The Plainwell Trojans and Gull Lake Blue Devils won their District 18 semifinal games Wednesday at Richland, pushing them into Saturday’s final. Ninth-ranked Plainwell survived a late rally for a 3-2 win over the Otsego Bulldogs. Gull Lake easily dispatched Harper Creek 5-1.
In the first game, Plainwell grabbed the lead in the fourth minute with Luke Morrell scoring off a Zakary Termeer throw in. Termeer would score himself midway through the first and the Trojans carried a 2-0 lead into halftime.
Plainwell dominated possession for the first 55 minutes, but Otsego goalkeeper Jayden Dentler made numerous great saves to keep Plainwell at two. He unofficially had 19 saves for the match. In the 59th minute, Josh Loll was able to tip the ball into the goal for Otsego and about five minutes later, Jace Engels did the same to tie the game at 2-2.
They traded chances the rest of the way. In the final minute, a wild sequence led to a controversial penalty kick call for Plainwell with 34 seconds remaining. Dentler had come out to make an initial save, but found himself out of the net trying to track the ball down. Plainwell’s rebound shot was blocked by a defender at the goal line, followed by a Trojan down with a brief injury. Following the injury stoppage, the penalty kick was awarded and Morrell put it by Dentler for the game winning goal. It’s unclear if the violation was a foul or handling to prompt the PK.
Listen back to the final moments of the game below:
Plainwell moves to 17-3-3 with Otsego finishing the season at 11-8-0. In the second game, Gull Lake dominated throughout, taking a 4-0 lead into halftime. Two goals came from Miles Renwick, one from Zach Reed, and another off a deflection by someone on a Jack Hirzel corner kick. JD Schroeder had Gull Lake’s second half goal with Harper Creek’s score coming on a Archie Hantz penalty kick.
Harper Creek finishes the season at 3-13-3 with Gull Lake improving to 10-8-1 overall and 8-2-1 on their home turf. The Blue Devils host Plainwell in the District 18 final Saturday at 5 p.m. Listen back to the full broadcasts from Wednesday below:
PLAINWELL VS OTSEGO
GULL LAKE VS HARPER CREEK
Listen live online Wednesday evening on the Slocum Sports Network to the District 18 boys soccer semifinals from Gull Lake High School. The first game, set for a 5:30 p.m. kickoff, features Wolverine Conference rivals Plainwell and Otsego. The second game to follow around 7:30ish has the host Gull Lake against Harper Creek.
The Plainwell Trojans are the district favorite by overall record (16-3-3) and are ranked ninth in the final Coaches Association Division 2 poll. The Trojans have claimed the district title in three consecutive seasons and defeated Otsego 3-0 in last year’s district final. The Trojans opened district play Monday with a 3-1 victory against Hastings.
The Otsego Bulldogs are 10-7-0 and defeated Battle Creek Central 2-0 in their first round match. Otsego is 6-2-0 in their last eight matches, including a tight 1-0 loss at Plainwell in their regular season finale Thursday. They will have to slay a nemesis, as this class of seniors at Otsego has never defeated Plainwell in soccer.
In the second match, the hosting Gull Lake Blue Devils are 9-8-1 overall and hold a 7-2-1 mark on their home turf. Gull Lake defeated Allegan 3-0 in their first round match and are on a three-game winning streak, including a victory over Division 4 #4 Hackett Catholic.
Harper Creek sits at 3-12-3 overall. The Beavers have already pulled off one upset, defeating Pennfield (who finished 10-8-1) Monday 3-2, despite having fallen to the Panthers twice in the regular season. Harper Creek and Gull Lake have not met this season.
Listen live to both semifinal matches online via the Slocum Sports Network Wednesday. Plainwell vs Otsego is set for 5:30 p.m. with Gull Lake and Harper Creek to follow from Richland.
The Vicksburg High School baseball team topped Otsego and Three Rivers Saturday to win District 47 at Three Rivers. Vicksburg had a 2-1 walk-off win over the Wildcats in the semifinal, then downed Otsego in the final, 8-0. Otsego made it through after a 7-1 victory over Plainwell earlier.
Strong pitching and defense was key in both wins for the 10th-ranked Bulldogs. Against Otsego, only the pitch count rule prevented Ryan Morgan from completing a shutout. He finished with five hits and two walks allowed over 6.2 innings with ten strikeouts. Vicksburg jumped ahead immediately with four hits and an error leading to four runs in the first inning.
“To have that time off (between games) and then come right back and out of the gate, put four up in the first inning, says a lot about our guys having that focus of getting that next win,” said Vicksburg coach Brian Deal.
They added three more in the fifth and one in the sixth, getting 11 hits total. Otsego starting pitcher Jayden Dentler lasted four innings, allowing six runs, three earned, and seven hits. Otsego ends the season at 20-16-1.
Vicksburg won the opening game in a 2-1 pitching duel over the host Three Rivers. Both teams scored their first run in the fifth inning. Three Rivers led off the seventh with a hit, but the runner was caught stealing. After a strikeout, the Wildcats doubled, but Brenden Lovell got a ground out to get out of the jam. In the bottom of the frame, Garrett Ketelaar drew a lead-off walk for Vicksburg. After an error, walk, and strikeout, Josh Povlock brought in Ketelaar for the winning run.
Povlock had both Vicksburg RBI. Lovell finished with a complete game win, allowing five hits, one earned run, and two walks with eight strikeouts. Alex Minger went 6.1 innings for Three Rivers, allowing three hits, two runs, one earned, with four walks and three strikeouts. The senior-heavy Wildcats finish at 18-14.
“It was a grind right from the start,” said Deal. “I can’t say enough about that Minger kid, he did a great job.”
Vicksburg advances to Regional 12 at Edwardsburg next Saturday and will meet seventh-ranked Stevensville Lakeshore at 10 a.m. At 12:30 p.m., Edwardsburg, who split the Wolverine Conference crown with Vicksburg, plays Harper Creek. The winners face off for a trip to the quarterfinals. Vicksburg now sits at 29-10 and will see the Lancers for the second time, having lost to Lakeshore 9-4 back in a tournament game on May 13.
“They’re very well coached,” said Deal. “They will push you; they bunt, they run, they play the game really well.”
“We saw a couple of their better pitchers, they didn’t see our better pitchers, so maybe that gives us a little bit of an advantage going in. Those two guys (Lovell and Morgan) are two of the best guys in the area as far as I’m concerned. We run those guys out there and we feel like we’ve got a chance against most teams. Starting pitching and quality defense certainly keeps you in games.”
In Saturday’s second district game, Otsego beat Plainwell 7-1 on a strong outing from Derek Slocum, who gave up one earned run, three hits, and five walks over six innings. Will Eldred scored three runs. Plainwell’s Hunter Nielsen got all but one out, allowing seven runs, two earned, with six hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. Plainwell ends the year at 11-14.
Meanwhile, the fourth-ranked Vicksburg softball team topped the same two squads to claim their district, taking a 17-7 final over Otsego in the championship. They’ll also go to Edwardsburg for Regional play and also play Lakeshore, with their game set for Saturday at noon.
Listen back to Friday’s district baseball games below:
VICKSBURG VS OTSEGO
VICKSBURG VS THREE RIVERS
OTSEGO VS PLAINWELL
Listen live online Saturday via Michigan Sports Radio and the Slocum Sports Network to the MHSAA District 47 baseball tournament from Three Rivers High School. The district features four Wolverine Conference rivals with the winner advancing to next weekend’s Regional tournament at Edwardsburg. Saturday’s play begins at 10 a.m. with tenth-ranked Vicksburg against the hosting Three Rivers Wildcats. At noon, Otsego faces Plainwell and the winners play in the district final around 2 p.m.
The district started Tuesday with Three Rivers blanking Sturgis 2-0 on a complete game shutout from Alex Minger. Now at 18-13, the Wildcats will likely pitch Minger against 27-10 Vicksburg, who earned Wolverine Conference co-champion honors during the season. The Bulldogs hosted and swept Three Rivers back on April 13, 4-0 and 8-1. In those games, Brenden Lovell pitched a one-hitter, then Ryan Morgan held them to one run over six innings.
Game two sees 17-15-1 Otsego against 11-13 Plainwell. They split their regular season games at Otsego on April 25, with a 3-2 Trojan win and a 7-6 Bulldog win. Last year’s district title went to Sturgis, who was eliminated Tuesday.
Listen live online Saturday via Michigan Sports Radio and the Slocum Sports Network with coverage starting just before first pitch at 10 a.m.
In Friday’s battle of the Bulldogs at Vicksburg High School, Otsego was able to split with Division 2 fifth-ranked Vicksburg. Vicksburg took the first game 3-0, followed by a 9-6 Otsego game two win.
In game one, Vicksburg scored one in the fourth inning and two in the sixth. Otsego had opportunities, including bases loaded in the sixth, but ended up stranding ten runners. Adam Henderson pitched six shutout innings with nine strikeouts, allowing five hits and two walks. Matt Holman earned the save. Otsego starter Jayden Dentler went 5.2 innings, allowing five hits, three runs, two earned, with two walks and two strikeouts.
In the second game, after a run in the second, Otsego scored four thanks to five hits and two errors in the third inning. They added two more in the fourth, getting ten hits and seven runs, six earned, against Vicksburg starting pitcher Garrett Ketelaar. Vicksburg made things interesting with a five-run fifth inning, chasing freshman Mason Ingold from the mound after 4.2 innings, allowing six hits, five runs, three earned, with three walks. Another freshman, Derek Ward, pitched the rest of the way for Otsego, only allowing a run in the seventh. Otsego added two more in the top of the seventh for extra cushion. Ingold got the victory and had two hits, two runs, and two RBI offensively.
Vicksburg sits at 21-6 overall and 12-2, still leading the Wolverine Conference. They get right back at it Saturday at the Lakeshore tournament. They then play Dowagiac at Notre Dame Monday, followed by a doubleheader at Plainwell Friday, which can be heard on the Slocum Sports Network.
Otsego sits at 14-8-1 overall and 8-4 in the Wolverine Conference. They return to action at home Tuesday against Three Rivers, then host Sturgis Friday.
Listen back to Friday’s games below:
Listen live Friday on the Slocum Sports Network to the battle of the Bulldogs with Vicksburg hosting Otsego in high school baseball. Both teams are sitting in the top-half of the Wolverine Conference and could meet again in the District 47 tournament hosted by Three Rivers. Their last meeting was a 5-1 Vicksburg win in last season’s district tournament.
Vicksburg is ranked 5th in the Division 2 Coaches Poll at 19-4 overall and leads the Wolverine Conference at 11-1, taking the lead after sweeping 6th-ranked Edwardsburg (now 8-2) Tuesday. Otsego is third in the conference standings at 7-3 and holds an 13-7-1 overall mark, fresh off a Tuesday sweep over South Haven.
Listen live to Friday’s games on the Slocum Sports Network with the doubleheader scheduled for a 4 p.m. start.
The Marshall Redhawks girls basketball team defeated the Otsego Bulldogs 47-25 Thursday evening in the Regional 9 final from Three Rivers. The defending Class B state champions led the entire way thanks to a quick start. They began the game on a 12-2 run and took a 20-6 lead into the first quarter break. They extended it to 29-11 by halftime. Otsego played even with the Redhawks in the second half and even outscored them 9-6 in the third quarter, but they could never get closer than 14 points away.
“I thought the first half was outstanding,” said Marshall coach Sal Konkle. “The second half was probably not our best performance. I feel like we kind of played that way in the districts too. Once we got a big lead, we didn’t really finish the second half like we played the first half, but a lot of that has to do with Otsego. They played very physical and very hard.”
Nikki Tucker led Marshall with 13 points, closely followed by younger sister Natalie with 11.
“We got some looks, especially early on, that were great looks and looks that we’ll knock down a decent amount of the time,” said Otsego coach Tony Koshar. “Tonight, they didn’t fall for us. You can’t spot a team like that an 18-point lead.”
Otsego finishes 20-4 and was led by senior Erica Drobny, scoring 13 in her final varsity game. The Bulldogs have reason for optimism though, as Drobny and Cayla Koshar are the only graduating seniors from the lineup.
“Drobny was phenomenal tonight,” said coach Koshar. “My daughter played hard. They’ve left a nice legacy for us. We’re not going away.”
The Redhawks move to 22-2 on the year with their 2017 postseason run mirroring their 2016 run, defeating the same first four opponents. They have a chance to make it five-for-five in Tuesday’s quarterfinal, facing 4th-ranked Grand Rapids Catholic Central at 7 p.m. in Otsego. They knocked off GRCC 41-30 last season, but lost to them earlier this season 42-34 in the East Grand Rapids Showcase back on January 28.
“We didn’t have as much time to prepare for them as I would’ve liked,” said Konkle of their January meeting. “We had a big league game (against Coldwater) the night before. They played very, very well and we didn’t play very well. And a lot of it was them dictating how we played.”
You can listen to the quarterfinal Tuesday at 7 p.m. live on Michigan Sports Radio. You can listen back to Marshall vs Otsego below
The Marshall Redhawks and Otsgeo Bulldogs girls basketball teams will be meeting again for the Regional 9 championship, advancing to Thursday’s final with semifinal wins Tuesday. Marshall downed Lakeshore 71-44 with Otsego defeating Three Rivers 49-38.
Lakeshore had the game’s first basket against sixth-ranked Marshall, but their lead was very short lived. The Redhawks roared to a 26-12 lead after the first quarter and a 44-16 advantage by halftime. Nikki Tucker finished with 23 points for Marshall, followed by her younger sister Natalie with 10. Sarah Dubbert topped the Lancers with 13 points, followed by 11 from Cassie Pallett and 10 from Taylor Wagner. Lakeshore finishes the year at 18-7 while Marshall improves to 21-2.
In the second game, Three Rivers started ahead, but like Lakeshore, had the lead for a short time. Otsego led 12-6 after the first quarter, 25-12 at halftime, and 39-24 after three. The Wildcats made it back within nine points in the fourth quarter, but no closer. Three Rivers freshman Hadley Miller led all players with 18 points, her team finishes 10-14. Otsego’s top scorer was Grace VerHage, who had 12 of her 14 in the first half. Mattison Rayman added 13 and Jaycie Callaway scored 12, all in the second half. The Bulldogs move to 20-3 for their second consecutive 20-win season.
“On their home court, we didn’t want to fall down early,” said Otsego coach Tony Koshar. “Early in the second half, Callaway was really good for us. And then down the stretch, Matti really took over from the high post.”
The Regional Final rematch is set for Thursday at 7 p.m. at Three Rivers and can be heard live on Michigan Sports Radio. Marshall won last year’s meeting 57-37 en route to their state championship. They also met this season, with the Redhawks grabbing a road win 61-36 on December 29.
“Obviously, they’re going to be favored,” said coach Koshar of Marshall. “We’ve got to rebound the basketball, we’ve got to take care of the basketball. If you do those two things, you have an opportunity to be in the game.”
Listen back to Tuesday’s games below:
MARSHALL VS LAKESHORE
OTSEGO VS THREE RIVERS
Listen live Tuesday and Thursday on Michigan Sports Radio to Regional #9 of the MHSAA Class B girls basketball state tournament at Three Rivers High School. Tuesday at 5:30 p.m, the defending Class B state champion Marshall Redhawks (20-2) face the Lakeshore Lancers (18-6). Then around 7 p.m., the hosting Three Rivers Wildcats (10-13) play the Otsego Bulldogs (19-3). The winners meet Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Regional final.
So far, 6th-ranked Marshall has begun their 2017 postseason the same way they did in 2016, with wins over Comstock (55-29) and Harper Creek (69-31). Like last year, the Redhawks face Lakeshore for their third playoff game and they hope to replicate the 62-44 win from 2016.
For the Lancers, they easily dispatched Berrien Springs (73-28), Benton Harbor (67-15), and Buchanan (59-31) to get back to the regional round. Lakeshore has won 15 or more games in six consecutive seasons, but haven’t gotten beyond the regional round since 2006. They were denied in their last regional final trip in 2013, falling 50-49 to Marshall.
On the other side, few people expected Three Rivers to be involved in the regional beyond their hosting duties. The Wildcats had lost twice in the regular season to Vicksburg and Edwardsburg, but downed them in the district tournament 46-30 and 41-32, respectively. Three Rivers hasn’t made it out of regionals since they were state runner-up in 2011. They’re one of only two teams still in the Class B field with a losing record and once again would have to beat a team they fell to twice in the regular season.
Otsego defeated Three Rivers 49-23 and 60-40 this season and holds a six-game win streak over the Wildcats. They defeated Plainwell (63-44) and Allegan (43-29) in their district tournament. It’s the fifth consecutive 15+ win season for the Bulldogs, who were denied by Marshall in last season’s regional final 57-37. They haven’t gotten through the regional round since the turn of the millennium, falling to Marshall as well in 2013 and to Lakeshore in 2006.
Listen to the Regional 9 games live on Michigan Sports Radio. Marshall meets Lakeshore at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, followed by Otsego and Three Rivers at 7 p.m. The winners face off Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Pennfield Panthers won Tuesday night at home in boys basketball over the Otsgeo Bulldogs 60-53, putting them at 8-4 overall and dropping Otsego to 8-6. The Panthers started strong, taking a 12-2 lead initially. Otsego ended the first quarter on a 7-0 run and kept the game close, finally getting their first lead just before halftime with a 20-19 score at the break. The third quarter saw five lead changes with Pennfield ending the quarter ahead 39-38. Although Otsego stayed within single-digits throughout the fourth quarter, Pennfield never relinquished the lead and held on for the 60-53 win.
Cousins Ron and Francois Jamierson tied for the most points in the win, getting 16 each for the Panthers. Devaire Todd added 12 for Pennfield. Otsego’s Bill Woodhams led them with 15. Addison Atwater scored 10 points.
The Bulldogs visit Three Rivers on Friday. Meanwhile, Pennfield will host Marshall Friday.
Listen back to Tuesday’s game here: