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.
Schoolcraft claimed both parts of a varsity doubleheader at home Friday, defeating Delton Kellogg 71-33 in boys action and 58-40 in girls play. The Eagles took their first SAC Valley division contests with big scoring efforts from Lydia Goble and Trenton Lomason, getting 28 and 23 points, respectively.
The boys game was never in doubt, with a 26-6 score by the end of the first quarter and a 51-16 mark at halftime. Lomason, a transfer over the summer from Vicksburg, hit seven three-pointers. Kobe Clark and Riley Piper both scored 12 points. Delton Kellogg’s best was 11 by Josh Lyons. It was Schoolcraft’s first game of the season, meanwhile DK drops to 0-2.
The Panthers opened the girls game with a three-pointer, then surrendered a 10-0 run to Schoolcraft. Delton Kellogg got back within four by the end of the first quarter and briefly reclaimed the lead in the second, but the Eagles carried a 27-15 advantage into halftime. The Panthers narrowly won the third quarter 19-16, but Schoolcraft put the contest out of reach in the fourth.
Goble’s 28 point effort featured six three-pointers. Kennedy Leighton added 12 in the victory. Lillian Howard topped Delton Kellogg with 13 points. Schoolcraft’s girls improve to 4-0 with Delton Kellogg dropping to 2-1.
Both the Delton Kellogg boys and girls return to action at Hackett Catholic next Friday. The Schoolcraft girls hope to avenge their volleyball regional final defeat Tuesday at Bronson. The Eagle boys and girls both host Lawton Friday.
Listen back to Friday’s games below:
SCHOOLCRAFT GIRLS SCORING: Lydia Goble 28, Kennedy Leighton 12, Gabi Saxman 9, Anna Schuppel 4, Adrienne Rosey 3, Olivia Ingle 2
DELTON KELLOGG GIRLS SCORING: Lillian Howard 13, Caylin Lopez 7, Abby Howard 6, Erin Kapteyn 5, Sam Mohn 3, Emily Shepard 2, Victoria Green 2, Lexi Parsons 2
SCHOOLCRAFT BOYS SCORING: Trenton Lomason 23, Kobe Clark 12, Riley Piper 12, Jakob Huysken 9, Bryce VanderWiere 6, Austin Webb 4, Brice Walther 3, Brady Flynn 2
DELTON KELLOGG BOYS SCORING: Josh Lyons 11, Shane Reinhart 8, Cole Pape 7, Brock Pape 2, Alex Diggs 2, Joel Lopez 2, Cameron Rasler 1
Listen live online Friday on the Slocum Sports Network to boys and girls varsity basketball as the Schoolcraft Eagles host the Delton Kellogg Panthers. On both sides, it is the first test of the season within the always strong Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC) Valley division. The girls varsity is scheduled for a tip-off around 6 p.m. with the boys to follow around 7:30 p.m.
Both girls teams are unbeaten on the young season with Schoolcraft at 3-0 and Delton Kellogg at 2-0. For the Eagles, they’ve won their games by 18, 18, and 19, trying to build off the 20-6 state quarterfinal run of last season. Delton Kellogg took their opening games by 25 and 19. Although the Panther girls were 8-13 last season, each of their all-SAC selections from last season return.
On the boys side, Delton Kellogg is 0-1, dropping their opener 64-39 Tuesday against a very strong Wyoming Kelloggsville team. For Schoolcraft, Friday’s game will be their debut. Both teams will need to replace more than two-thirds of their scoring output from last season. The Panthers finished 14-8 in 2016-17, the Eagles went 22-2.
The Schoolcraft boys and girls both swept Delton Kellogg last season. The Eagle boys rolled the Panthers 88-48 the first time, followed by a 69-29 score in the rematch. The girls saw a 62-31 Schoolcraft win in game one and a 48-30 score in game two. Delton Kellogg last beat Schoolcraft in girls play on February 17, 2015. For the boys, Schoolcraft has won 19 consecutive meetings according to scores available back to the 2008-09 campaign.
The Bronson Vikings earned their third consecutive Class C Regional championship Thursday at Watervliet High School, winning in five sets over the Schoolcraft Eagles, 21-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-17, 15-5. The top-ranked Vikings’ push for a third straight state title continues, ending Schoolcraft’s season in the Regional final for the second time in three years.
The match started tight from the very beginning, seeing five lead changes in the first part of set #1. Schoolcraft got the lead for good with their 14th point for a 25-21 win. Bronson battled back and never trailed the second set, taking it 25-19. The Eagles had the first point of the third, but trailed for almost the entirety of the set. Schoolcraft was able to erase a five-point hole and reclaim the lead on their 20th point, narrowly staying ahead for the 25-23 win.
Schoolcraft carried the momentum to a 7-4 start to the fourth set, but the lead was short lived and the Vikings took control for a 25-17 fourth set win. In the decisive fifth set, Ashton Wronikowski was dominant for Bronson. All match, she was lethal off short sets by Kiana Mayer, tallying 15 kills in the first four sets. In the fifth, Wronikowski grabbed five kills, including the final two of the match, punching Bronson’s ticket to the Elite Eight.
Along with Wronikowski’s 20, Jolie Smoker had 12 kills unofficially and Keona Salesman had 10. Kiera Lasky added five aces, putting top-ranked Bronson at 56-9-2 overall. Fourth-ranked Schoolcraft finishes at 37-14-2, led by 15 kills from Andelyn Simkins. Senior Paige Gebben added eight in her final match, she and Brooke Crissman graduate for the Eagles.
It will be #1 vs #2 from the final coaches poll in the quarterfinal, as Bronson meets second-ranked Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central Tuesday at 7 p.m. from Loy Norrix High School in Kalamazoo.
Listen back to Thursday’s Regional final below:
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.
The Watervliet Panthers moved to 10-0 Friday night with a 36-0 Pre-District playoff win over Schoolcraft, ending the Eagles’ season at 5-5. The shutout is the first of the year for the Panther defense, which forced two turnovers, four punts, and held Schoolcraft to under 200 total offensive yards.
After forcing a punt on the opening Eagle drive, Watervliet quarterback Zack Pickens needed one play to score, taking off on a 65-yard touchdown rush. On Watervliet’s third drive, Pickens had a 40-yard rushing score. The Eagles ate up about eight minutes on a lengthy drive which got to the red zone, but ended in an interception to Jakob Aldrich. Schoolcraft was able to force a turnover on downs twice in the first half and kept the Panthers from scoring on an untimed down to end the second quarter, keeping the game at 14-0 into halftime.
Pickens connected with Bryant Kieft on a 20-yard passing touchdown 58 seconds into the third quarter and extended the lead to 22-0 with a shovel pass to Garrett Matthews on the two-point conversion. Schoolcraft punted, but forced a quick turnover on downs and got the ball back near midfield. However, the Eagles fumbled the ball to defensive lineman Blake Kinzler. Not long after, Pickens hit Trent Boone for a 29-yard touchdown pass. The Panthers added one more score off a six-yard James Bell run.
Unofficially, Pickens was 7-16 passing for 167 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 179 yards with two touchdowns on 24 attempts. His scores put him at 31 passing touchdowns and 27 rushing scores on the season. Garrett Matthews had four catches for 119 yards. Schoolcraft QB Brady Flynn was 3-8 for 30 yards with one pick. Kobe Clark led the rushing at 85 yards on 21 carries. Jack Hunt was held to 32 on 14 attempts.
Watervliet advances to the district final next weekend against Delton Kellogg, who blitzed Parchment 57-0. Watervliet defeated DK (now 6-4) on the road 58-44 in week six, although of note, that 14-point deficit is the closest anyone has been this season to Watervliet. You can listen to the Watervliet/Delton Kellogg game on the Slocum Sports Network.
Listen back to Friday’s Pre-District below:
Listen live online Friday night on the Slocum Sports Network as the Watervliet Panthers host the Schoolcraft Eagles in the first round of the MHSAA Division 6 high school football postseason. These teams met two weeks ago in Southwestern Athletic Conference (SAC) Lakeshore division play with Watervliet getting a 36-14 road win.
At 9-0, Watervliet is one of six unbeaten teams in the 32-team Division 6 field and the only one within their region. The Panthers are averaging 53.1 points per game, third-best in all of Michigan, while allowing 22.7 per game. Their final two regular season games against Schoolcraft and Coloma, both 36-14 finals, were their lowest scoring games of the season while also their second-fewest points allowed.
Schoolcraft enters at 5-4, averaging 27.4 points per game and allowing 18.7 per game. After a 5-1 start, injuries and a tough schedule put the Eagles on a three-game losing streak, falling to Watervliet, Coloma (32-7), and to Kalamazoo United (31-28) in last week’s regular season finale.
In the first meeting, Watervliet jumped out to an early 14-0 advantage. Schoolcraft scored the next two touchdowns to tie the game, but a 62-yard touchdown pass from Zack Pickens to Trent Boone seconds before halftime put the Panthers ahead. Watervliet clamped down defensively in the second half, holding Schoolcraft to a turnover on downs thrice and tallying one interception.
The Eagle defense did shut down Pickens on the ground, holding him to easily his worst rushing effort at 19 yards on 24 attempts. However, Watervliet’s big-play pass attack was potent, scoring touchdowns of 72, 62, 41 and 19 yards and getting 349 pass yards in total. The Panthers contained Schoolcraft to smaller gains, allowing only one gain of more than 20 yards.
Watervliet is in the playoffs for the seventh consecutive year and for the second time in that stretch, enters unbeaten. Coincidentally, the other time they did in 2013, Schoolcraft eliminated them in the District final. Twice in that stretch, the Panthers made it as far the Regional final. The only time they’ve gotten deeper was in their runner-up 1979 season. Last season, they fell in the Pre-District game to eventual state champion Jackson Lumen Christi 55-28, who could be waiting in this year’s regional final.
Schoolcraft is in the postseason for the ninth consecutive season, although their 5-4 record is the weakest within that stretch. Like Watervliet, the Eagles saw their season ended in 2016 by Lumen Christi, losing in the District final 37-34. This is the fourth postseason meeting between Schoolcraft and Watervliet, with Eagle wins in 2013 and 1999 and a Panther win in 2014. They’ve met six times total with four Schoolcraft wins and two Watervliet wins.
Listen live to Friday’s game online on the Slocum Sports Network with kickoff at 7 p.m. from Watervliet High School. The winner moves to the District final against the winner of the Panther Bowl between Parchment and Delton Kellogg.
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: