The District 35 final of the MHSAA Class B girls basketball state tournament is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. from Comstock on Michigan Sports Radio following Wednesday’s semifinal games. Defending state champion Marshall downed the hosting Colts 55-29 and Harper Creek beat crosstown rival Pennfield 63-52.
Comstock gave Marshall a competitive first quarter, only trailing the Redhawks 12-7 after one. But the Marshall defense clamped down, allowing a lone basket late in the frame, for a 25-9 halftime advantage. They continued to pull away from there, led by 16 points from Nikki Tucker and 10 from Georgianna Pratley. Marshall moves to 19-2 with the win.
For Comstock, they finish a strong season at 18-4 with much of their roster returning, including their leading scorers from Wednesday in sophomore Daisy Ansel (15) and junior Ahkyla Blakely (12).
In the other contest, Harper Creek finally came out ahead after losing two tight regular season games to Pennfield. It was a slow start for the Beavers, trailing by as much as nine in the first quarter. But Harper Creek won the second quarter 17-6 to take a 25-21 lead into halftime. They would not surrender the lead down the stretch, with a strong 21-27 free throw effort making a huge difference. Maddie Alexander finished with a game-high 21 points for Harper Creek. Jacey Bowers had 20 and went 8-9 at the foul line, Faith Hayes scored 18 and shot 10-12 at the line. The Beavers improve to 12-9.
For Pennfield, their season ends at 13-8 overall, but they have reason for optimism. They had no seniors dressed for the game and return a host of juniors next year, including their top scorers against Harper Creek in Claire LeRoux (16) and Rachel Swartz (14).
Harper Creek now has the incredibly difficult task of facing Marshall for a third time this season in Friday’s district final. Although they were closer in their second meeting, the Redhawks dominated both earlier contests, winning 64-17 and 68-36. You can listen to Friday’s district final live on Michigan Sports Radio with tip off set for 7 p.m. from Comstock.
You can listen back to the semifinals from Wednesday below:
HARPER CREEK VS PENNFIELD
MARSHALL VS COMSTOCK
Listen live Wednesday from Comstock High School on Michigan Sports Radio to the District 35 girls basketball semifinals of the MHSAA Class B State Tournament. The evening features defending the state champion Marshall Redhawks (18-2) against the hosting Comstock Colts (18-3), as well as the Pennfield Panthers (13-7) versus the Harper Creek Beavers (11-9)
The second contest of the evening at 7:30 p.m., features the two favorites in the district between the defending champion Redhawks and the hosting Colts, both with 18 wins on the year. Marshall was placed sixth in the final Associated Press poll of the season, with all but two of their victories by 20+. They’re on a seven-winning streak, only losing to fourth-ranked Grand Rapids Catholic Central on January 28 and third-ranked Williamston in their December 2 opener.
For Comstock, they bounced back from their one-point season finale defeat to Otsego with a first-round district win Monday over Parchment 47-23. Their only other losses came to Buchanan (who they downed in their rematch) and Gull Lake. These teams last faced off in last season’s district tournament, which Marshall won 58-38 in the first win of their 2016 postseason run.
In the first game Wednesday at 6 p.m. with Pennfield and Harper Creek, it’s the third meeting between the crosstown and Interstate 8 Conference rivals. The Panthers won both meetings in tight contests, 65-63 on the road on January 6, and 45-41 at home on February 10. Pennfield won four of their last five for a 13-7 overall record, while Harper Creek took three of their last four to finish 11-9.
Listen to both games Wednesday evening on Michigan Sports Radio courtesy of the Slocum Sports Network. Pennfield against Harper Creek is set for 6 p.m. with Comstock against Marshall tentatively at 7:30.
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.
Friday night in Battle Creek saw two high school basketball games decided by one possession. Ultimately, Pennfield came out on the winning side in both over Harper Creek, winning 60-57 in boys play and 65-63 in girls play.
The boys contest was back-and-forth in the first quarter, with a 14-12 edge for Harper Creek. Pennfield quickly got ahead and had the biggest lead of the contest in the second, at eight points. But the Beavers cut the deficit back to two by halftime, trailing the Panthers 32-30.
The game stayed tight the rest of the way with a fourth quarter surge from Ron Jamierson proving the difference for the Panthers. Jamierson drove for the bucket, and one, to reclaim the lead for good with 1:43 left. He’d add the next four points on a field goal and two free throws to extend the lead to six in the final minute. Harper Creek was able to get back within two and drew a foul with five seconds left. Jeremiah Davis missed the first free throw, then intentionally missed the second in hopes of a put-back. JaCory McNutt got the rebound, but couldn’t get a good look, allowing the Panthers to ultimately hold on.
Jamierson led all scorers with 18 points with teammate Devaire Todd getting 17. McNutt led the Beavers with 15, Jon Taylor was next in line at 13. The Pennfield boys move to 3-2 with the win, dropping the Beavers to 3-3.
In the girls contest, Pennfield never trailed and led for nearly the entire game. They built a 40-25 lead by halftime, but Harper Creek fought back, finally tying the game for the first time since the start with nine seconds remaining. Pennfield’s Alicia Lake was able to get the lead back with 1.4 seconds remaining. Harper Creek’s Jacey Bowers got a three-pointer off at the buzzer, but couldn’t connect.
Lake led all scorers with 25 points. Naomi Davis and Claire LeRoux both had 14 for the Panthers. Bowers topped the Beavers with 22, another 21 came from Faith Hayes and 14 came from Maddie Alexander. The Pennfield girls avenge three losses to Harper Creek from last year, putting them at 5-1 while dropping Harper Creek to 4-2.
Both the Pennfield boys and girls return to action with Coldwater on Tuesday; the girls stay at home with the boys on the road. The same can be said for Harper Creek, except with Jackson Lumen Christi as the opponent.
Listen back to both contests below:
Listen tonight (Friday) on the Slocum Sports Network to boys and girls basketball from the Interstate 8 Athletic Conference as Pennfield hosts Harper Creek.
The action is set to begin at 6 p.m. with the girls game between two squads with a 4-1 record. Harper Creek’s lone loss came by one point, 52-51 in mid-December at Hastings. In their first game back from break Tuesday, they handled Battle Creek Central 54-23. Meanwhile, the lone loss for the Pennfield girls was a 63-20 beat down from defending state and conference champion Marshall. It’s the first contest back from break for the Panther girls, who look to get back at Harper Creek for beating them thrice last year, including in the district playoffs 56-44. The Beavers will be without head coach Terri Tchorzynski, who is out of state on a work trip. Assistant coach Jamie Rogers will take her spot for the evening.
In the boys contest, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Pennfield sits at 2-2 with Harper Creek at 3-2. The Beavers won their first three games, then lost their last two, including a 79-37 defeat in their first post-break game against Central. Pennfield hasn’t played since December 20th’s 71-50 win over Homer. The Panthers won both meetings last year over the Beavers, 80-67 on the road and 69-65 at home.
Listen to both the boys and girls contests on the Slocum Sports Network with coverage starting around 6 p.m.