01-23-2020 Tri-City Area Sports

Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele


Hartford boys basketball splits pair of games, remains above .500 mark

The Hartford Indian boys basketball team put a recent winning streak on the line when they hosted a pair of conference foes last week at Indian Gymnasium.

In their home game on Tuesday, Jan. 14 versus Marcellus, the Indians fell to a very tough Wildcat team, 72-65. Marcellus got off to a hot start, scoring 15 of the first 17 points, leading to a 20-10 Wildcat lead after the first quarter. Hartford responded by cutting the lead to six at halftime, 34-28, after outscoring Marcellus, 18-14, in the second stanza. The second half was very competitive, with Marcellus getting the lead to double digits numerous times, before Hartford responded to keep the game close.

The third quarter was a draw, with both teams scoring 17 points, resulting in a 51-45 Marcellus lead with eight minutes left. The Wildcats outscored the Indians by just one in the fourth quarter, 21-20, to seal the win. Hartford had a chance to cut the lead to two in the final minute, but a three-pointer came up just short.

The Indians had just five players score in the game, with two in double figures. Aaron Sinclair had a career-best game, leading all scorers with 37 points, which included eight three-pointers. Kaden Johnson was the other Hartford player in double figures, scoring 14 points in the loss. Other players that scored for the Indians were Elijah Rodarte (6 points), and Elijah Ledesma and Tanner Kinchen (4 points each).

In their home game on Friday, Jan. 17 versus Decatur, the Indians got back on the right track, defeating the Raiders, 62-51. Decatur actually led this game after one quarter, 15-13, courtesy of early shooting woes from Hartford. However, the Indians regained their footing, and the lead, at halftime, 28-24, thanks to a 15-9 scoring advantage in the second quarter.

The second half, much like their game three nights earlier, started very competitive, with the Indians managing to outscore the Raiders, 13-12, in the third quarter to build their advantage to five, 41-36, with eight minutes left. Hartford managed to outscore Decatur, 21-15, in the fourth quarter, thanks to solid shooting and a 5-of-6 effort from the charity stripe to clinch the game.

The Indians had seven players score in the game, and the scoring effort was led by a season-high four players in double figures. For the first time all season, Elijah Rodarte was the leading scorer for Hartford with 18 points, while Aaron Sinclair salvaged 12 points on a rare off night. Elijah Smith and Tanner Kinchen were the final two Indian players in double figures, with 10 points each. Other players that scored for the Indians were Elijah Ledesma (6 points), Kaden Johnson (4 points) and Ricky Baker (2 points).

Hartford girls basketball finishes extremely busy week with 2-1 record

Last week, the Hartford Lady Indian basketball team had their busiest week of the season thus far, competing in a pair of conference contests and a non-conference game. Up to this week, it has been a successful start to the team thus far, winning four of their first six games, with the two losses against the top two teams in the league.

In their game on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at Marcellus, the Lady Indians were victorious, defeating the host Lady Wildcats in a slugfest, 34-26. The entire game was played rather tight, as was evident by a first half that was separated by just one point at halftime. The first quarter saw both teams battle to a draw, as the game was tied at 5 after the opening eight minutes. Marcellus took that aforementioned one point lead, 16-15, into halftime, thanks to an 11-10 scoring advantage in the second quarter. Hartford, however, had bigger plans for this game, taking both frames in the second half to earn the win. They outscored Marcellus, 7-4, in the third quarter, and 12-6 in the fourth quarter to pull away to the eight point win.

Six players scored for Hartford, with one player scoring in double figures. Megan Nelson’s 17-point effort was good enough to lead all scorers in the game, while her back court partner, Jaelyne Galvan, added seven points in the victory. Other players that scored for the Lady Indians were Alexis Snodgrass (4 points) and Nautica Covington, Vanessa De La Rosa and Khashya McCoy (2 points each).

On Thursday, Jan. 16 versus Watervliet, the Lady Indians were victorious in their second close game in a row, defeating the Lady Panthers, 39-35, at home. The first quarter saw Watervliet lead after the first eight minutes, outscoring Hartford by five points, 13-8. However, the Lady Indians battled back to even the game at 18 by halftime, thanks to a 10-5 scoring advantage in the second quarter.

The game would be won by Hartford in a decisive third quarter, where the Lady Indians outscored the Lady Panthers, 13-9, to build a 31-27 lead with eight minutes left. The fourth quarter was a battle, with both teams playing good defense, while struggling on offense. The teams mustered eight points apiece, clinching the win for Hartford.

For the second straight game, six players scored for Hartford, with two players in double figures. Descenya Rodarte held the hot hand for the Lady Indians, scoring a team-high 14 points, while Jaelyne Galvan was the other player in double figures, scoring 10 points in the win. Other players that scored for the Lady Indians were Vanessa De La Rosa (5 points), Alexis Snodgrass and Megan Nelson (4 points each), and Khashya McCoy (2 points).

In their home game on Friday, Jan. 17 versus Decatur, the Lady Indians fell for the first time since Dec. 17, falling to the visiting Lady Raiders, 43-32. The game was very close in the first half, with the score being separated by only three points at halftime. The first quarter saw the game tied at 6 through eight minutes, as both teams struggled from the field.

Decatur opened up the aforementioned three point lead, 17-14, at halftime, thanks to an 11-8 scoring advantage in the second quarter. Decatur put the game away thanks to a 13-4 scoring blitz in the third quarter, as Hartford struggled with the press, which led to numerous Lady Indian turnovers. Hartford actually outscored Decatur, 14-13, in the fourth, but the game was out of reach by that time.

Four players scored for Hartford, with two players scoring in double figures. Megan Nelson led the Lady Indians with 14 points, while Jaelyne Galvan was the other player in double figures, tossing in 11 points in a losing effort. Other players that scored for the Lady Indians were Nautica Covington (5 points) and Mercedes Requenes (2 points).

Hartford Competitive Cheer places 6th at second conference jamboree

Last week, the Hartford Indian competitive cheer team returned to the mats for one of their biggest meets so far this young season. In their second SMCCC Jamboree of the year, held at Lawton on Tuesday, Jan. 14, Hartford finished in 6th place out of nine teams, finishing with a total score of 592 points. While it was not their best score of the year, they did improve 64 points from their first conference jamboree the week prior.

The team finished round one with a total of 199.1 points, which came with no penalty point deductions. The second round saw the team put together a performance worthy of 164.6 points, but was reduced to 156.6 points, courtesy of eight points in penalty deductions. The third and final round, which is always the highest scoring round in a competition, saw the team score 236.3 points, and did not receive any penalty point deductions.

Hartford Wrestling swept in second Southwest 10 Conference Quad

Last week, the Hartford Indian wrestling team returned to the mats for one team event, which was a road Southwest 10 Conference quad. For the first time in a number of years, the Indians have plenty of bodies on their roster, and the team looks like it may be on the way up. However, many of those same bodies are ending up in similar weight classes, leaving the team short with several spots in voids. The improvement the wrestlers have shown, however, is still very evident.

In their conference quad on Wednesday, Jan. 15 at Mendon, Hartford competed in conference duals against the host Hornets and the Marcellus Wildcats. Unfortunately, for the second straight week, the Indians were swept, falling in their first dual to Mendon, 60-24, before losing to Marcellus, 60-18, to finish the night.

In their dual against Mendon, victorious Hartford wrestlers included James Terry at 189 pounds (by fall in 4:56), Uberth Morales at 215 pounds (by fall in 1:18), Noe Arreola at 103 pounds (by forfeit) and Ernesto Rodarte at 112 pounds (by forfeit).

In their dual against Marcellus, victorious Hartford wrestlers included Tim DuMont at 130 pounds (by forfeit), Noe Arreola at 103 pounds (by forfeit) and Ernesto Rodarte at 112 pounds (by fall in 1:45).

As always, GO INDIANS!

Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath


Comet girls feel the thrill of victory, boys get agony of defeat

For decades ABC sports used this familiar phrase to advertise their sporting events on broadcast television. With the words came the pictures which showed you how the emotions of sporting events can turn in a matter of seconds. On Friday, Jan. 17, the Coloma players and faithful fans traveled to Gobles with the weather predicted to take a turn for the worse. This phrase couldn’t have been more appropriate, as the girls made a fantastic come back against a formidable Lady Tigers team to win in the closing seconds by a score of 38-36. The boys made an even more improbable comeback, again in the closing seconds, but in the end came home feeling like they were kicked in the gut, as they lost by a score of 60-58.

Kim Swisher’s Comet girls played the Gobles team pretty even for most of the night, although they always seemed to be just a tad behind the Tigers on the score board. The Gobles girls team as usual is a well coached team, and one of the best defenses the Comets have faced this year. Mia Cole however hit on four three-pointers on the night, while Megan Neubecker had a strong game down on the low post and kept Coloma close until they began the fourth quarter down by eight.

The Comets whittled away at that lead until Neubecker took the ball strong to the hole and her layup tied the score at 36 with under a minute to play. Following an empty trip by the Tigers, Megan Koenigshof, who did not score much in this game but her fingerprints were all over it, controlled the ball for the Comets on offense and played her usual whirling dervish defense. The Comet guard was fouled and with 36 seconds to play Koenigshof made one of two free throws to give Coloma the lead, 37-36.

The Comets once again held the Tigers to one missed shot and came away with the rebound. This time Marissa Sherburn went to the foul line and made one of two. With the Comets lead at 38-36 with less than six seconds to play, the Gobles gals could not get a final shot attempt to fall and the Lady Comets took home a very exciting and satisfying victory.

Mia Cole had a career night with 16 points and grabbed six rebounds. Megan Neubecker had her strongest offensive effort of the year finishing the night with 15 points, but also pulled down 10 boards, and blocked three shots. Koenigshof had four points and seven rebounds, and Marissa Sherburn contributed four assists for the Comets.

The Comet boys started out hot and took an early lead. Gobles came right back and closed the gap to two at the end the 1st quarter with Coloma leading 14-12. The Comets were led in the first half by Drew Goodline’s nine, first quarter points, and Michael Dancer scoring nine in the second quarter. At one point midway thru the second period the Tigers took a 6-point lead and then Dancer’s offense and defensive effort put the Coloma squad back on top 28-26 by the end of the half.

The 3rd quarter again found Coloma seemingly taking control, and they led by eight at one point, and finished the quarter leading 47-41. The 4th quarter however the home team took over. With Goodline and Jake Ickes on the bench with foul trouble for a long stretch, Gobles had the Comets where they wanted them. The game appeared to be over when the Tigers held a seemingly insurmountable lead of eight points with under 20 seconds to play.

Following a missed three-pointer by Dancer, the ball hit the support over the backboard which would give the ball back to Gobles. But one of the Tiger players was called for a technical foul and Goodline made the two free throws. The ball in Coloma’s possession, Goodline took the inbounds pass dribbled to just outside the 3-point line at the right side of the key and coolly knocked down a 3-pointer bringing the Tigers lead down to three with under nine seconds left. The ensuing inbounds pass was stolen by Goodline who passed back to Dancer who also hit nothing but net from 3-point land. Suddenly with 5.8 second left the game was tied.

It was an incredible eight point comeback in less than 15 seconds, and the Comet bench and fans were deliriously celebrating. However, Gobles made two long passes, and with eight tenths of a second left, made a layup, with Coloma fouling on the play. Game over. The Comets tremendous celebration ended with a punch in the gut; Gobles 60, Coloma 58.

It was a tremendous effort by Coach Curtis McFall’s team, and it really shows that a game is never over until it really is over. Goodline led the Comets scoring with 21 points. Dancer finished the game with 16. Karon Smith had six points on two 3-pointers, and Amir Hall had eight points and provided a big inside presence for Coloma.

The boys and girls continue next with a home contest against Watervliet, on Friday, Jan 24.

Coloma girls bowling team finishes 2nd in Battle of the Baker in Battle Creek

The Coloma girls bowling team continues to roll this season, as they finished second at the Battle Creek Battle of the Baker tournament on Sunday, Jan. 12. The Comets were the number one seed following the 12 game qualifying, but fell in the finals to Bronson, who was the number two seed. The Coloma boys ended in 4th place in the Battle of the Baker tourney.

The girls then continued their undefeated regular season record by defeating Kalamazoo Hackett, 29-1. Carissa Richmond was the high roller with a 190 game.

Comet boys are also undefeated on the season, and Coach Sharon Ball’s team won a pair of matches last week. The first was on Monday, Jan. 13 which was a 30-0 whitewashing of Kalamazoo Christian. Ryan Wilson had the high game of 212. Then on Wednesday, Jan. 15, the boys had one of their closest matches of the season when they defeated Kalamazoo Hackett, 20-10. The individual and team points were all even at 10 points apiece, but the Comets swept the Baker points, 10-0. Charlie Cullitan had a good night rolling games of 190-198 for a 388 total, and Ryan Wilson added a 190 game.

Comet wrestlers compete at Hopkins Invitational

The Coloma Comet wrestling team competed on Saturday, Jan 18, and had a pair of first place finishers and placed four wrestlers overall. Ian Ishmael wrestling at 152 pounds won a first place medal as did Cole Alsup at 285. Caeleb Ishmael finished in second place losing 4-3 in the finals, at 112 pounds, and Travis Borr at 215 finished in 3rd place.

Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant


Panther wrestlers take another second

MEDALIST AT MARCELLUS… The Watervliet wrestling team captured second place at the Modern Woodmen Invitational tournament in Marcellus on Saturday, Jan. 18. Thirteen teams participated. Winning medals at the event were (from the left): Jimmy Kolosowsky, Alex Isbrecht, Parker Lanning, Caleb Bell, Royce Daugherty, Isaiah Yazel, Trever Pelton, and Don Smith III. (TCR photo by John Oliphant)


Watervliet Panther wrestling team went on the road again last weekend for the 2020 Marcellus Modern Woodmen Invitational Tournament. Thirteen teams participated in the event, which got started late due to the icy roads on Saturday morning. The Panther team brought home the second place trophy on Jan. 18, edging out Schoolcraft by winning four of eight final round matches. Three wrestlers earned their first varsity wrestling medals.

PIN FOR DON… Watervliet’s Don Smith III looks to his coaches as the referee watches for a pin in a match on Saturday, Jan. 18. Smith went on to pin his opponent and eventually win the 215-pound weight class at the Modern Woodmen Invitational in Marcellus. (TCR photo by John Oliphant)


Trever Pelton didn’t break a sweat while winning the 112-pound weight class in a dominant performance. He went 3-0 with pins at 0:46, 0:36, and 1:21 in the championship bout. Don Smith III won in the 215-pound weight class, also going 3-0. Don had a pin at 1:34 then beat a Marcellus wrestler in a tight 4-2 match to reach the finals. In the championship match he pinned a Vicksburg wrester in the final period at 5:01.

Royce Daugherty was one of the first-time medalists, going 1-1 and earning a place in the 285-pound finals with a pin at 0:29. He lost that match and took second place.

Isaiah Yazel went 3-1 and won a third place medal in the 160-pound class. His day started with a 15-0 technical fall win and then he lost 5-3 in overtime on a couple controversial calls. After that he won two more matches with pins at 1:13 and 2:31.

Jimmy Kolosowsky also went 3-1 and won a third place medal at 103 pounds. He won his first match 11-3, won on a pin at 3:20 and then won with a very fast pin at 0:14. In the finals he battled to a 15-8 win.

Alex Isbrecht found himself in a loaded 135-pound bracket, going 2-2 and earning a fourth place medal. He won on pins at 0:37 and then 0:53. In his final match he lost 6-4 in an exciting overtime bout.

Caleb Bell saw the first tournament action of his career and went 2-2 on his way to a fourth place medal in the 171-pound class. This was his first wrestling medal and he looked strong while earning it. He won his first match with a pin at 0:55 and fought to a 13-6 decision to reach the finals, where he ran into a tough opponent and got pinned.

Parker Lanning’s much improved sophomore season continued as he also won his first varsity wrestling medal in the 215-pound class, going 2-2 on the day. He got pinned by Marcellus’ Trevor Wilson and then won with pins at 0:54 and 3:24 to reach the third place match. In that final match he ran into Wilson again, unfortunately with the same result as their first match.

Dominick Morrison went 2-2 in the 125-pound class, taking fifth place. He won his first match with a pin at 0:54 and then won his last match 7-3.

Evan Orlando took seventh place in the 140-pound class, beating teammate Javi Guiterrez 4-2 in the final match. Other Panther wrestlers participating were Isaac Barton at 152 and Thomas Morgan at 285.

Team Scores: Paw Paw 233, Watervliet 169.5, Schoolcraft 167, Marcellus 139, Vicksburg 135 and Gobles 93.5.

Earlier in the week the team traveled to Constantine for SAC matchups against the host Falcons and Schoolcraft, two strong programs. The Panthers lost to Schoolcraft 48-33 and then lost to the SAC-leading Falcons. Their next meet is Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Coloma, where they will take on Martin and Delton-Kellogg in the final SAC dual meets of the season.

Boys hoops beats Saugatuck

The Panther boys basketball team started the week on Tuesday, Jan. 14 with a tough game against state-ranked undefeated Niles Brandywine on their court, losing 70-41. On Friday, Jan. 17 they traveled the other direction to take on the Saugatuck Indians at their place.

TIP… off and its a Panther ball at Saugatuck on Friday night, thanks to #44 junior Dylan Lawson. The Indians took an early lead in the first but the Panthers were ahead by 3 at the half. Watervliet ended the game 63-45 on the night, before making the snowy trip home. (TCR photo by Amy Loshbough)


Watervliet started slow, falling behind Saugatuck 14-12 at the end of the first quarter. From there the Panthers played strong, outscoring the Indians 13-8 in the second quarter to take a 25-22 lead into halftime. In the third quarter Danaveon Gilbert’s left hand was on fire as he hit a trio of three-point shots. The team poured it on in the last quarter and won the game, 63-45.

Gilbert led all scorers with 21 points. Andrew Chisek scored 15, Evan Hutchins and Brennan Bornas each scored eight, and Dylan Lawson scored seven. Cole Pline and Jordan Abney each chipped in two points.

Watervliet girls varsity basketball lost a pair of games last week, falling to Hartford 39-35 on Thursday, Jan. 16 and then running out of gas on Friday night at Saugatuck, losing 36-56.

The Lady Panthers were looking on Thursday to avenge an earlier 46-31 loss to the Hartford Indians. Their progress and growth continues as they started out scoring the first eight points of the game and led 13-8 after one quarter. After a sluggish second quarter they were tied 18-18 at the half. The third quarter was the difference in the game when they were outscored 13-9. Samantha Dietz and Madison Flowers led with 14 points and 12 points respectively.

Press Box Player of the Week!

By Dave Vollrath

This week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week is Coloma junior sharpshooter Drew Goodline. Drew is a starting guard on the Coloma Comet basketball team, this year, and is a returning all conference, division first teamer from last season as a sophomore. Drew was also the starting quarterback on the Coloma varsity football team last fall, before a shoulder injury ended his playing in the fifth week of the season.

In addition to being Coloma’s leading scorer, he’s currently averaging more than 20 points a game. He also works very hard on the defensive end and gets his hand on many of the opponents passes, providing steals for himself and his teammates. With a great nose for the ball, Drew also gets his share of rebounds.