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:
Listen Tuesday evening on the Slocum Sports Network as the Pennfield Panthers host the Otsego Bulldogs in boys basketball.
For the Panthers, they enter at 7-4, trying to build off of their 12-9 mark from last season. They sit at fourth in the Interstate 8 Conference standings, with their four losses coming to the three teams in front of them, including a 73-55 defeat to Parma Western on Friday. Pennfield is averaging 63.8 points per game while allowing 60.5 a contest. If they defeat Otsego, it would be their second victory of the season over a team .500, along with the 85-83 overtime win against Olivet in their season opener.
As for Otsego, they’re seemingly back to where they’re used to being. Last season’s 3-18 mark was a stark departure from the 20+ wins of the previous two campaigns. The Bulldogs are 8-5 thus far and are tied for third in the Wolverine Conference North Division. They lost to league-leading South Haven 59-51 on Friday. Three of Otsego’s wins are over teams with winning records, including over Pennfield’s conference rival, Marshall. The Bulldogs are averaging 66.3 points per game and allowing 54.1 a game through 13 contests.
This matchup was recently established in boys basketball. One year ago, it went to Pennfield, winning on the road over Otsego 66-57 on January 5, 2016. Listen to Tuesday’s game on the Slocum Sports Network with a scheduled tip-off of 7 p.m., pending the JV game.