PLAYING CARDOSO… Watervliet’s Omar Cardoso sliced through the Martin defense Friday during the Panthers’ Winterfest game. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
Indians bash Bangor 69-38 The Indians of Hartford hit the hard court running Friday, January 26 as the squad outpaced and outscored rival Bangor 69-38. Although it took the Indians a quarter to get warmed up and on track, a 42-point second half sealed the win. Bangor and Hartford matched bucket for bucket in the first period, as both teams were tied 11-11. In the second period, Hartford outscored Bangor 16-13 to take a 27-24 lead at intermission. The Indians stepped up their game in the third period. The Tribe scored a whopping 29 points and a strong defense allowed Bangor to score seven points. The quarter had to be one of the best Hartford has played all season. Hartford scored 13 points in the fourth quarter and limited Bangor to seven to secure the 69-38 victory. Buddy Earls led Hartford with 15 points. William Martinez scored 12 points. Brandon Galvan chipped in 11 points. What a game, Grace! The Lady Patriots scored their first victory of the season in stunning fashion as they downed the Bulldogs of Covert 39-35 with only three players on the court. According to Grace Christian head coach Everette Gaston, the varsity basketball squad is six members strong. The team took on Covert Friday, January 26 with only five players available as one individual was sick. With five players on the court, the game began. The trouble started just five minutes into the game. Grace Stockdale went down with an ankle injury, leaving her four teammates to battle the Bulldogs. Grace Christian fought through the balance of the first quarter and the next two, trading buckets with Covert. With two and a half minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Patriot Paige Massey earned her fifth foul of the game and made her way to the bench. That left three Patriots on the floor to defend the basket against five Covert players. With a little determination, luck, and resourcefulness, the Lady Patriots scored the 39-35 victory. Rylie Hess led Grace Christian with 24 points. Princess Williams scored nine points. Stockdale dropped in four points before she left the game. Sydney Gardner scored two points. What a heck of a way for Grace Christian to get their first victory of the season! Coloma remains perfect with 68-36 victory over Fennville The Comet basketball train continues to roll on. Coloma continued their streak of perfect games with a 68-36 win over visiting Fennville. Coloma jumped to an early 13-7 lead and never looked back. The game wasn’t even close. At the end of the second period, Coloma led 30-10. With 38 points in the second half, the Comets were assured of the victory. They led 50-27 after three quarters before ending the game on a high note. Zach Goodline continues to spark the Comet offense. He scored 19 points including three 3-pointers and was four for four from the free throw line. Robbie Schroeder continues to be a threat for opponents. He chipped in 15 points. Chris Brown scored 10 points. Phillip Caldwell and Adam Hearn contributed six points each with Caldwell’s coming from beyond the arc. Michael Dancer scored five points. Zack Lake got on the board with three points. Hunter Crist and Brendan Lute scored two points each. Following the game, Coloma head coach Paul Marfia commented, “We spent most of our practice the last two days working on the defensive end, and I was proud of my team to watch it pay off. We really set the tone in the second quarter. When you only give up 10 points in a varsity boys’ basketball game on a team that is averaging in the 66 plus points a game and [is] 9-2, you have to be doing something right.” With the win Coloma remains unbeaten on the season and holds an 11-0 overall record. The Comets are 7-0 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division and stand alone at the top. In the Michigan Associated Press rankings released January 23, Coloma received 25 points, just missing the top 10 teams in Class B competition by two votes. New Haven is the number one school and received 73 votes. Locally, Benton Harbor placed second on the MAP list with 72 votes.
STEPPING UP… Hartford’s Cora Wesaw stepped up big for the Indians last Tuesday in the Indians’ 76-8 win over Eau Claire. Wesaw scored eight points grabbed four boards and notched three assists in the contest. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
Lady Indians continue to fire on all cylinders The Lady Indians traveled to Bangor Friday, January 26 for Southwest 10 basketball action. Hartford nabbed the win with a 46-24 drubbing of the Vikings. With the victory, the Indians improved to 10-2 on the season and are now 10-1 in the SW10 Conference. Both squads seemed sluggish in the first period, scoring eight points each. The Indian offense sparked to life in the second quarter as the team posted 14 points. Meanwhile, the Hartford defense continued to staunch the Bangor scoring effort, limiting the Lady Vikings to just five points. At the half, Hartford led 22-13. In the third period, the Indians scored 13 points, while Bangor mustered 10. Hartford scoring went into overdrive in the fourth period, as the Indians netted 11 points. But, it was the defense that got the job done. Bangor scored only one point in the fourth. The Lady Indians won 46-24. AJ Jackson nailed down another double-double this season as she scored 22 points and grabbed 12 boards. Jessica Cortes scored eight points and had five assists in the team effort. Angela Saldana lit up the scoreboard with six points; she also had three steals. Cora Wesaw snatched the ball from Bangor eight times and had five assists. Watervliet wrestling hosts Trent McKinney Memorial Meet Watervliet’s varsity wrestling team held their annual Trent McKinney Memorial Meet Wednesday, January 24 with teams from Coloma and Lawrence joining in the fun. Watervliet wrestled to a 54-12 win over Lawrence. Three Panther wrestlers won their contested matches. Trever Pelton pinned William Cartwright at 0:43 in the 112 lb. weight class. In the 119 lb. bout, Alex Isbrecht pinned Zackery Nezamis at 2:39. Dylan Lynch pinned Bryce Lucan at 1:12 in their 152 lb. weight class battle. Watervliet also faced Coloma, who topped the Panthers 44-30 in a tight match. Watervliet wrestlers earning victories in their contested matches were Dylan Lynch, Logan Swigart, Alex Isbrecht, and Klayton Marshall. Lynch pinned Arrol Puma at 0:30 in the 152 lb. weight class. Swigart fought a tough match at 189 against Brandon Sutherland and was able to pin his Comet foe at 5:07. Isbrecht pinned Shane Champion at 5:43 in the 125 class, winning as time inched closer to the final buzzer. Klayton Marshall wrestled Noah Mart in the 130 lb. class and won by pin at 2:59. Coloma wrestlers who earned victories in their contested matches included Cody Reece, Michael Case, Jamane Smith Jr., Cole Alsup, and Blane Sutherland. Reece won the 140 class by technical fall 16-1 at 2:28 over Coby Henslee. Case pinned Isaiah Yazel at 1:00 in the 145 lb. weight class. Smith Jr. topped Matt Melcher in the 215 class by an 11-4 decision. Alsup pinned Cole Hunt at 1:31 in the heavyweight division. Sutherland pinned Dillon Clemons in another close contest. Sutherland got the pin at 5:12 in the 119 lb. weight class. Coloma also wrestled Lawrence and won by an overwhelming 66-9 margin. Contested matches were won by Comets Arrol Puma, Cole Alsup, and Blane Sutherland. Puma recorded a pin of Bryce Lucas at 1:01 in the 152 lb. weight class. Alsup pinned Damacio Camarillo at 1:15 in the heavyweight division, while Blane Sutherland pinned William Cartwright at 1:22 in the 112 lb. weight class. Hartford’s three-point game seals 75-54 victory over Eau Claire The Hartford boys’ varsity basketball team relied on 12 3-pointers Tuesday, January 23 in their 75-54 win over host Eau Claire. The Indians opened first quarter scoring with 25 points. Eau Claire posted 19. Both teams slowed down their attack in the second period and defenses went to work. Hartford limited Eau Claire to seven points, while the Indians scored 15 to take a 40-26 lead at the half. The squads continued to battle in the third period but kept pace with each other. The teams scored 15 points apiece.
In the fourth period, Hartford scored 20 points while Eau Claire lagged behind with 13. The road win went to Hartford, 75-54. William Martinez led Hartford with 24 points. Brandon Galvan also had hot hands as he scored 11 points. Lady Panthers struggle against Martin but snag the 48-39 overtime win It was a roller coaster of a ride for the Lady Panthers varsity basketball team, their coaches, and their fans Friday during the Winterfest contest against Martin. Following a sluggish first period in which the Panthers posted seven points to Martin’s eight, Watervliet woke up. The next eight-minute period saw the tables turn as Watervliet scored nine points to take a 16-12 lead at the half-way mark. Watervliet scored 12 points in the third period and held a pesky and physical Martin offense at bay with 11 points. In the fourth period, things began sliding backwards for the Panthers. Dismal shooting, questionable foul non-calls against Martin, and poor rebounding by the Panthers, allowed Martin to race back into the game. Martin’s 16-point fourth quarter tied the game up at 39 at the close of regulation. As much as overtime periods are typically nail-biters, this one wasn’t. It was all Watervliet. The Lady Panthers scored nine points, while Martin didn’t get one basket to fall – either from the floor or charity stripe. It was Ariana Rowe and Zoe Smith who scored the Panthers’ points, six for Rowe and three for Smith. Watervliet nailed the 48-39 win. Rowe recorded another double-double this season with a team-high 26 points and 13 rebounds. Smith also had a double-double for the night. She scored 11 points and had a game-high 15 rebounds. Smith also chipped in four steals. Madalyn Hutchins scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds and three steals. Overall, the Panthers are 8-3 and are atop the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division with a 6-1 record. They share the top spot with Gobles. Hartford rolls over Eau Claire 76-8 as Abigail Garcia scores 13
BLANE’S BEND… Coloma’s Blane Sutherland wraps up Watervliet’s Dillon Clemons during first period action January 21 at the Trent McKinney Memorial Meet. Sutherland would go on to pin Clemons in the 119 lb. weight class at 5:12. Coloma topped the Panthers 44-30. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
As difficult as the Tuesday, January 23 game featuring Eau Claire at host Hartford was for the visiting team, it was also hard on Hartford. It can be tough when your opponent only scores two points in the first half of the game. You are almost forced to slow the pace of the game down or be charged with grandstanding or running up the points. So, you cycle players through the contest, making it harder to find a smooth rhythm. You adjust your plays by limiting your 3-point game or not pressuring the defense as much. In essence, you almost do everything you train all season not to do. That was the challenge faced by Hartford on Tuesday. Eau Claire struggled throughout the entire contest without much for which to be excited. Hartford scored 25 points in the first period while holding Eau Claire scoreless. It wasn’t much better for the Beavers in the second period, although they did get a jumper for their only points of the first half. Hartford, meanwhile, continued to score adding 20 points to their tally to take a 45-2 lead at the half. Second-half action continued in the same vein as Hartford scored 16 points in the third period and 15 in the fourth. Eau Claire added two points in the third period and four in the fourth. The Lady Indians picked up their ninth win of the season with the 76-8 slashing of Eau Claire. Abigail Garcia led the way for the Indians with 13 points and six rebounds. Cora Wesaw scored eight points and also grabbed four steals and dished out three assists. Madison Garland scored eight points and had two assists. The trio of Megan Nelson, Abby Rodriguez, and Jaelyne Galvan scored seven points apiece in the Indian win. Big first and fourth periods push Coloma to 50-27 win over Fennville Coloma and Fennville tangled on the basketball court Friday, January 26. Big scoring in the first and fourth periods paved the way to a Lady Comet 50-27 victory. Coloma opened with an 18-point first quarter, and Fennville scored 10 points. Both teams amped up their scoring and defensive pressure in the second period. The squads scored four points each, which left Coloma with a 22-14 lead at half-time. Fennville added 11 points to their total in the third quarter but was outscored by Coloma’s 13. At the end of three, Coloma’s lead increased to 35-25. Coloma’s defense played fantastically and held Fennville to two points in the fourth period. The Comet offense was fired up as well, scoring 15 points. Coloma ended the evening with a 50-27 victory. Hannah Mathis led Coloma with 16 points. Kayla Yore added 10 points in the Comets’ effort. Morgan Wagner and Megan Neubecker both scored six points. Julia Sternaman contributed five points, while Mika Anderson had four. Marissa Sherburn tallied the team’s only 3-pointer of the evening. Coloma is in third place in the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division standings. They hold a 5-1 SAC record. Hartford grapplers downed by Bloomingdale The Indian wrestling team suffered two Southwest 10 conference losses Wednesday, January 24. Against Bloomingdale, Hartford came up short 52-15. Two Indians won contested matches. James Terry topped Noah Perez in the 189 lb. weight class. Terry won the 12-8 decision. In the heavyweight class, Hartford’s Noah Wade pinned Brian Jackson at 1:44. Host Hartford lost 60-16 to White Pigeon. In the lone Hartford win in contested matches, Jared Forester earned a 21-12 major decision over Austin Raymond in the 103 lb. weight class.
INDIAN WIN… Hartford’s Jared Forester pushes White Pigeon Austin Raymond’s head down Wednesday of last week. Forester led 7-1 after the first period and 19-10 after the second period before winning the 103 lb. bout 21-12. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)
Wild win for Panthers as Matthews scored 10 over Martin Watervliet welcomed Martin as part of the school’s Winterfest celebration Friday, January 26. The game featured dunks, fouls, and super-scoring quarters! Watervliet led following first period play 14-6. Martin raced back in the second period to add 10 points to their total, while Watervliet’s shots fell short. The Panthers were limited to five points in the period. At half-time, Watervliet’s lead shrunk to just three points, with the score standing 19-16. It was a big scoring second half game for both teams. Watervliet edged Martin 16-11 in the third period. But, an improving Martin squad scored 20 in the final period of the game. Watervliet held on for 19 points in the fourth quarter and the 54-49 win. Garrett Matthews led the Panther attack with 10 points. Ryan Chisek chipped in nine points, while Jakob Aldrich added seven. With the win, Watervliet moved to 7-4 on the season and 5-2 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference. The Panthers are tied with Fennville for second place in the SAC – Lakeshore Division. Hook, line, and sinker The State of Michigan has announced the winter “Free Fishing Weekend” will be held Saturday, February 17 and Sunday, February 18. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, “The purpose of the weekend is to encourage people, especially youth, to get outside and try the sport of fishing.” The DNR suggests that fishing is a rewarding, stress relieving activity that offers a departure from the hustle and bustle of today’s busy lifestyle. For more information, please visit www.michigan.gov/dnr. Start a new tradition this year. Take the family fishing! Panthers pawed by Bobcats, lose 65-30 The Watervliet Panthers traveled to take on the Bobcats of Brandywine Tuesday, January 23 in a non-conference basketball game. Watervliet lost 65-30.