Category Archives: Boys Basketball

RECAP: Free Throws Fuel Otsego Boys, Marshall Girls Roll

The Otsego boys basketball team won at Marshall 80-60 and the Marshall girls earned a 54-24 victory Thursday.   The Bulldog boys were an outstanding 39-44 from the free throw line, allowing them to pull away in a foul-infested fourth quarter and give Marshall its first loss.   Meanwhile, the Redhawk girls were dominant throughout.

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Otsego huddles during a timeout.

Neither team had a decisive advantage in the first half, with the largest lead staying within two possessions.   The explosive Otsego offense, averaging 72.6 points per game coming in, had to find other scorers as they were without leading-scorer Zak Lukas.  Marshall held a 14-13 lead entering the second quarter and were ahead by five entering the final three minutes of the second.  However, the Bulldogs took a 31-28 lead into halftime, getting a three-pointer from Will Eldred in the closing seconds after the shot bounced high off the rim.

Otsego never surrendered the lead in the second half, although a tight third quarter only pushed the lead to 49-43.  Fouls picked up significantly in the fourth quarter, including four Marshall technical fouls.   The turning point came midway through the frame as a shooting foul on Jack Luciani also prompted technicals after the play from his brother Jeremy and Marshall head coach Doug Riegel.

Charles Woodhams would make all six free throw attempts, pushing the Bulldogs ahead by double-digits.  He would make four more on later technicals and finish with a 14-14 mark at the line, getting 23 total points.   Eldred was also flawless at the foul line, his 12-12 pushed him to 18 points.    Jack Luciani topped Marshall with 18.

Both boys squads move to 5-1 following the game.   It was the first time in their three late-December meetings that the road team was the victor.   The Bulldogs return to play on January 9 at Edwardsburg, while Marshall travels to Jackson Lumen Christi on January 5.

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Marshall led almost all of the girls game.  Otsego’s girls were also missing a key cog with an injury to Grace VerHage.   The Redhawks started with a 4-0 run, which Otsego matched.  From there, Marshall finished the first quarter with a 13-3 advantage and built up a 39-17 score by halftime.  Morgan Tatrow topped Marshall with 16 points.   Nine players scored for the Redhawks.   Mattison Rayman was Otsego’s top scorer with six.

The Marshall girls move to 3-4 with the win and drop Otsego to 5-3.   The Redhawks have now beaten the Bulldogs five times in three seasons.   Marshall travels to Jackson Lumen Christi on January 5 with Otsego hosting Edwardsburg on January 9.

Listen back to Thursday’s games below:




PREVIEW: Marshall Meets Otsego Thursday

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Listen live Thursday evening on the Slocum Sports Network to boys and girls varsity basketball between the Marshall Redhawks and Otsego Bulldogs.  The girls varsity is set for around 6 p.m. with the boys around 7:30 p.m.  It’s the third consecutive season that these schools will be meeting in late December.

In the boys contest, Marshall enters the boys game at 5-0, scoring 60 points per game and allowing 45.5.  Otsego sits at 4-1 with an impressive 72.6 points per game, while allowing 61.2 per contest.   Last season at Otsego, the Bulldog boys grabbed a 69-50 win.   Two seasons ago at Marshall, the Redhawks won 71-40.

The Otsego girls enter Thursday at 5-2, scoring 51.8 points per game and allowing 35.1.   Marshall is only 2-4, but they’ve had an incredibly strong schedule with a combined record at 34-3.  The Redhawks have scored 35.5 points per game and allowed 41.6 thus far.   Marshall is 4-0 against Otsego over the last two seasons, winning both regular season meetings and two Regional semifinal games.

Listen live to Thursday’s games online on the Slocum Sports Network.   The girls as set for around 6 p.m. with the boys around 7:30 p.m.

RECAP: Mih Goes Mad in 4th For Portage Central Boys Win Over Paw Paw, PC Girls Dominate

Portage Central grabbed a varsity basketball sweep in their final action before the holiday break Thursday, defeating Paw Paw 59-44 in boys play and 56-27 in the girls game.   In the boys contest, a 14-point fourth quarter from junior Jason Mih allowed the Mustangs to pull ahead after a back-and-forth affair.   In the girls game, a 25-2 second quarter put the game out of reach.

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The team captains meet with the officials before the game.

Paw Paw hit the opening basket in the boys game and had their biggest lead of the game at the end of the first quarter, up 13-6.   They stayed ahead until three minutes were left in the second quarter.   After trading the lead, Portage Central tied the game at 25 going into the half with a no-look Griffin Baker pass setting up a triple from Zach Bumgarner.

The game stayed within two possessions for the entire third quarter, with PC holding a 38-34 advantage heading into the fourth.    Then, Jason Mih came alive and delivered a 14-point quarter, including four consecutive threes, to gave Portage Central the final edge.

Mih finished with a team-high 20 points.  Paw Paw’s Luke Toliver posted 25 points.    The Portage Central boys improve to 3-1 with the victory and are off until January 9 at home against Lakeview.   Paw Paw falls to 2-2 and hosts South Haven Friday night.

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Portage Central’s girls warming up

Neither team had a decisive advantage in the first quarter of the girls game, as Portage Central led 10-7 after one.   The Mustangs were dominant in the second and third quarters, outscoring Paw Paw 35-2.   Although Paw Paw won the fourth quarter 18-11, the hole was far too deep to climb out of.

Kayla Mathieu and Abby Long each scored 19 points for the Mustangs.   Paw Paw got 14 points from Kiarra Herson.   Portage Central moves to 4-2 and travels to Lakeview on January 9 for their next game.   Paw Paw drops to 1-5 and hosts South Haven Friday.

Listen back to Thursday’s games below:



PORTAGE CENTRAL BOYS SCORING: Jason Mih 20, Jack Juday 9, Griffin Baker 8, Luke Leto 7, Max Godsil 6, Eli Potts 5, Zach Bumgarner 3, Max Longman 1

PAW PAW BOYS SCORING: Luke Toliver 25, Karsen Barnhart 5, Matt Lehto 4, Hayden Beck 4, Jakob Rickli 3, Ryan Brennan 3.

PORTAGE CENTRAL GIRLS SCORING: Kayla Mathieu 19, Abby Long 19, Annemarie Stacey 9, Kaitlyn Brannstrom 5, Meg Niedzwiecki 2, Jessica Roth 2

PAW PAW GIRLS SCORING: Kiarra Herson 14, Emma Johnson 5, Kierra Krogel 2, Anna Vavra 2, Anna Castelluccio 2, Megan Huggett 2

PREVIEW: Portage Central Hosts Paw Paw

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Listen live online Thursday evening on the Slocum Sports Network with Portage Central playing Paw Paw in boys and girls varsity basketball.   The girls game is scheduled for around a 5:45 p.m. start with the boys around 7:15 p.m.

It’s the second consecutive year these schools have met in late December, meeting this season in Portage after playing last season at Paw Paw.    Last year, the Paw Paw boys were 47-43 winners and the Portage Central girls were 43-29 victors.    These schools also met two seasons ago in boys play, won 57-32 by the Mustangs.

Both boys teams enter Tuesday at 2-1 and both teams fell in their opener to Mattawan, 55-54 for Paw Paw and 53-35 for PC.  Last week, Portage Central defeated Niles 63-52, then topped Harper Creek 55-32 Tuesday.   Paw Paw has wins over Wolverine Conference foes Vicksburg (79-61) and Plainwell (65-57).

The Portage Central girls sit at 3-2.   They dropped their opener 49-12 to Coldwater, then got wins over Lakeshore (38-22), Mattawan (40-34), and Niles (32-25).  They fell Tuesday 36-32 at Harper Creek.   Paw Paw has a 1-4 overall mark with a win over Vicksburg (44-41) and losses to Lakeshore (49-32), Dowagiac (47-42), Mattawan (52-29), and Plainwell (46-24).

Listen live to Thursday’s games online live on the Slocum Sports Network with the girls tipping around 5:45 p.m. and the boys around 7:15 p.m.

RECAP: Kalamazoo Christian to 4-0 with 63-56 Win At Schoolcraft

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Kalamazoo Christian’s Noah De Jong (#13) looks to inbound, defended by Schoolcraft’s Jakob Huysken

The Kalamazoo Christian Comets scored a big SAC Valley division victory Tuesday, winning at Schoolcraft 63-56.   The win keeps the Comets unbeaten entering the holiday break at 4-0 and drops the Eagles to 2-1.   It was the first loss for Schoolcraft on their home floor since the Comets beat them on February 19, 2016.

K-Christian’s John Cramer opened the game with a three-pointer, but Schoolcraft answered with a 10-0 run, eight of the points coming from Kobe Clark.   The Comets got back within two at the end of the quarter, 12-10, but didn’t reclaim the lead until about three minutes were left in the second quarter.   K-Christian took a 23-21 advantage into halftime and never surrendered the lead, although the Eagles did tie the game a few times in the second half.

Both teams had their top scorers held in check in the first half, as K-Christian’s Jordan Katje was limited to four and Schoolcraft’s Trenton Lomason had zero.  Both guys were key factors in the second half, finishing in the double-digits by the end of the night.

The Eagles were back within one at the end of the third quarter, 39-38.   However, they also entered the fourth quarter with seven fouls.   Despite struggling in their first three games at the foul line, the Comets went a solid 17-25, including an 8-10 mark for Sean Cummings and a 6-8 mark for Colin Sikkenga.  In the final minute, Katje had the final dagger with a two-handed slam, drawing a huge roar from the visiting fans.

Sikkenga was the leading scorer for the Comets with 17, followed by 16 from Katje and Cummings.   Clark topped Schoolcraft with 16, followed by 12 from Lomason and 11 by Jacob Huysken.

The Comets are off until the new year, traveling to Galesburg-Augusta on January 5.   The Eagles compete once more in 2017, against Jackson on December 28 as part of the Chuck Turner Classic at Battle Creek Central.

Listen back to Tuesday’s game below:

KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN SCORING: Colin Sikkenga 17, Jordan Katje 16, Sean Cummings 16, Noah De Jong 7, Adam Ritsema 4, John Cramer 3

SCHOOLCRAFT SCORING:  Kobe Clark 16, Trenton Lomason 12, Jakob Huysken 11, Brice Walther 6, Bryce VanderWiere 6, Riley Piper 5.

Rykse, Greer Score Career-High Points as Cougars Improve to 7-4

After dropping two out of their last three games, the Kalamazoo Cougars obtained a much-needed win against Big Rapids on Friday.  The Cougars shook off a sluggish start to the game and beat Big Rapids 61-47, despite playing without two of their starters.  Senior point guard Isaac Geiger was absent due to family leave, while junior post Mike Janik had to sit due to back spasms.

The Cougars were carried by the outstanding play of freshman guard Logan Greer, who filled in for Geiger as the point guard, and eighth-grade wing Ty Rykse.  Greer scored a career-high 12 points, while Rykse poured in a career-high 23.  Rykse came into the game averaging 7.4 points per game.  The other significant scoring came from Pipo Hofstra (10) and Joshua McDonald (11), whose scoring was consistent with their season averages (12.8 and 11.3, respectively).

Big Rapids jumped out to an early lead to start the game as the Cougars had a difficult time guarding Joshua Kaufman, who scored 11 points in the first quarter and finished with 26 for the game.  However, the Cougars climbed back into the game by making five threes in the second quarter, including a buzzer-beater by McDonald to give the Cougars much-needed momentum and a 34-23 lead going into halftime.

Their hot shooting from the perimeter continued in the third quarter, as Rykse and Greer made clutch threes to give the Cougars a 54-35 lead going into the final quarter.  The Cougars’ bench withstood Big Rapids’ desperate press and preserved the lead for the rest of the game.

With the win, the Cougars improved to 7-4 on the season.  They face the Holland Wave at home on Tuesday, December 19th, followed by an away game against the St. John’s Warriors on December 21st.  The Cougars are looking to finish the first semester with two wins before they have a break from games over the holidays.

PREVIEW: 2-0 Schoolcraft Hosts 3-0 Kalamazoo Christian in Regional Rematch

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Listen live online Tuesday evening around 7 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to boys basketball with the Schoolcraft Eagles against the Kalamazoo Christian Comets.   It will be their first meeting on the hardwood since last season’s regional semifinal, won 53-47 in overtime by the Comets.   Schoolcraft won both of the regular season contests over K-Christian last season, 72-46 and 58-56.

The SAC Valley rivals are both unbeaten thus far, joining 4-0 Hackett Catholic at the top of the loaded division.    Kalamazoo Christian is 3-0 with wins over Bloomingdale (53-41), Saugatuck (61-48), and Constantine (57-24).   Schoolcraft is 2-0 with victories against Delton Kellogg (71-33) and Lawton (72-24).

Listen live to Tuesday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with tip-off around 7 p.m., pending the JV result.

RECAP: Watervliet Grabs Sweep Over District Rival Hartford

Watervliet picked up a 53-37 boys basketball win and a 66-35 girls victory Saturday against current district and former conference rival Hartford.  The Panther girls improved to 4-1 off the win and put Hartford at 3-1.   The Panther boys jumped to 2-1 with the victory and dropped Hartford to 0-2.

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In the boys game, Watervliet scored within the first five seconds and never surrendered the lead.   The Panthers carried a 16-10 lead into the first quarter break, a 29-19 advantage at halftime, and a 40-31 score after the third.    Hartford made it back within six a few times in the second half, but could get no closer.   Three Panthers scored nine points; Bryant Kieft, Sheldon Tobar, and Garrett Matthews.  Hartford’s Trey Ackerman topped all players with 16.

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The girls game had three lead changes in the first two minutes, but saw Watervliet assume control midway through the first quarter.   They led 18-9 after the first quarter and didn’t trail again, extending the score to 31-17 by halftime and 47-29 by the end of the third.  Ariana Rowe topped the Panthers with 18 points with double-digit scoring also by Jaelyn Pitre (14) and Kara Liles (10).  AJ Jackson led Hartford with 10.

The Watervliet boys and girls host Saugatuck Tuesday in their final game before the holiday break.   Hartford’s boys travel to Decatur Tuesday with the girls hosting the Raiders.   Both travel to White Pigeon Thursday.

Listen back to Saturday’s games below:



WATERVLIET GIRLS SCORING: Ariana Rowe 18, Jaelyn Pitre 14, Kara Liles 10, Victoria Smith 4, Taylor Shafer 4, Celina Klimkiewicz 4, Zoe Smith 4, Mikalah Clay 3, Emma Yazel 3, Alison Pazera 2

HARTFORD GIRLS SCORING: AJ Jackson 10, Cora Wesaw 9, Jessica Cortes 6, Mikenzie Chambers 6, Megan Nelson 4

WATERVLIET BOYS SCORING: Bryant Kieft 9, Sheldon Tobar 9, Garrett Matthews 9, Ryan Chisek 7, Daniel Cluster 6, James Bell 3, Jakob Aldrich 3, Omar Cardoso 3, LA Smith 2, Austin Roberts 2.

HARTFORD BOYS SCORING: Trey Ackerman 16, Buddy Earls 6, Evan DeLaRosa 6, William Martinez 3, Caleb Weston 2, Brandon Galvan 2, Garrod Johnson 2,

RECAP: Parchment Sweeps Berrien Springs on “Compete For a Cure” Night

For the first time since joining the BCS-Red Conference, the Parchment Panthers swept Berrien Springs in a varsity basketball doubleheader.   The Panther boys defeated the Shamrocks 72-54 Friday and the girls won 48-34; both Parchment squads had dropped both meetings last season with the Shamrocks.   The evening also saw a solid crowd and turnout for the fifth annual “Compete For a Cure,” raising money for the American Heart Association, the National Brain Tumor Society, and the Children’s Leukemia Foundation of Michigan.

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Berrien Springs began the boys game with a 5-0 lead, but Parchment roared ahead with a 12-0 response.   The Panthers had a 15-7 lead after the first quarter and a 38-26 advantage by halftime.   The Shamrocks made it back within single-digits early in the fourth quarter, but Parchment quickly put the game out of reach.

Contez Williams matched his season-high with 22 points for Parchment.   Three other Panthers hit double-digits with 19 by Ontayveon Fry, 13 from Darrion Turner, and 10 from Jeremiah Donald (including eight in the first quarter).   Sam Spaulding topped Berrien Srpings with 21, going 14-16 at the free throw line.  He was followed by 12 from Peyton Dustin.   After winning only four games last season, Parchment is off to a 3-1 start.   Berrien Springs falls to 0-4.

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Like the boys game, the Shamrock ladies began with the lead, but lost it due to a 12-0 Parchment run.   However, Berrien Springs got back ahead midway through the second quarter on a 7-0 rush of their own.   By halftime, Parchment led 25-21.   The Panthers narrowly won the third quarter 9-6, then pulled away in the fourth.

Parchment sophomore Megan McDaid led the way with 19 points, going 9-13 at the free throw line.  Kyrah Sanders was the top scorer for Berrien Springs with nine.   The victory puts Parchment at 2-5 and drops Berrien Springs to 2-2.

Both Shamrock squads return to action Tuesday against Three Rivers with the girls hosting and the boys traveling.  Both Parchment teams host Comstock next with the girls Thursday and the boys Friday.

Listen back to both of Friday’s games below:



PARCHMENT GIRLS SCORING: Megan McDaid 19, Trinity Stone 9, Alivya Wilson 8, Macy King 3, Alysa Buytendrop 3, Kyra Gerlofs 2, Alexis Lindstrom 2, Chloe Thomas 2

BERRIEN SPRINGS GIRLS SCORING: Kyrah Sanders 9, Hillary Dortch 8, Miracle Henry 6, Jeniah Palmer-Kirtdoll 4, Narpreet Singh 4, Diamond Tyson 3

PARCHMENT BOYS SCORING: Contez Williams 22, Ontayveon Fry 19, Darrion Turner 13, Jeremiah Donald 10, Garrett Stutz 3, Connor Stutz 2, Henry Knapp 2, Aram Winchester 1

BERRIEN SPRINGS BOYS SCORING: Sam Spaulding 21, Peyton Dustin 12, Garrett Jones 7, Marshall McFarland 4, Austin Johnson 3, Gavin Hubble 3, Thomas Adams 2

PREVIEW: Watervliet Faces Hartford in Saturday Showdown

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Listen live online Saturday on the Slocum Sports Network as the Watervliet Panthers host the Hartford Indians in boys and girls high school basketball.   The girls varsity is scheduled for around 5 p.m. with the boys around 6:30 p.m.  Although they are no longer conference rivals within the SAC, these schools are meeting twice again this season.

The Watervliet boys enter the weekend at 1-0, taking their opener 59-46 last weekend over Martin.   Saturday’s game will be their third, as the Panthers face Fennville Friday.   Hartford opens their season Friday against Marcellus, with their original opener Tuesday against Mendon postponed to January 4th due to snow.    They met twice last season with the home team winning both times, 55-41 at Hartford and 54-35 at Watervliet.

The Watervliet girls come into the weekend at 2-1 and Hartford goes into the weekend at 2-0.  The Panthers took both contests over the Indians last season, 67-51 and 48-44.   The season before, Hartford won both meetings.

Listen to both games live online on the Slocum Sports Network with the girls varsity around 5 p.m. and the boys around 6:30 p.m. at Watervliet High School.