Listen live Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network as the Hackett Catholic Irish meet the Buckley Bears in boys basketball from Kalamazoo College. These programs combined for 45 victories last season and this game should serve as a playoff-level test to start the season. Located about two-and-a-half hours apart, these schools first became acquainted back on November 1st with Hackett defeating Buckley 3-1 in the Division 4 soccer state semifinal.
Hackett was a Class C quarterfinalist two seasons ago in boys basketball. The Irish went 19-2 last season, eliminated by conference rival Kalamazoo Christian in the district tournament. Hackett returns 10 players from last year’s varsity team, including two guys who averaged double-digit points per game in Cooper Smith and Heath Baldwin. Saturday will be Hackett’s second game of the season, as they open at conference foe Lawton Friday.
Buckley finished last season 26-1, only losing in the Class D state championship game 78-69 to Powers North Central. The Bears return all six players who scored in their first state final appearance. Averaging double-digit points per game last season were Denver Cade, Austin Harris, and Joe Weber. Saturday’s game will be Buckley’s 2017-18 opener.
Listen live to Saturday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with tip-off scheduled for 1 p.m. from the Anderson Athletic Center at Kalamazoo College.