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.
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.
The Kalamazoo Christian Comets opened the boys basketball season Tuesday with a 53-41 victory over district rival Bloomingdale. Senior Jordan Katje led the way offensively for the Comets, scoring 24 points, 22 of which came off field goals. He also nabbed 13 rebounds.
The Comets had the game’s opening basket, but trailed for much of the first quarter. Bloomingdale ended the first ahead 12-9, but were outscored 19-8 in the second for a 28-20 Comet advantage by halftime. The Cardinals were three-pointer heavy in the first half, draining five triples. However, they could only add two more in the second half. Kalamazoo Christian extended the lead to as many as 17 in the third quarter.
Kalamazoo Christian travels to Saugatuck for their second game of the season Friday. Bloomingdale returns to action at Eau Claire next Tuesday. Listen back to Tuesday’s game below:
KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN SCORING: Jordan Katje 24, Sean Cummings 9, Noah De Jong 8, John Cramer 6, Colin Sikkenga 4, Ben Cramer 2
BLOOMINGDALE SCORING: Karl Butler 9, Tyler Starbuck 8, Eric Gumpert 6, Austin Cripps 6, JoJo Butler 5, Michael Ellis 3, Tim Douglas 3, Tyler Campbell 1
Listen live online Tuesday evening around 7 p.m. on the Slocum Sports Network to high school boys basketball with the Kalamazoo Christian Comets hosting the Bloomingdale Cardinals. These teams are in the same district for the sixth consecutive season, although they’ve not faced each other during that stretch.
Kalamazoo Christian finished 18-8 last season and made it as far as the Class C state quarterfinal. The Comets graduated four seniors from last season’s team, including their leading scorer, Alex Visser. They bring back six seniors and one junior who saw significant varsity time, including first-team SAC Valley selection Jordan Katje.
Bloomingdale went 14-7 last season in a huge turnaround from the five combined wins they had over the previous three seasons. The Cardinals graduated top-scorer and rebounder Zaquarius Jeffries, who earned honorable mention All-State. Notably back are first-team SAC Central pick Karl Butler and SAC Central honorable mention Michael Ellis.
Listen live to Tuesday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with tip-off scheduled for around 7 p.m., pending the JV game.
The Schoolcraft Eagles and Bronson Vikings won their Class C Regional Semifinal volleyball matches Tuesday at Watervliet, both winning in three sets. Schoolcraft topped conference foe Kalamazoo Christian 25-15, 27-25, 25-15, and Bronson rolled Brandywine 25-7, 25-9, 25-18.
The Eagles and Vikings, ranked fourth and first in the final Coaches Association poll, will now meet for the second time in three years in the Regional Final Thursday at 7 p.m. and that match can be heard live online via the Slocum Sports Network.
In the first semifinal, Schoolcraft dominated the first set from the very start. Kalamazoo Christian battled hard in the second set and led for a decent chunk. The set had four lead changes and never saw either team lead by more than three. The Comets had multiple set-point chances with a 24-21 lead, but the Eagles survived for the 27-25 win. Kalamazoo Christian grabbed a quick lead in the third, but it didn’t last and Schoolcraft was able to pull away for good.
Unofficially, Schoolcraft sophomore outside hitter Andelyn Simkins led the squad with 18 kills, followed by 11 from senior Paige Gebben. The Comets had five from sophomore Carley Broekhuizen and senior Tara Razenberg. She graduates, along with Mackenzie Wallace and Madelyn Batts with a final 2017 record of 28-17-4. The Eagles move to 37-13-2.
The second semifinal was never in doubt with the two-time defending state champions dominating the entire way. Brandywine had the first two points of the match, but quickly saw that lead turn into an 18-point hole. The Bobcats showed some fight in the third set, but Bronson was too much to handle.
Unofficially, Bronson sophomore Keona Salesman had 15 kills. Miss Volleyball candidate Kiana Mayer added six aces, pushing the Vikings to 55-9-2 on the season. Brandywine senior Grace Polomcak had five kills in her final match. The Bobcats finish 36-8-4 according to Maxpreps and also graduate Lauren Srmek and Melanie Martinez.
Bronson and Schoolcraft are now set for the Regional Final Thursday at 7 p.m. and that match can be heard live online via the Slocum Sports Network. When they met in the 2015 Regional Final, Bronson won 25-17, 25-23, 26-28, 25-22. The Vikings look to continue their path to a three-peat, while Schoolcraft hopes for their first quarterfinal appearance since 2013.
Listen back to Tuesday’s semifinals below:
SCHOOLCRAFT VS KALAMAZOO CHRISTIAN
BRONSON VS BRANDYWINE
Listen live online Tuesday and Thursday on the Slocum Sports Network to the MHSAA Regional #17 volleyball tournament from Watervliet High School. The first semifinal Tuesday at 6 p.m. features the Schoolcraft Eagles versus the Kalamazoo Christian Comets. The second to follow around 7:45 p.m. has the defending Class C state champion Bronson Vikings against the Brandywine Bobcats. The winners meet Thursday at 7 p.m.
Schoolcraft enters at 36-13-2 on the season, coming off a four-set district final win over Constantine, who hosted the final and held a 37-8-6 mark. Schoolcraft also swept White Pigeon and Decatur in the earlier district matches. The Eagles were ranked fourth-best in the final Class C Coaches Association poll and ranked 12th in the final poll from Michigan High School Volleyball Insider.
It’s Schoolcraft’s fifth time in the Regional round in six years with their deepest run in that stretch a state-runner up in 2014. In their last Regional appearance in 2015, they defeated Kalamazoo Christian in the semifinal and lost to Bronson in the final. The Eagles have been state champion once before, in 2008.
Kalamazoo Christian (record currently unavailable) enters ranked 21st in the Insider poll. The Comets won over Bloomingdale (3), Galesburg-Augusta (4), and Bangor (3) to claim their district. It’s their third straight trip to the Regional round with K-Christian falling in the semifinals to Bronson in 2016 and Schoolcraft in 2015.
The Comets haven’t been Regional champions since their quarterfinal run in 2007. Their most recent Regional final trip was 2012, where they were eliminated by Schoolcraft. Kalamazoo Christian fell twice to Schoolcraft this season, in four sets back in September and 2-0 in the SAC tournament in late October.
Bronson is the two-time defending Class C state champions and holds the #1 ranking in both the Coaches and Insider polls. The Vikings enter the Regional tournament at 54-9-2 with all of their losses coming to Class A and Class B schools. They rolled through Reading, Centreville, and Mendon in their district contests.
Bronson eliminated Kalamazoo Christian last season and Schoolcraft two years ago, although they have no recent meetings on record with Brandywine. Vikings head coach Jean LaClair is a three-time champion with Bronson, also taking the Class C title in 2009.
Brandywine enters at 36-7-4 according to Maxpreps and were ranked 25th in the final Insider poll. They defeated Cassopolis in three and Bridgman in four to claim the district title. The Bobcats are into the Regional round for the first time since 2014, where they were eliminated by Schoolcraft in the semifinal. Their last trip out of the Regional tournament was their 2003 state semifinal run.
Listen live to the Regional tournament online on the Slocum Sports Network Tuesday and Thursday from Watervliet High School. The action begins Tuesday at 6 p.m. with Schoolcraft against Kalamazoo Christian, followed by Bronson and Brandywine around 7:45. The Regional championship is Thursday at 7 p.m.
Listen live Friday online at MichiganSportsRadio.com to a Division 5 District football final as the West Catholic Falcons host the Kalamazoo United Titans in Grand Rapids. It will be the first ever football meeting between West Catholic and the United co-op or either of its schools.
Both teams enter the contest at 8-2 on the season. Kalamazoo United has had a flair for the dramatic recently as their last five games have been decided by a combined 12 points. The Titans got the first playoff win in the Hackett Catholic/Kalamazoo Christian co-op’s four-year history last week, defeating Dowagiac 21-18. United is averaging 34 points per game and allowing 27.2 per game and have been highlighted by an electric passing offense. Junior quarterback Eric Wenzel has tossed 35 touchdowns on the season.
The Titans will meet a juggernaut in West Catholic, winners of the last four Division 5 state championships and five of the last seven. Although beaten twice this season, their losses came 27-24 to Lumen Christi (defending Division 6 champion) and 35-33 to Grand Rapids Catholic Central (defending Division 4 champion). Averaging 40.8 points per game and 16 allowed per contest, the Falcons ran through Berrien Springs 43-13 in their playoff opener.
Listen live to Friday’s contest at MichiganSportsRadio.com with kickoff set for 7 p.m. and pregame at 6:40 p.m. from West Catholic.
For the fourth consecutive week, the Kalamazoo United football team’s game was decided by three points or fewer. The Titans kicked a 38-yard Heath Baldwin field goal through the uprights with 0.3 seconds remaining to secure a 31-28 road victory over the Schoolcraft Eagles. The victory gives the co-op its highest ever win total with a 7-2 regular season mark. Schoolcraft falls to 5-4 and has to hope they have enough playoff points to sneak into the playoff field and extend their postseason streak to nine seasons.
The Titans started strong, scoring not even two minutes into the game with a 33-yard touchdown pass from Eric Wenzel to Baldwin. Schoolcraft made it to the ten-yard line on their opening drive, but fumbled the ball on a quarterback keeper from Brady Flynn. Titan running back Brenden Warner bolted 83 yards, then Wenzel hit Christian Bartholomew for a seven-yard score and a 14-0 United lead.
Schoolcraft’s second drive found the end zone with a 38-yard rush from fullback Jack Hunt. The Eagles forced a quick punt and scored in the final minute of the first quarter on a 4-yard Hunt run to even the game at 14. The Titans made it back to the red zone, but Baldwin missed a 30-yard field goal. Schoolcraft engineered a 10-run, 80-yard drive and took the lead for the first time with a three-yard Hunt run. United would punt twice more before halftime with Schoolcraft punting and throwing an interception to Aaron Verkaik, keeping the Eagles up 21-14 at the break.
Schoolcraft punted to start the third quarter and Bartholomew had a stellar return, placing the Titans inside the 20. Wenzel threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Warner (although he had retreated all the way back to the 25 to fling it), tying the game midway through the third quarter at 21.
After trading punts into the fourth quarter, Wenzel was intercepted at midfield by Mark Melching, who brought the ball all the way to the five-yard line for Schoolcraft. Three plays later, Kobe Clark was in the end zone on a three-yard rush and Schoolcraft had a 28-21 lead with 6:15 left in the game.
United had no choice but punting after taking a big sack on their next drive, giving Schoolcraft the ball with the lead and under five minutes remaining. The Titans were able to force a turnover on downs, barely making a stop on a fourth and inches at the Titan 29-yard line with 2:36 remaining. After struggling to pass in the second half, the Titans used a 59-yard Warner rushing touchdown to even the game with 1:42 left.
The Eagles made it past midfield and were closing in on field goal range in the final minute, but a running back pass attempt by Kobe Clark was intercepted by Bartholomew, giving United the ball with 44 seconds left at their own 32. A 28-yard reception in traffic by Baldwin pushed the Titans to the Eagle 21 with 19 seconds remaining. A spike and two incompletions left a fourth down and 10 with 6.5 seconds to go.
The kicking team took the field with fireworks visible beyond the goalposts from nearby McCamley Field at Portage Central. The snap and hold were solid and Baldwin booted it through from 38 yards out for the 31-28 win.
Unofficially, Brenden Warner rushed for 285 yards on 23 carries with a rushing and receiving touchdown. Eric Wenzel was 17-35 for 190 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Heath Baldwin had 102 receiving yards off six catches and a touchdown.
Schoolcraft tallied 351 rushing yards. Jack Hunt had 202 yards and three touchdowns on 35 carries. Kobe Clark added 132 rushing on 17 tries with one score. Brady Flynn and Clark were a combined 0-5 passing with two interceptions.
Schoolcraft and United are now 1-1 against each other, as the Eagles had won the previous meeting in 2014. Schoolcraft had dominated Hackett Catholic and Kalamazoo Christian prior to the co-op’s forming, going a combined 16-1 against the two schools.
Kalamazoo United will be in the postseason for the second time in the co-op’s four-year history next weekend and has a decent chance to host their game thanks to Friday’s win. Schoolcraft must wait until Sunday’s selection show to see if they sneak into the field at 5-4. Listen back to week nine’s game below:
Listen live online Friday night on the Slocum Sports Network as the Schoolcraft Eagles host the Kalamazoo United Titans for the final week of the high school football regular season. At 5-3, Schoolcraft must win to guarantee their ninth consecutive postseason appearance. With a loss, their only hope would be taking one of the final spots at 5-4 based on playoff points.
At 6-2, United will be a playoff team for the second time in the co-op’s four-year history. However, a win over Schoolcraft could be the difference between hosting or traveling for their first round game. The last three United games were decided by a combined six points, with wins over Constantine (32-30) and Coloma (28-27), along with a loss to Delton Kellogg (35-32).
Schoolcraft dropped their last two games, 36-14 to Watervliet and 32-7 at Coloma. Despite strong rivalries with Hackett Catholic and Kalamazoo Christian in other sports, this will be the first football meeting between Schoolcraft and the United co-op as members of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC). They last met in United’s first season as Kalamazoo Valley Association members in 2014, a 28-7 Schoolcraft win. Historically, Schoolcraft is a perfect 11-0 against Hackett and 5-1 against Kalamazoo Christian, the lone defeat in 2008.
Listen live online to Friday’s game on the Slocum Sports Network with kickoff set for 7 p.m. from Schoolcraft High School.
The Loy Norrix Knights ended their regular season Thursday with a 5-3 victory over the Kalamazoo Christian Comets. Originally scheduled as senior night for the Knights, the game was moved from Loy Norrix to K-Christian due to flooding on the Norrix field, then played on the Comet practice field due to JV football already having booked the main field.
The Comets started strong, scoring their first two goals within the first four minutes. Kyle Nash had the first score on an assist by Dawit Scheffers, followed by a Scheffers goal 20 seconds later. The Knights got on the board on the first of four goals by Naashar Leake midway through the half. Nathan Goodwin-Kelly evened the contest in the final minute of the first.
Leake gave Loy Norrix the lead in the 54th minute, then added his third goal in the 61st minute. Kalamazoo Christian got back within one on Scheffers’ second goal in the 66th minute. However, Leake delivered the final blow with four minutes to go for his fourth goal of the game.
Loy Norrix finishes the regular season at 8-11-1 overall and hosts Kalamazoo Central in their first round district game Tuesday at 6 p.m. Kalamazoo Christian finishes 9-6-2 and has the bye into the semifinal of their district at Bellevue. They’ll meet either Bellevue or Calhoun Christian Wednesday around 7 p.m.
Listen back to Thursday’s game below: