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:
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.
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.
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:
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
QUINCY VS CASSOPOLIS
Listen live on Michigan Sports Radio Monday and Wednesday to the Regional #17 boys basketball games of the MHSAA Class C state tournament from Bangor High School. Monday’s semifinals feature the Cassopolis Rangers (18-4) against the Quincy Orioles (19-4) at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Schoolcraft Eagles (22-1) versus the Kalamazoo Christian Comets (16-7) around 7 p.m. The regional final will be Wednesday at 7.
Following a district tournament weekend which saw five of the Associated Press Class C top ten teams eliminated, including #1, #3, and #4, Schoolcraft sits as one of three remaining teams with one loss or fewer in the Class C field. (Interestingly enough, the other two, unbeatens Michigan Center and St. Mary Catholic Central, play each other in their regional semifinals). The Eagles mowed through their district and hold a 17-game winning streak. In that streak, they’ve beaten all but two opponents by double-digits, including a 63-47 victory over the one team to beat them this season in Hackett Catholic.
The closest team to beating Schoolcraft since their lone loss was Kalamazoo Christian. The Comets lost their first meeting with Schoolcraft 72-46 in January, but took them to the brink on February 17, falling 58-56. Of note, the Comets had also lost twice to fourth-ranked Hackett in the regular season, then downed them 48-37 in the district semifinals.
It will be the eighth postseason meeting between Schoolcraft and Kalamazoo Christian, with the most recent one going to Schoolcraft, 56-44 in the 2012 district final. Historically, the Comets have fared better, winning five of their seven meetings. Schoolcraft last advanced out of the regional round in 2013, where they fell in the quarterfinals. Kalamazoo Christian’s last trip out of regionals was their 2008 state championship run. The Eagles won it all in 2011.
As for the other semifinal teams, Cassopolis went to double-overtime in both of their district games, defeating Watervliet (69-65) and Bridgman (60-57). It’s the first regional appearance for the Rangers since 2008, when they were knocked out by Kalamazoo Christian. Cassopolis hasn’t made it through the regional round since 1989. They don’t have any postseason history with Quincy, who topped Jonesville, Homer, and Union City in their district. The Orioles are in the regional round for the first time since 2009, when they fell to Schoolcraft in the regional final. Quincy has never advanced beyond the regional round in boys basketball.
Listen the Regional 17 games from Bangor live on Michigan Sports Radio. Quincy and Cassopolis play Monday at 5:30 p.m., followed by Schoolcraft and Kalamazoo Christian around 7 p.m. The winners meet Wednesday at 7 p.m.
The Kalamazoo Christian Comets moved to the regional round for the first time since their 2008 state championship run after defeating the Gobles Tigers Friday night 39-34 in the boys district 79 final from Bloomingdale. The win comes only one night after the Comets knocked off 4th-ranked Hackett Catholic in the semifinal round.
It was a very low scoring game overall and a very slow start offensively for both teams. Gobles scored first and held a 3-2 lead until about two minutes remained in the first quarter, when the Comets came alive to take a 12-5 lead by the end of the frame. An even second quarter led to a 21-14 halftime score.
Gobles kept inching back, trailing 29-26 after the third quarter. The Tigers finally reclaimed the lead midway through the fourth on a basket by Tyler Hunt, 33-32 Gobles stayed ahead until Drew Scheffers buried a three with 2:25 remaining.
“We had a senior step up for us, Scheffers came back and hit a huge shot,” said Comets head coach Brennan Davis. “I’m proud of them, it’s awesome.”
Gobles got back within one off a free throw. With just under a minute to go, an inbound play to Scheffers put the Comets ahead by three. The Tigers missed a three, but had another chance after K-Christian failed to convert a one-and-one. Alex Visser stole the ball away at the wing for the Comets in the final twenty seconds and converted both free throws that followed to seal up the victory. Visser finished with 11 points, the only player between the two squads to get to double-digits. Trey DeJong had nine, all in the first half. Austin Martin topped Gobles with nine. Hunt, who averages 18 a game, was limited to eight.
Gobles finishes the season at 16-7, while the Comets improve to 16-7. Up next for them is the Regional 17 semifinal against Schoolcraft (22-1), whose only loss came to Hackett. The Comets lost 72-46 to the Eagles in mid-January, but only fell by two, 58-56, in their February rematch. You can listen to that game Monday at 7 p.m. from Bangor on Michigan Sports Radio, as well as the first Regional 17 semifinal at 5:30 p.m. between Cassopolis and Quincy.
You can listen back to Friday’s district final below:
The district 79 boys basketball semifinals, scheduled for Wednesday 3/8 have been postponed due to Bloomingdale High School being without power, along with many others around the state.
Per Bloomingdale HS’s Facebook, the games have been moved to Thursday 3/9 with the same start times, Kalamazoo Christian vs Hackett Catholic at 5:30 p.m., Gobles vs Bloomingdale at 7:30 p.m.
Unfortunately, I will not be able to broadcast the semifinals for Michigan Sports Radio Thursday due to it now conflicting with the girls regional 9 final broadcast between Marshall and Otsego. However, the district 79 final for Friday will still be covered as planned, pending any other changes.
The District 79 boys basketball semifinals are set for Wednesday live on Michigan Sports Radio following Monday’s first round games at Bloomingdale. Kalamazoo Christian defeated Hartford 58-48, setting up their third meeting of the year with Hackett Catholic, and Gobles earned a third meeting with Bloomingdale by defeating Bangor 68-47.
In the first game, Hartford used three-pointers for an early 9-3 lead, but the Comets finished the first quarter on a 12-2 run for a 20-11 lead after one. Kalamazoo Christian made it 33-21 by halftime and they stayed ahead in a fairly even second half. The Comets were led by Trey DeJong with 17 points. Jordan Katje added 15 and Alex Visser scored 11, pushing the Comets to 14-7 overall. The Indians were led by Will Martinez with 18 points and end their season at 9-12.
In the second game, winless Bangor started hot and led for almost the entire first quarter. They were up by nine initially, but a three at the buzzer by Chase Miles tied the game up 16-16 after one. The second quarter saw three lead changes with the Tigers holding a 33-29 advantage at halftime. Gobles assumed control with an 18-7 third quarter and took care of business from there, led by 25 points from Tyler Hunt. Adam Fifer added 17, pushing Gobles to 15-6 on the season. Bangor finishes 0-21, led by 15 points from senior Gage Gardner and 12 from sophomore Thomas Bowen.
The semifinals are now set and can be heard live on Michigan Sports Radio Wednesday. The Comets get another crack at 19-1 Hackett, who won their regular season meetings 53-50 and 52-46 (OT). That game is set for a 5:30 p.m. start. Bloomingdale (14-6) then hosts Gobles at 7:30 p.m. The Cardinals lost to the Tigers 59-54 and 66-53 in their regular season meetings.
Listen back to Monday’s games below:
KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN VS HARTFORD
GOBLES VS BANGOR
Listen live to all five games from District 79 of the MHSAA Class C boys basketball state tournament this week on Michigan Sports Radio. The action begins at Bloomingdale High School on Monday with the Kalamazoo Christian Comets (13-7) facing the Hartford Indians (9-11) at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Gobles Tigers (14-6) against the Bangor Vikings (0-20) at 7:30 p.m. The winner of the first game plays the Hackett Catholic Irish (19-1) Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. with the winner of the second game meeting the hosting Bloomingdale Cardinals (14-6) Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Hackett is the defending district champion and has advanced out the district round three consecutive years. The Irish made it to the quarterfinals last season and sit ranked tied for fourth in all of Class C in the final Associated Press poll. Their only loss came to Schoolcraft, although their potential semifinal opponent Kalamazoo Christian took them to the brink twice, falling 53-50 and 52-46 (OT) in their regular season meetings. The Comets haven’t made it out of the district round since their state championship 2008 season and first have to get through Hartford, who beat Kalamazoo Christian 46-45 in districts last year. Hartford last made it to regionals in 2004.
On the other side, the host Bloomingdale is significantly improved. After getting five total wins over the previous three seasons combined, the Cardinals sit at 14-6 and look to get to regionals for the first time since 2013. They’ll likely meet Gobles Wednesday as the Tigers are a heavy favorite against winless Bangor. The Tigers topped the Vikings 76-54 and 74-46 in the regular season and also hold 59-54 and 66-53 victories over Bloomingdale Gobles hasn’t gotten out of districts since 2006.
Listen to all five games from District 79 at Bloomingdale on Michigan Sports Radio. Monday, Kalamazoo Christian plays Hartford at 5:30, followed by Gobles and Bangor at 7:30. Wednesday, the Comet/Indian winner meets Hackett at 5:30, followed by Bloomingdale against the Tiger/Viking winner at 7:30. The district final is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Hackett Catholic Irish basketball teams earned a sweep Friday night over the Kalamazoo Christian Comets, although neither victory came easy. The boys game was decided in overtime, 52-46, in favor of the Irish, with the girls game ending on a 55-45 final.
The boys game stayed tight throughout the contest. Hackett scored first and took a 10-6 lead into the second quarter. The Comets grabbed their first lead early in the second and after four lead changes, the Irish carried a narrow 21-18 advantage into halftime. Hackett made it 36-29 after three and led by as many as nine in the fourth quarter, but their lead fell with 2:35 remaining after a three-point play by Trey De Jong. Teddy Oosterbaan tied the game back up at the free throw line, then reclaimed the lead on a bucket after a quick steal. Drew Scheffers put the score at 44-44 for K-Christian with 35 seconds remaining. Hackett held for the final possession and missed a three at the buzzer, sending the game to OT.
Seconds into overtime, Cooper Smith put Hackett ahead and they would not lose the lead from there, holding the Comets to only two points in the extra period. Smith led the Irish with 23 points, followed by 11 from Oosterbaan. Strong free throw shooting also lifted Hackett, going 19-24 from the line to K-Christian’s 12-18. Sean Cummings topped the Comets with 10 points. The Irish boys move to 17-1 overall and 10-1 in Southwestern Athletic Conference Valley Division play, fighting with Schoolcraft (9-1 entering the evening) for the top spot. The Comets fall to 11-7 overall and 6-5 in the Valley. It’s the sixth consecutive win for the Irish over the Comets.
It was also the sixth consecutive for the Hackett girls in their 55-45 win over the Comets. Despite the final, Hackett didn’t lead until Jessie Wenzel put them ahead on the game’s lone lead change early in the fourth quarter. The Comets led 26-20 at halftime and by as many as 10, but couldn’t hold on in the fourth after a 14-14 finish at the free throw line for Hackett between Sydney Preston and Emily Matthews. Preston led all players with 17 points with 13 from Matthews. Haley Balkema scored 16 for the Comets, followed by 10 from Jaxsen Meldrum.
The Hackett girls end the regular season at 14-5 with the Comets ending at 10-10. They meet again to start the postseason on Monday 5:30 p.m. from Kalamazoo Christian in the first round of District 79. The boys could potentially meet in the second round of districts in two weeks, but they both still have regular season games ahead. The Comets host Bangor Tuesday, followed by Lawton at home Thursday. Hackett hosts Watervliet Tuesday, then ends at Galesburg-Augusta Thursday.
Listen back to Friday’s games below: