The Gobles girls basketball team spoiled Hackett Catholic’s home opener Friday, using a 12-1 fourth quarter to secure a 36-23 Tiger victory. Neither team led by more than one possession in the first half, with Gobles holding two point leads at the end of the first, second, and third quarters. The Tigers had a 14-12 advantage at halftime and a 24-22 lead entering the fourth quarter.
The Tigers built the lead to 28-22 midway through the fourth quarter. Gobles’ 2-3 zone defense was nearly impenetrable in the fourth, only allowing one point on a free throw in the final minute. Maddy Tiller topped Gobles with 16 points, all on two-point field goals. The Tigers limited Hackett’s Syndey Preston, who averaged around 16 per game last season, to a team-high of eight.
Gobles moves to 1-1 and has their home debut Tuesday against South Haven. Hackett begins 0-1 with a trip to Lawton ahead next Friday. Listen back to Friday’s game below:
Gobles scoring: Maddy Tiller 16, Kylee Mandigo 7, Libbee Nason 4, Emily Lopez 3, Tatum Miller 2, Zoey Allen 2, Kelsie Martin 2.
Hackett scoring: Sydney Preston 8, Annie Housler 6, Savannah Madden 4, Bianca Cronen 2, Emily Wheaton 2, Natalie Toweson 1.
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.
The Kalamazoo United Titans have started the 2017 football season with back-to-back wins over 2016 playoff teams, winning at Gobles 49-14 on Thursday evening. Like in their week one victory over Saugatuck, junior quarterback Eric Wenzel threw five touchdown passes, putting him already more than halfway to his 2016 total of 19.
United began with the ball and went 77 yards for an opening drive score, 68 yards of which came on passes from Wenzel to Christian Bartholomew. They scored off a 6-yard rushing touchdown from Lawrence Pelkey. The Gobles Tigers answered on their 59-yard opening drive, scoring on a 19-yard Hunter Underwood rush. This put the score at 6-6, as United missed their extra-point kick and Gobles was denied on a two-point conversion.
The Titans took their second drive to the end zone as well, capping off an eight-play, 52-yard drive with a 5-yard pass from Wenzel to Andrew Widger. The two-point conversion succeeded with a pass to Bartholomew, pushing the Titans to a 14-6 lead late in the first quarter. After forcing a three-and-out, the Titans made it 3-3 on scoring drives with a 30-yard TD pass to Heath Baldwin.
Gobles tried a fake punt on their next series and failed, but United couldn’t make use of the short field, missing a 40-yard field goal. The Tigers were denied again and the Titans started their next drive 40 yards from the goal line. Pelkey got 39 of those yards on the first play, although he was injured on the run and didn’t return. A 1-yard fade pass to Baldwin gave United a 28-7 advantage .
The Tigers would fight back before halftime, using the final four minutes for a nine-play, 69-yard scoring drive. An Andrew Kimble to Tyler Stedman 24-yard touchdown pass with 41 seconds remaining, plus a two-point conversion rush by Travis Chandler, put Gobles back within two scores, 28-14. Gobles began with the ball in the third as well, but the Tigers were held to one first down for the entire second half, seeing three punts and two drives ending in a turnover on downs.
United’s opening third quarter drive finished with a 15-yard TD pass to Widger. Gobles had one last hope late in the third with a Stedman interception (the game’s lone turnover) starting them off in the red zone, but a turnover on downs sealed their fate. The Titans scored twice more in the fourth quarter, on an 11-yard pass to Bartholomew and a 26-yard rush by Brenden Warner.
Unofficially, Eric Wenzel had 249 passing yards, going 20-35 with five touchdowns and one interception. In only two quarters of work, Pelkey gained 104 rushing yards on 12 attempts. Warner added 80 off another 12 attempts. Bartholomew led all receivers with 107 yards on six catches and one touchdown. Gobles’ Kimble was 3-6 passing for 46 yards and one score. Hunter Underwood was their top rusher at 56 yards, one ahead of Chandler’s 55.
Kalamazoo United improves to 2-0 and returns home Friday to face Lawton, another 2016 playoff qualifier. Gobles falls to 0-2 with a trip to Constantine in week three. Listen back to Thursday’s game below:
Listen live online Thursday around 7 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to a Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC) Valley versus Lakeshore division football contest. The Gobles Tigers will be hosting the Kalamazoo United Titans for week two, moving up what had been a week eight contest the past two seasons.
These squads had polar opposite starts to their season last Thursday. United, 4-5 last season, avenged a 44-point loss from 2016 by downing Saugatuck 34-21. Saugatuck stream-rolled their regular season foes last year, including a five-week shutout streak, en route to a 10-1 final record.
Gobles, 8-3 last season, opened Thursday at Coloma (3-6 last year) and lost 61-8 in a stark departure from the 23 and 35-point victories the Tigers earned over Coloma in 2016 and 2015. Last season, Gobles outraced United to a 56-35 victory in the second-ever meeting between the Tigers and the Hackett/Kalamazoo Christian co-op team. Their first meeting in 2015 went to the Titans 46-29. Historically, Gobles is 11-4 against Kalamazoo Christian and never played against Hackett alone.
The Tigers return first-team SAC Central selection Travis Chandler and honorable mentions Andrew Kimble and Ron DeVries. The Titans bring back first-team SAC Lakeshore Eric Wenzel along with honorable mention Brenden Warner.
Listen online live to Thursday’s game on the Slocum Sports Network with kickoff around 7 p.m.. Due to a JV contest prior to varsity, the game may begin later than 7.
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.