Listen live online Friday around 7:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to girls basketball as the Hackett Catholic Irish host the Gobles Tigers. It will be the season opener for Hackett and the second game of the year for Gobles, who dropped their opener 41-34 at Allegan Tuesday.
Both squads are part of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC), although in different divisions. Both are also within the same district, with Hackett winning last season’s lone meeting in the district tournament, 40-22. Prior to that, Gobles held a five-game winning streak over Hackett. They didn’t meet two seasons ago. Three seasons ago, Gobles won 41-25 in a district meeting and 50-33 in the regular season.
Gobles finished 16-5 last season and graduated Hailey Baxter, who averaged a double-double per game. However, Baxter was the lone Tiger senior, meaning everyone else returns. Hackett went 18-6 and most notably lost All-SAC Valley selection Hope Baldwin. Their top two scorers from last season are back in Sydney Preston and Savannah Madden.
Listen live to Friday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with tip-off around 7:30 p.m, pending the JV result.
Kalamazoo United and Mattawan picked up SWMHSHL victories Wednesday evening, as United topped the Kalamazoo Eagles and the Wildcats beat Portage Northern, both by finals of 4-1. Both winners saw great goaltending as United’s Jake Gerhard made 44 saves and Mattawan’s Shaffer Moore tallied 34.
In the first game, Kalamazoo United’s Brenden Warner scored the opening goal with 10:28 remaining on the first. The Eagles seemed to have a big opportunity midway through the second off a major penalty against United, but the Hams picked up a shorthanded goal by Garrett Warner. The Eagles committed a major of their own late in the second and found themselves in a 5-on-3 situation, which United’s Topher Strunk used for a powerplay goal and a 3-0 lead entering the second intermission.
The Eagles scored their goal with 14:29 left thanks to Carter Maxey, but couldn’t beat Gerhard again, despite 20 shots on goal in the third period. Brenden Warner tallied an empty net goal for the 4-1 final, giving him a three point night off two goals and one assist. Eagle goalie Huston Born had 24 saves. United’s win gives them a 1-0-0 start to league play and puts them at 1-1-0 overall. The Eagles fall to 1-3-0 overall and 0-2-0 within the SWMHSHL.
In the second game, Mattawan’s Jason Moreau scored with 13:27 to go in the first period. The 1-0 score held until Moreau struck again early in the second. With 4:59 remaining in the second, Niko Stamas grabbed a Mattawan powerplay goal. In the final minute, Jake Kruzich added a shorthanded goal for a 4-0 Wildcat lead. Portage Northern’s lone score came early in the third period on a powerplay from Will Todd.
Kruzich finished with a three point night on his goal and assists on both Moreau goals. Husky goalie Peter Todd had 22 saves. Mattawan is 2-0-0 in league play and 2-1-1 overall, Portage Northern drops to 0-1-0 in league action and 1-4-0 overall.
Mattawan hosts West Ottawa Friday at Wings West, then travels Saturday against St. Joseph/Lakeshore. Portage Northern heads to Jackson Saturday night. The Kalamazoo Eagles make the trip to Northview Saturday. Kalamazoo United hosts Grand Haven Saturday afternoon.
Listen back to Wednesday’s games below:
UNITED VS EAGLES – Box Score
MATTAWAN VS PORTAGE NORTHERN – Box Score
The Comstock Colts started the 2017-18 girls basketball season with a win on their home court Tuesday, defeating the Vicksburg Bulldogs 58-39. Vicksburg had the game’s first bucket, but Comstock responded with a three-pointer and held the lead for the rest of the contest.
The Colts started with a 14-4 run, although their lead shrank to 17-10 after the first quarter. Comstock led by as many as 11 in the second half, but numerous Colt fouls sent Vicksburg to the line, allowing them to get back within six by halftime, 26-20. Comstock cleaned up their defense in the second half, fouling only twice, allowing them to assume control the rest of the way.
Comstock’s top scorers were Daisy Ansel with 16 and Ahkyla Blakely with 15. Vicksburg’s Hannah Vallier led all players with 18 points, including a 6-6 mark at the foul line.
The Colts stay at home for their next contest on Friday against Niles Brandywine. The Bulldogs continue their opening road trip, heading to league-foe Three Rivers Friday. Listen back to Tuesday’s game below:
Listen live online Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network to a high school hockey doubleheader from Wings West. Game one at 5:30 p.m. features Kalamazoo United against the Kalamazoo Eagles. Game two around 7:45 p.m. has the Mattawan Wildcats versus the Portage Northern Huskies.
Wednesday will be the first Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL) game for Kalamazoo United, as they look to defend their regular season and tournament championship from last season. It will be United’s second overall match, as they fell 4-2 in their opener at Canton on November 18.
Meanwhile, the Eagles lost their SWMHSHL opener last Wednesday 4-0 against Mattawan. They’re still searching for their first win as well, sitting at 0-2-1 overall. United’s lone league loss last season came to the Eagles, as they split their 16-17 meetings. The Eagles won 4-3 on January 18, with United victorious 9-2 on December 14.
Like United, Portage Northern plays their first league game Wednesday. They’re 1-3-0 thus far, with their most recent game Saturday in a 5-4 loss to Grand Haven. Mattawan won their league opener last week against the Eagles. It was their first overall win as well, with the Wildcats at 1-1-1.
Mattawan beat the Huskies twice last season, 3-1 on January 14 and 9-6 on December 7. They split their meetings two seasons ago, with the last Portage Northern win on January 27, 2016.
Listen live to Wednesday’s doubleheader online on the Slocum Sports Network. Kalamazoo United meets the Kalamazoo Eagles at 5:30 p.m., followed by Mattawan versus Portage Northern around 7:45 p.m.
Listen live online Tuesday around 6:30 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Comstock Colts host the Vicksburg Bulldogs to begin the 2017-18 girls basketball season. It is the third consecutive season-opening meeting between the former Wolverine Conference rivals.
Comstock finished last season at 18-4, earning their first conference championship since joining the Berrien-St. Joseph-Cass (BCS) conference and their first girls basketball title in any league since 1992. The Colts return their top-five scorers from last season, including fourth-team All-State selection Daisy Ansel and second-team Kalamazoo Gazette Ahkyla Blakely.
Vicksburg ended last season at 10-11, second in the Wolverine Conference South division at 5-3. After a 3-8 start, the Bulldogs hit their stride in the second half of the season, finishing 7-3 in their final 10 games. Vicksburg lost seven seniors and both of their All-Wolverine selections, 1st-Teamer Layna Steele and honorable mention Kennedy Nabozny.
Comstock won last season’s meeting on the road, 51-43. Two seasons ago at Comstock, the Colts were 57-38 winners. They didn’t meet three seasons ago. As conference and division rivals four seasons ago, they split their two contests with the home team winning both times. Vicksburg’s last win over Comstock was 44-39 on December 3, 2014. Their last win at Comstock came January 26, 2012.
Listen live to Tuesday’s opener online on the Slocum Sports Network with tip-off set for around 6:30 p.m. from Comstock High School.
December marks the start of the 2017-18 MHSAA boys basketball season. This post takes a look at the teams in the greater Kalamazoo area and features teams within the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC), Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference (SMAC), Wolverine Conference, Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph (BCS) Red, Southwest 10, and Interstate 8.
(NOTE: Not all teams have rosters and/or statistical information available from the previous season.)
|Hackett Catholic||19-2||11-1||Lost in District|
|Kalamazoo Christian||18-8||7-5||State Quarterfinalist|
|Delton Kellogg||14-8||6-6||Lost in District|
|Constantine||6-15||3-9||Lost in District|
|Lawton||6-17||2-10||Lost in District|
|Fennville||18-4||11-1||Lost in District|
|Saugatuck||13-8||8-4||Lost in District|
|Martin||13-10||8-2 (Central)||Lost in District|
|Coloma||13-9||8-4||Lost in District|
|Gobles||16-7||7-5||Lost in District|
|Watervliet||7-15||4-8||Lost in District|
|Lawrence||0-21||0-10 (Central)||Lost in District|
Kalamazoo Christian had the deepest postseason run out of the SAC, using a balanced attack and not emphasizing any one shooter. The Comets graduate four seniors, including leading scorer and first-team SAC Valley Alex Visser and honorable mention Drew Scheffers. Their other first-teamer returns in Jordan Katje, who averaged a double-double last season and also earned Kalamazoo Gazette second-team. Also back are six other seniors and one junior with varsity experience.
Hackett Catholic loses four seniors and returns five varsity contributors. The biggest loss is first-teamer Teddy Oosterbaan and his near double-double per game. Among those back are first-teamer Cooper Smith and his 13 points per game, plus honorable mention Jacob Niesen and Heath Baldwin
Schoolcraft suffered significant losses, including eight seniors and their top four scoring players. First-team SAC Valley Ricky Clark and Kalamazoo Gazette Dream Teamer Caleb Eustice, plus honorable mention Max Kulczyk and Jason Feddema will need to be replaced. Despite this, the Eagles still have solid talent, including five seniors with varsity experience and sophomore Kobe Clark. Another wild card is Trenton Lomason, a senior transfer who was a big contributor last season at Vicksburg.
Delton Kellogg loses around 75 percent of their 16-17 scoring, needing to replace 20 points per game from second-team Associated Press All-State pick Cogan McCoy. He and six other seniors leave holes to be filled. Returning seniors Josh Lyons and Brock Pape will be called upon to contribute significantly.
The one first-team SAC Valley pick yet to be mentioned was Trevor Patterson, who returns for his senior season in 17-18 at Galesburg-Augusta.
Over in the Lakeshore, Fennville must replace their two first-team SAC selections in top-scorer Julian Martinez-Grigg and JP Alfaro. #2 scorer and Lakeshore honorable mention Austin Lewis is back, he averaged 11 points per game as a junior. The other Blackhawk honorable mention returns as well in Ben Renkema.
Saugatuck loses second-team All-State Blake Dunn and his impressive 23 points per game, but still have first-team Lakeshore pick Teaque Tiemeyer and his 16 points per game. Tiemeyer joins seven other Saugatuck players back with varsity experience, including Blake’s younger brother Brad, fresh off All-State football honors.
Martin has the challenge of replacing longtime varsity starters Tanner Curry and Matt MacVean, both first-team Lakeshore selections. Both Clipper honorable mention players return to the lineup in Carter Hinton and Andrew Boss.
At Coloma, first-team Lakeshore guard Zach Goodline returns, entering his junior season already as the all-time scoring and assist leader at Coloma. He comes back with help as well with senior honorable mention Lakeshore Levi Wilkens joining him in the backcourt.
Gobles graduated seven seniors, including top-scorer and first-teamer Tyler Hunt and honorable mention Clayton Stapert. Together, they averaged 28 points and 18 boards per contest. Two returning seniors will be called on to shoulder the load, Peyton Austin and Tyler Stedman.
Watervliet loses only three seniors and gets back all three of their SAC Lakeshore honorees. Watervliet’s strengths will be inside. 6’8” Dan Cluster earned first-team and is one of the bigger centers within the SAC. Honorable mention forwards Sheldon Tobar and Bryant Kieft helped propel the football team to the quarterfinal, with Kieft getting first-team All-State on the gridiron.
Despite their struggles, Lawrence did get three SAC Central honorable mention picks. Two graduated, Andrew Lowe and Jacob Ghidotti. Back is Brandon Lopez, who earned the honor last season as a freshman.
|Kalamazoo Central||21-4||10-0||State Quarterfinalist|
|Battle Creek Central||19-4||8-2||Regional Semifinalist|
|Lakeview||8-15||4-6||Lost in District|
|Mattawan||7-14||3-7||Lost in District|
|Gull Lake||6-15||3-7||Lost in District|
|Loy Norrix||3-18||2-8||Lost in District|
|Portage Central||17-4||8-0||Lost in District|
|St. Joseph||12-11||4-4||Lost in District|
|Portage Northern||9-12||4-4||Lost in District|
|Lakeshore||7-14||3-5||Lost in District|
|Niles||6-16||1-7||Lost in District|
Kalamazoo Central boasted an impressive 2017 class of seniors continuing their basketball careers at the college level. Isaiah Livers (now a Michigan Wolverine) earned the Mr. Basketball award as the best player in the state and the Maroon Giants will need to fill his void. Another tough one to replace will be first-team Gazette and honorable mention All-Stater Rog Stein and his double-double per game. Four players are back with varsity experience.
Battle Creek Central also loses a very strong senior class, including four members of the Battle Creek Enquirer All-City team (Juan Warren, Jahmiel Wade, Demetrius Craig, Denzell Banks). They do have a solid post presence back in Orlando Lee, who cracked the Bearcat starting lineup as a sophomore.
Lakeview must replace four-year varsity point guard CJ Foster and leading scorer Jaylon Johnson, plus seven other seniors from the 16-17 squad.
Mattawan looks to have great size back for the new season, including Nolan Foster (6’9”), Jaden Mabin (6’5”) and Chris Becker (6’4”).
Gull Lake loses their lone Enquirer All-Area selection in Sawyer Olsen, plus seven other seniors.
Gone from Loy Norrix is Delano Swift and his 16 points per game. The Knights also graduated their #2 and #4 scorers from last season, although they do have nine returning players that have seen varsity action.
To the SMAC West, Portage Central lost honorable mention All-State Austin McCullough and his 17 points per game, along with honorable mention Johnny Maier and four other seniors. Six guys are back from last year’s varsity roster.
St. Joseph brings back a few notable contributors for their senior campaign in Cade Shimulunas, Trevor Dilley, and Ryan Haynes.
Portage Northern only had two seniors on last season’s team, Duane Jackson and Parker Simon. The Huskies had six players see significant time last season as sophomores or freshmen, including Gazette honorable mention guard Devin Marshall.
Lakeshore will need to replace their top three scorers, Max Gaishin, Lucas Meyer, and Colin Brushwyler. Like the Huskies though, they had five sophomores and freshmen last year hit the varsity floor.
|South Haven||15-7||7-1||Lost in District|
|Paw Paw||18-5||6-2||Lost in District|
|Otsego||11-11||4-4||Lost in District|
|Plainwell||10-11||3-5||Lost in District|
|Allegan||2-19||0-8||Lost in District|
|Three Rivers||15-8||7-1||Regional Semifinalist|
|Sturgis||15-6||5-3||Lost in District|
|Vicksburg||9-12||4-4||Lost in District|
|Dowagiac||8-13||3-5||Lost in District|
|Edwardsburg||6-15||1-7||Lost in District|
In the North, South Haven loses six seniors, including first-team Wolverine selection Joe Wilkins. Honorable mention pick Caleb Ford returns with seven other players back with varsity experience.
Paw Paw must replace first-team point guard Trey Brennan, but they return one of the conference’s most dynamic scoring threats in Luke Toliver. He grabbed first-team Wolverine and Gazette Dream Team with 21 points and eight rebounds per game. Paw Paw loses six other seniors and brings back four players with varsity minutes.
Otsego graduated first-team Wolverine Bill Woodhams and honorable mention Tyler Rayman, plus five other seniors. Second-team pick Zak Lucas leads six players returning from the varsity team.
Plainwell could be a significant threat, bringing back four of their top five scorers from last season. First-teamer Luke Morrell and second-teamer Evan Finch combined for around 33 points per game. They do lose second-team point guard Ben Gibson, but have Zakary Termeer, second in assists last season, to take his place.
Allegan’s lone All-Wolverine pick, Caleb DeKryger, returns this season for the Tigers.
To the South, Three Rivers lost eight seniors, most notably second-team Wolverine Carson Charvat and honorable mention Eric Johnson. However, the Wildcats did have a few underclassmen with starts in 16-17, including first-team Wolverine Tirrell Hausmanis and honorable mention Jalen Heivilin. Gavin Charvat and Jensin Blyly also were significant contributors who return.
Sturgis has to replace first-teamer Matt Polzin and honorable mention Brandon Wetzel. Their other honorable mention pick, Brecken Stewart, leads those back for the 17-18 campaign.
Vicksburg graduated 20 points and nine boards per game from honorable mention All-State Deondre Lovell. The Bulldogs also need to replace second-team Wolverine Blake Rankin, honorable mention Adam Grabowski, plus notable contributors Brenden Lovell and Trenton Lomason.
Dowagiac’s first-team Wolverine pick Adrien Bucha-Moore is gone, along with honorable mention Jayden Smith. Two honorable mentions are back in Jamin Hunt and Demetrius Lanier, with Lanier getting the honor as a freshman last season.
Edwardsburg only saw one All-Wolverine selection in 16-17 and must replace him in second-teamer Adam Kozinski.
|Brandywine||19-3||8-1||Lost in District|
|Comstock||9-12||6-3||Lost in District|
|Berrien Springs||11-11||6-4||Lost in District|
|Buchanan||11-10||5-5||Lost in District|
|Bridgman||7-15||3-7||Lost in District|
|Parchment||4-17||1-9||Lost in District|
Brandywine loses honorable mention All-State point guard Hunter Slaughter from their 16-17 team. They also lose guard Brady Duval, but notably have post presence Jaden Croom back for his junior campaign.
Comstock must fill a huge hole with the graduation of Tyrese Gardner, who earned first-team All-State on 20.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.
Buchanan loses five seniors and returns six players with varsity experience. At Bridgman, six seniors are gone and eight others return.
Parchment brings back almost their entire squad, graduating only two seniors. Darrion Turner, Ontayveon Fry, and Garrett Stutz are among the returners who had varsity starts last season.
|Parma Western||16-5||11-3||Lost in District|
|Marshall||15-6||11-3||Lost in District|
|Coldwater||15-7||10-4||Lost in District|
|Pennfield||14-8||8-6||Lost in District|
|Harper Creek||15-9||8-6||Lost in District|
|Jackson Northwest||4-17||3-11||Lost in District|
|Lumen Christi||3-18||3-11||Lost in District|
|Hastings||5-17||2-12||Lost in District|
Western brings back forward Steele Fortress, who got honorable mention All-State and just earned Jackson Citizen Patriot football player of the year. Fortress enters his senior season alongside fellow starting forward Desmond Price.
Marshall loses point guard Marcus Waters, a Battle Creek Enqurier All-Area selection. Their other All-Area pick and all-conference selection Jeremy Luciani returns, he averaged 14 points per game for the Redhawks last season as a sophomore. His twin brother Jack also comes back as honorable mention Interstate 8.
Coldwater was led last season by honorable mention All-State pick Gage McGuire, who led the team in both points per game (16.6) and rebounds per game (8.8) as a sophomore. He joins seven returning players with six seniors gone.
Pennfield graduates all three of their Enquirer All-City selections in Ron Jamierson, Francois Jamierson, and Deveaire Todd. Together, they averaged around 46 points per game for the Panthers. Although certainly tough to replace, those three were the squad’s only seniors last season.
Harper Creek also saw three All-City selections with two gone, leading scorer Jeremiah Davis and JaCory McNutt. Davis also earned honorable mention All-State with just under 19 points per game. Their third All-City choice returns in Dom Gibson, along with starter Jon Taylor.
|Bloomingdale||14-7||Lost in District|
|Centreville||14-7||Lost in District|
|Mendon||10-12||Lost in District|
|Eau Claire||9-12||Lost in District|
|Hartford||9-12||Lost in District|
|Decatur||6-15||Lost in District|
|White Pigeon||3-18||Lost in District|
|Bangor||0-21||Lost in District|
Although Cassopolis loses 13 points per game from Shane Los, the Rangers have nearly 40 points per game returning with junior Tyrese Hunt-Thompson (BCS-Blue MVP) and seniors Kiambu Gary and Xander Smith. Seven other players come back with varsity experience, making Cassopolis the favorite in the Southwest 10’s first basketball season.
Bloomingdale has big shoes to fill with the graduation of honorable mention all-state Zaquarius Jeffries, who posted 20 points, nine rebounds, and four blocks per game. The Cardinals do return first-team SAC Central selection Karl Butler and honorable mention Michael Ellis.
Centreville graduated first-team BCS Blue Coletin Gascho and honorable mention Tyler Carpenter. Back is first-team BCS Blue Hayden Stauffer for his senior season.
Despite losing six seniors, Marcellus brings back most of their starting lineup for 17-18. Gone is first-team SAC Central Brandon Clark, but back are first-teamer Trevor Henry, and honorable mentions Eli Robinson and Jack Sumners.
Five seniors are gone for Mendon, but the top three scorers from last season are back for the Hornets. Lukas Crotser, Hunter Lovell, and Keaton Crotser combined for around 29 points and 17 rebounds per game last season.
Hartford’s lone SAC Lakeshore first team selection graduated in Austin Nelson. Both of their honorable mentions return, William Martinez and Garrod Johnson.
Decatur’s first-team SAC Central pick Erik Mroczek and honorable mention Matthew Stambek both return for the Raiders.
The first MHSAA varsity boys basketball contests begin December 4. Make sure to follow the Slocum Sports Network for girls and boys basketball broadcasts in the greater Kalamazoo area throughout 2017-18. For the girls season preview, click here.
The Mattawan Wildcats and Blades of Southwest Michigan saw victories on Thanksgiving Eve, as Mattawan shutout the Kalamazoo Eagles 4-0 and the Blades downed Portage Central 3-1. For all four teams, it was the first action of the season within the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL).
In game one, Mattawan controlled the possession and tempo throughout the entire contest, finishing with 42 shots on goal and allowing only 15. The first three goals came within the first six minutes of action, scored by Zach Swintz, Niko Stamas, and Brad Kolinski. The score held at 3-0 until Zach Wiggins’ goal midway through the third period.
Shaffer Moore earned his first shutout of the season for the Wildcats, giving them their first overall win of the campaign with a 1-1-1 record. The Eagles fall to 1-2-0 on the loss.
In the second game, the Blades scored on a blue-line slap shot from Vicksburg sophomore Austin Zeigler 90 seconds into the match. The game remained 1-0 until Cole Shafer’s Blade goal with 8:15 remaining in the third. Portage Central finally got by Blade goalie Zac Hattan with 4:05 to go on a Mitchell Ely goal, but a Zac Gothard empty netter in the final minute secured the Blade victory.
Hattan made 22 saves, PC’s Bryan Gracey stopped 33 shots. Jaxon Dobrolowski had assists on the first two Blade goals, helping get them to 3-0-0 overall thus far. The Mustangs sit at 0-2-0.
Portage Central is off until Saturday, December 2 at home against Kenowa Hills. The Blades return to action this Saturday at home versus Royal Oak. Mattawan’s next contest is next Wednesday against league foe Portage Northern. The Eagles join Mattawan in the doubleheader Wednesday as they face Kalamazoo United.
Listen back to Wednesday’s games below:
MATTAWAN VS EAGLES
BLADES VS PORTAGE CENTRAL
The Kalamazoo Cougars basketball program won both parts of their first home varsity doubleheader Tuesday evening, earning a 61-57 boys victory and a 61-9 girls win over the Wyoming Warriors. While the girls game was never in question, the Cougar boys had to erase a double-digit hole to remain unbeaten on the young season.
The first quarter saw three lead changes, ending with the Warriors holding a 15-11 lead. Wyoming remained ahead for the entire second quarter, using early Cougar foul troubles to lead by as many as 11 points. The Cougars finished the second on a 13-4 run, trailing 30-26 at the break.
Kalamazoo opened the third quarter on an 8-0 run to take the lead and held a 44-39 advantage after the third. They traded the lead in the fourth quarter, but Wyoming soon found themselves without two starters, one to injury and one fouled out. Down two in the final seconds, the Warriors missed a three and were forced to foul with four seconds remaining. Cougar point guard Isaac Geiger buried both of his free throws to put the game out of reach.
Geiger and Josh McDonald were big at the free throw line, going a combined 12-14. McDonald led the team with 20 points, followed by 14 from Pipo Hofstra and 12 from Geiger. Wyoming was led by 19 from Wil Tiesma, trailed by 12 from Jake Minard. The Cougar boys move to 3-0 overall with Wyoming at 0-2.
Meanwhile, the girls game was the first action of the year for both squads. Kalamazoo was dominant from the very beginning, holding a 25-3 lead after the first quarter and a 39-7 advantage at halftime. Lauren Tuin topped Kalamazoo with 16 points, followed by Hannah Hofstra with 11. All nine players that dressed for the Cougars scored at least two points.
Kalamazoo returns home next Tuesday for a varsity doubleheader against the Grand Rapids Grizzlies. Wyoming is off until Thursday, November 30 with the boys hosting St. Johns and the girls hosting Wellspring Preparatory.
Listen back to Tuesday’s games below:
Listen live online Wednesday on the Slocum Sports Network to a doubleheader from the Southwest Michigan High School Hockey League (SWMHSHL). Game one, set for 5:30 p.m., features the Mattawan Wildcats against the Kalamazoo Eagles. The second game around 7:45 p.m. has the Portage Central Mustangs against the Blades of Southwest Michigan. It’s the first league play of the 2017-18 campaign.
All four teams opened their regular season last week against non-league opponents. Mattawan sits at 0-1-1 with a 2-1 loss Friday at Grand Rapids West Catholic and a 2-2 draw Saturday against Grand Haven. The Eagles are 1-1-0 with a 8-6 Wednesday win over Kenowa Hills and a 8-3 loss Saturday to Jenison. Last November, Mattawan beat the Eagles 6-1. Their January rematch was a 7-7 draw. The last Eagle win over the Wildcats was December 10, 2014.
Both Portage Central and the Blades faced Notre Dame Prep over the weekend. The Mustangs fell 5-3 Saturday, whereas the Blades had a dominant 8-0 win Friday. The Blades also grabbed a 8-2 win over West Catholic Saturday. The Blades won both meetings with Portage Central last season, 5-3 and 2-1. The Mustangs claimed both matchups over the Blades two seasons ago.
Listen live to Wednesday’s action online on the Slocum Sports Network. Mattawan and the Eagles meet at 5:30 p.m., followed the Portage Central against the Blades around 7:45 p.m.
The Kalamazoo Cougars varsity boys started the season strong on Saturday with two wins over conference opponents MCAC (Michigan Christian Athletic Club) and Kokomo.
In their first game of the season, the Cougars came out of the gate quickly against MCAC and led 17-4 at the end of the first quarter. However, MCAC poured in shots from behind the arc to close the deficit to 24-18 by halftime.
After the teams traded blows in the third quarter, the Cougars blew the game open with dominant post play by sophomore forward, Pipo Hofstra, who ended the game with 21 points. Freshman guard Josh McDonald contributed 15 points and senior guard Isaac Geiger scored 7 as the Cougars garnered their first win, 54-35.
Against their afternoon opponent, the Kokomo Eagles, the Cougars used a balanced offensive attack to eventually overwhelm the Eagles. Although the score was 26-25 after two quarters, the Cougar halftime adjustments to their defense paid dividends. The Eagles were held to just 4 points in the third quarter and 5 points in the fourth quarter as the Cougars’ trapping zone forced turnover after turnover.
The Cougars won 63-34 and were led in scoring by 8th grade forward, Ty Rykse, who scored 13 and sealed the game with clutch threes in the fourth quarter. Pipo Hofstra scored 12 points and junior center Mike Janik scored 11. Junior forward Colt Logan
provided a strong boost off the bench as scored 6 and forced multiple turnovers.
The Cougars play their first home game on Tuesday against the Wyoming Warriors. Listen live to that game on Slocum Sports Network at 7:30 p.m., along with the girls’ varsity matchup at 6:15 p.m.