60-40 this season and holds a six-game win streak over the Wildcats. They defeated Plainwell (63-44) and Allegan (43-29) in their district tournament. It’s the fifth consecutive 15+ win season for the Bulldogs, who were denied by Marshall in last season’s regional final 57-37. They haven’t gotten through the regional round since the turn of the millennium, falling to Marshall as well in 2013 and to Lakeshore in 2006.
Listen to the Regional 9 games live on Michigan Sports Radio. Marshall meets Lakeshore at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, followed by Otsego and Three Rivers at 7 p.m. The winners face off Thursday at 7 p.m.