01-05-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

Watervliet hampers Hartford in Panther holiday tourney

 There was no rest for the girls’ varsity basketball squads of Hartford and Watervliet. The two played each other on Thursday, December 29 in the Watervliet Holiday Tournament.

The early game featured Black River taking on White Pigeon. White Pigeon won that contest and was headed to the championship game on Friday.

Watervliet and Hartford tipped off their action with the 67-51 victory going to the Panthers.

Watervliet opened the game with Casie Gohr, Katie Schultz, Zoe Smith, Ariana Rowe, and Kara Liles starting for the Panthers.

Hartford sent Angela Saldana, Jessica Cortes, Amara Wesaw, Mikenzie Chambers, and AJ Jackson to the floor to open the contest.

Watervliet snagged the first possession of the game, and Liles scored a fast two points. Watervliet then tipped a loose ball to Gohr, who scored two points on a nice play.

Hartford’s Cortes scored her team’s first points of the game on a field goal.

UP, UP… Coloma’s Zack Goodline flies past a Paw Paw defender Tuesday during game one of the Earl McKie Holiday Tournament in Benton Harbor. Coloma was routed by the Redskins 73-59 despite Good-line’s 25 point effort. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Watervliet’s Gohr drove the lane for a layup and drew the foul after the bucket. Her free throw was good, and the Panther lead increased to 7-2.

The squads battled back and forth with plenty of players making exciting plays. Hartford’s Chambers had a nice steal, and Watervliet’s Gohr hit a nice bucket following a steal.

Hartford’s Marissa Beraza broke out and put on a show; she scored two points and followed that play up with a steal, just missing a layup.

Among the plays of beauty were some that were just awful. Both teams had a rough first quarter as they struggled to control the ball. The referee’s whistles got just as much playing time as the squad members.

After another Hartford bucket, this time by Elly Valdes, Hartford tailed 11-7. Watervliet’s Smith dropped a long 3-pointer to give the Panthers a bit more breathing room.

At the end of the first period, Watervliet led 14-8.

Hartford’s Chambers opened up second period scoring with a bucket.  Chambers then scored again on the next Hartford possession, drawing the Indians to within two points.

After trading off shots from the free throw lines, Watervliet led 17-13. Watervliet’s Schultz hit two points and a Taylor Shafer free throw gave the Panthers a 20-13 edge.

At intermission, Watervliet led 27-16.

Cortes struck first for the Indians in the third period. She drained a 3-pointer. You might say it was a festival of three point shots in the third period, as Watervliet’s Schultz and Jaelyn Petrie as well Hartford’s Amara Wesaw and Marissa Beraza joined in the Cortes fun.

With baskets galore, the third period closed out in Watervliet’s favor 47-39.

Fourth period action continued as Hartford drew to within three points on the strength of Wesaw’s stellar shooting. She dropped five points in the opening minutes of the period.

But, Watervliet battled back to open up a 10 point lead. Hartford seemed to run out of gas with five minutes remaining in the game. The players tossed up errant shots and couldn’t hold on to the ball, which gave Watervliet plenty of scoring opportunities. As the buzzer sounded on the game, Watervliet won 67-51.

Katie Schultz led Watervliet with 19 points, six rebounds, and four steals. Casie Gohr scored 14 points and contributed six rebounds, six steals, and four assists. Rowe tallied 11 points and snagged seven boards.

Kara Liles had eight points and six rebounds, while Petrie added seven points and three assists. Shafer scored five points and grabbed five rebounds and three steals.  Smith notched five assists and three points. Madalyn Hutchins contributed six rebounds and four steals.

Hartford was led by high scorer Amara Wesaw. She dropped 13 points including three 3-pointers.  Wesaw also had 10 rebounds and two steals. Chambers chipped in eight points and six rebounds.

Beraza, Cortes, and Jackson scored seven points each. Cortes added to her stat line with four rebounds, one steal, and three assists. Beraza stole the ball twice. Jackson provided three steals and one assist.

Valdes scored four points and was credited with two rebounds and one steal. Madison Garland scored three points.  Madisyn Earls added two points and two steals for the Indians.

Coloma creamed by Paw Paw, bests Bridgman at Earl McKie Holiday Tourney

 Perhaps it was a good thing that Coloma faced Paw Paw during the holiday break. Coloma may have worked out the cobwebs they appeared to have just in time to return to conference competition next week.

A lethargic Comet team took to the hardwood in the first of two games played as part of the Earl McKie Holiday Tournament hosted by Benton Harbor High School.

From the get-go, Paw Paw displayed more athleticism and fluidity getting the ball into the basket.

Coloma struggled to find a rhythm – any rhythm – for much of the game, which led to a 73-59 drubbing at the hands of the Redskins.

Starting for Coloma was Zach Goodline, Levi Wilkens, Grant Kroschel, Robbie Schroeder, and Adam Hearn.

Paw Paw opened the game with a quick two points coming off the hands of Trey Brennan.

Paw Paw took an early 6-0 lead before Coloma’s Schroeder scored the Comets first field goal of the game.

Coloma head coach Paul Marfia called an early time out. He was visibly upset with his squad and tried to inject a little sense of urgency into their play.

It didn’t work. Paw Paw came out of the timeout and proceeded to go on a 10 unanswered point run, taking the game to a 16-2 scored.

Zach Goodline was fouled. From the free throw line he was one of two, bringing Coloma’s point total to three for the first period. After one, Paw Paw led 18-3.

The Comets were foiled by numerous missed shots under the basket and from beyond the arc, missed foul shots, stolen passes, passes that were simply not caught by a teammate, loose balls, and a defense hampered by the fact that they were outrebounded much of the first period.

It was Goodline who stepped up for Coloma in the second period. He hit four consecutive free throws to give Coloma seven points on the board. Of the team’s first seven points, Goodline sank five of those.

With Paw Paw sitting at 24 points, Coloma’s Wilkens had a very nice jumper for two points. Grant Kroschel got into the scoring action for Coloma as well. He was one of two from the free throw line, as the Comets began whittling down Paw Paw’s lead 24-10.

Just after his free throw, Kroschel jumped up for a tipped rebound, grabbed the ball, and fell flat hard to the floor, hitting his head in the process. It was a humdinger of a hit, and it was nice to see him get up under his own power and make his way to the bench.

Tevon Blazier scored two points, Schroeder added another bucket of his own, and Kobe Hunter scored his first points of the game. Paw Paw led 29-19.

Coloma continued to lose balls in the second period, many of which led to easy Paw Paw scoring opportunities. With one minute left in the half, Paw Paw enjoyed a 24 point lead.

As the clock signaled intermission, Coloma was down 45-21.

The third period opened with another Paw Paw score before Goodline sank a 3-pointer. That was followed by another Comet 3-pointer, this time from Calvin Starnes. Goodline finished off the trifecta by hitting another long ball from beyond the arc.

Goodline also dropped two points on a layup before he was fouled and sent back to the free throw line. He hit both shots and the score found Paw Paw with 53 points, Coloma 31.

Wilkens added one free throw shot to the tally, and the third period closed out 57-32 in Paw Paw’s favor.

Goodline opened the fourth period with a 3-pointer. Hunter scored a nice basket on an assist by Kroschel. Another 3-pointer was scored by Goodline. Hunter also notched another 3-pointer with 15 seconds left in the game. Paw Paw won the contest 73-59.

Goodline was the high scorer for Coloma, nailing 25 points including four 3-pointers and 11 of 12 free throw attempts. Hunter accounted for 11 points including two 3-pointers.

Wilkens scored eight points, while Schroeder had seven points and Kroschel had six. Blazier contributed two points.

Paw Paw out rebounded Coloma 47 to 29. The Comets shot 57% from the free throw line.

After the game, Coach Marfia did not mince words. “We were just getting outworked, and that’s really a tough thing for me to swallow. I’ll give it to the teams that are far superior than (us). (Paw Paw was) just outworking us – going for loose balls, second shots, getting to the foul line. All the things that effort and toughness (are). You can’t coach effort. The game was allowed to be physical like a tournament type game and we’re smaller and we didn’t respond very well to that.

“I’m not going to look at excuses. I’m going to give credit to (Paw Paw head coach Rick Mitchell’s) team being tougher than us, having a bunch of seniors that were maybe a little more focused on what they had to do and my kids not understanding that. That was definitely a moment of an experienced, senior-laden team that had played in the championship here last year and had played against us before. (Mitchell’s) got some kids that are really good offensively and really physical type players.”

A clearly disappointed Marfia summed up his team’s effort by stating, “We talked about preparation and we didn’t come prepared.”

Coloma played in the tournament’s consolation game Wednesday, December 28. The Comets faced Bridgman and pulled out a 48-40 overtime win.

The Comets kept pace with the Bees in the first period. Bridgman ramped up pressure on Goodline, more than Paw Paw had during Tuesday’s game. At the close of the first period, Coloma led 11-10.

In the second period, the Comets were held to just four points as Bridgman took a 20-15 lead at the half.

The Comets responded in the third period by scoring 12 points and held Bridgman to six. But, it wasn’t enough to close the gap and Coloma trailed 29-23 as the third quarter closed.

An exciting fourth period ensued for the Comets as they rallied for 12 points to tie the game at the end of regulation. It was Wilkens driving through the lane for a two point bucket with just under 15 seconds on the clock.

In OT, Coloma came out strong, with Goodline and Blazier providing the spark, but it was certainly a team effort as the Comets score 13 points in the 48-40 victory.

Goodline was Coloma’s high scorer with 18 points including three 3-pointers.  Blazier scored 11 points and Wilkens tallied five. Grant Kroschel and Adam Hearn chipped in four points each.

Brendan Lute scored three points, Schroeder sank two points, and Starnes had one.

Coloma shot 59% from the charity stripe.

Goodline earned a place on the 2016 all-tournament team for his two-day performance.

DIVE!… Watervliet’s Casie Gohr and Hartford’s Marissa Beraza dive for a loose ball during basketball action as Watervliet hosted a holiday girls’ basketball tournament. Watervliet topped Hartford 67-51. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Pride of Panthers take fourth place at Shamrock Invitational

  Although school was not in session last week, the Watervliet wrestling team was pinning and winning their way to a fourth place finish in the Berrien Springs Shamrock wrestling invitational.

Niles garnered 169 points at the meet to take the championship. Host Berrien Springs took second place after tallying 142 points, while Fairhaven High School finished third with 118 points. Watervliet came in fourth place with their 96 point total.

Winning first place medals for the Panthers were Klayton Marshall in the 125 lb. weight class, Brad Yazel (152 lbs.), and Matt Melcher (189 lbs.).

Trevor Pelton finished in second place in the 103 lb. weight class. Logan Swigart took third place in the 215 lb. weight class.

Other teams that participated in the event included Cassopolis, St. Joseph, Eau Claire, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix, New Buffalo-Bridgman, Benton Harbor, and Berrien Springs White.

White Pigeon wounds Watervliet; Hartford beats Black River

 White Pigeon and Watervliet met in the championship game of the Watervliet Holiday Tournament. The host team took the 54-51 loss after what Watervliet head coach Jason Forrester deemed a “sluggish” start by the Panthers.

White Pigeon jumped out to an early 15-6 lead in the first period before Watervliet caught fire. The Lady Panthers scored 23 points in the second period to trail by only one point at the half, 30-29.

It was back and forth over the next two periods for the squads. Watervliet scored eight points in the third period, which opened up a 44-37 for White Pigeon.

In the fourth period, Watervliet outscored White Pigeon 14-10 but it wasn’t enough for the comeback victory.

Gohr was the high scorer for Watervliet with 17 points. She also grabbed five steals. Ariana Rowe added 10 points to Watervliet’s effort. Jaelyn Petrie scored nine points, while Zoe Smith had seven. Taylor Shafer and Katie Schultz added three points each, and Kara Liles had two.

In the consolation game, Hartford faced Black River. The Indians won 69-29 in dominating fashion.

Hartford scored 24 points in the fast paced first period. Black River scored 12, giving Hartford a 12 point advantage heading into the second period.

Before the half, Hartford drained another 16 points but their defense played phenomenally, limiting Black River to just four points. Hartford led 40-16 at intermission.

In the third period, Hartford outscored Black River 15-10 to increase their lead.

Fourth period action found Hartford continuing to control the flow of the game. They scored 14 points to end the game with a 69-29 victory.

Mikenzie Chambers was high scorer for Hartford. She had 16 points. Jessica Cortes scored 13 points for Hartford including four 3-pointers. Cortes also contributed six assists.

WALTER WILL BE A RED HAWK… Jenna Walter, a senior softball player at Coloma High School, recently signed to play ball for the Lake Michigan College Red Hawks under the direction of head coach John Jewell. Pictured with Walter and Coach Jewell are Jenna’s parents, Missy and John Walter, and sister Kayla Walter.

Cora Wesaw chipped in nine points and seven rebounds. Megan Nelson added nine points and four steals. Marissa Baraza tallied eight points and four steals. Elly Valdes provided seven points.

Amara Wesaw led the Hartford defense with seven rebounds, six assists, and eight steals. She also sank four points. Madison Garland scored on one 3-pointer.


Wild AQB week winds up with five of six picking 6-2 records

By Kristy Noack

It is a good week in the land of the Tri-City Armchair Quarterback contest when all the players are above .500. It is an even better week when five of the six pick games that result in 6-2 records. That meant the tie-breaker game between Wisconsin and Western Michigan was called into action.

Each week our dashing deciders predicted the winner of eight football games. They have selected their way through high school football and have one final week of college football. Additionally, the pro schedule is now in playoff mode, so the number of games – and the chance to make a move up the leaderboard – begins to tighten things up.

To help alleviate ties, one game is selected each week as a tie-breaker game. Quizzical contestants must determine how many points will be scored in that contest. When records are tied, the tie-breaker is used to determine the players’ standing.

Last week, five of our six superstars picked their way to 6-2 records. That meant that Greg Krell, Tim Hildebrand, Rodney Lynch, Tom Gear, and Chris Leach had their place in the standings determined by the tie-breaker.

Unfortunately for Western, they lost 24-16 to Wisconsin. That gave the Broncos their only defeat of the season. But what a season, WMU!

With the 40 point game total in hand, Hildebrand landed in the number one spot for the week. He predicted a 44 point total. Krell’s 51 point guess gave him second place. Third place went to Gear; he foresaw 55 points would be scored.

Leach guessed a 60 point total, so she won fourth place. That left Lynch in fifth place with his 69 point guess.

Rounding out the field was RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht in sixth place with her 5-3 record. She gave up one game to everyone else, too, so there was a little movement this week.

But, Rodney-Isbrecht remains in control of the contest. She holds a 112-40 record and is six games ahead of Krell. Krell’s in second place with his 106-46 record.

Hildebrand’s 104-48 record gives him control of third place, and he is only two games behind Krell.

Lynch is in fourth place with a 103-49 record, just one game behind Hildebrand. Gear’s 91-61 record gives him fifth place, two games ahead of Leach’s 89-63 sixth place record.

As stated, high school football has been done for about seven weeks. College football has one week remaining. Clemson will face Alabama for the National Championship title, and that is our tie-breaker game of the week.

Pro football heads into wildcard competition this week with four games on the docket. With fewer football contests, the opportunity for our AQBs to make a big move is now.

Alabama vs. Clemson

Oakland @ Houston

Miami @ Pittsburgh

NY Giants @ Green Bay

Detroit @ Seattle


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