Press Box Player of the Week
By Dave Vollrath
This week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week is Coloma senior Ian Ishmael. Ian is currently competing at 152 pounds as one of the senior leaders on the Comet wrestling team.
On Saturday, Feb. 1, Ian competed at the annual Greater Berrien County wrestling meet in St. Joe, and finished the day undefeated and standing on the podium as the 152-pound champion. He has been wrestling since his early grade school years.
Ian was brought up around wrestling with his father, Tim Ishmael, being the Coloma varsity wrestling coach in Ina’s younger years. His mother is Heidi Ishmael, a Coloma School Board member and current president of the board.
Ian has had a great career wrestling on the varsity team, as he went over the 100 career wins mark during his junior season. He also was a state qualifier during his sophomore season, and finished just short of going to state during his junior year.
This past fall he was a team co-captain on the Comet varsity football team. Ian, who ran cross country his junior year, came back to football his senior year and played extremely well at the linebacker and fullback positions. He was named to the SAC all-conference team, as honorable mention, in the Lakeshore Division.
Ian is currently working very hard in trying to win his way back to compete at the state wrestling meet again this year. This spring will find him back on the baseball diamond as a catcher on the Coloma varsity baseball team.
Academically Ian is also a very well rounded student, as he is a member of the National Honor Society, a leader of the Coloma student body, and was the drum line leader for the Comet marching and pep bands. Also to add a little icing onto the cake, Ian was crowned in January as the 2020 Mr. Coloma. His future is extremely bright, as he will be going on to the Naval Academy following graduation this spring.
We congratulate Ian on this award and all he has accomplished so far, and everything he has to look forward to.
Hartford Prress Box By Jerrod Birmele
Hartford boys basketball losing streak hits season-high 4 straight
Last week, the Hartford Indian boys basketball team played in another pair of critical conference games, trying to get back on the winning track. The Indians came into the week having lost back-to-back contests, and fell below the .500 mark at 5-6 on the season. That record may tell you a lot, but it’s not the whole story. Of the six losses, five have been by single digits, and in a couple of those games, the team has been leading at some point.
In their home game on Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Indians fell in a highly-contested game, as they were defeated by the visiting Bloomingdale Cardinals, 66-64. The game was a tale of two halves, with Hartford being the dominant team in the first half, and Bloomingdale dominant in the second half. The host Indians had reason to be upbeat early on, leading a close 16-14 game after the first quarter. The shots continued to fall in the second quarter, with Hartford extending their lead to 38-26 at halftime, thanks to a 22-12 scoring advantage.
Bloomingdale began to press Hartford in the third quarter, and caused numerous turnovers, and used a 21-13 scoring blitz to chop the Indian lead to 4, at 51-47, with eight minutes left. The Cardinals then used a 19-13 advantage in the fourth quarter to score the victory. The Indians had a chance to win the game with 1.3 seconds left, but the shot from three-point land was blocked.
The Indians had seven players score in the game, with three players managing to end in double figures. Elijah Rodarte had the hot hand for Hartford, scoring a team-high 21 points, while Aaron Sinclair tossed in 16 points and Kaden Johnson added 10 points in a losing effort. Other players that scored for the Indians were Elijah Ledesma (9), Ricky Baker (4) and Elijah Smith and Tanner Kinchen (2 each).
In their game on Friday, Feb. 7 at Eau Claire, the Indians lost another tough contest, as they fell to the host Beavers, 62-56. It was visiting Hartford that led after the first quarter, 16-11, as both teams managed double digits in the opening eight minutes. The game began to change into Eau Claire’s favor beginning in the second quarter, as the Beavers outscored the Indians, 17-13, to cut the Hartford lead to a single point, 29-28, at halftime. The difference in the game could be found in the third quarter, as Eau Claire put together a 21-12 scoring advantage in the frame to take the lead, 50-42, with eight minutes left. Hartford managed to win the fourth quarter by outscoring the Beavers, 15-13, in the final frame, but even with their best effort, the gap was not able to be overcome.
The Indians had eight players score in the game, with two players managing to end in double figures. Aaron Sinclair led all Hartford scorers with 24 points, while Elijah Rodarte added 10 points in the losing effort. Other players that scored for the Indians were Tanner Kinchen and Elijah Ledesma (6 each), Kaden Johnson (5), Elijah Smith (4), and Ricky Baker and Nick Pultz (1 point each).
Hartford girls basketball falls to Bloomingdale in lone weekly contest
Last week, the Hartford Lady Indian basketball team had another light week; with the ladies playing just one Southwest 10 Conference contest. Despite splitting two games in the previous seven days, the team came into the week sporting a 7-5 record overall. The adjustment the ladies have made this season has been nothing short of successful, but they have a long way to go. Despite this, they are playing good team basketball, and that is what has them on the right track.
In their game on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at Bloomingdale, the Lady Indians dropped the game to a solid Bloomingdale squad, losing to the Lady Cardinals, 41-25. The game was close after the opening quarter, as Bloomingdale led the game by just three, 9-6, after the opening eight minutes. The second quarter saw the host Lady Cardinals begin to seize control, as they extended their lead to 24-13 over the Lady Indians at halftime, thanks to a 15-7 scoring advantage in the frame.
Any chance of a Hartford comeback was dashed in a cold-shooting third quarter for the green and white, as they were outscored by Bloomingdale, 13-3, in the stanza, giving the Lady Cardinals a 35-16 lead with eight minutes left. The Lady Indians managed to take the fourth quarter by a 9-4 margin, but the deficit was far too big to makeup.
Five players scored for Hartford, including one that finished the night in double figures. Jaelyne Galvan led the Lady Indians with 12 points, while Megan Nelson added seven points. Other players that scored for the Lady Indians were Sara De-Diego, Khashya McCoy and Mercedes Requenes (2 points each).
Hartford Wrestling gets first Southwest 10 Conference Individual Champion
Last week, the Hartford Indian wrestling team returned to the mats for their final two meets of the regular season, competing in their final Southwest 10 Conference duals of the year, as well as in the Southwest 10 Conference Individual Finals. The road since the beginning of the season has been filled with many highs and many lows. But, through it all, a majority of the team has stuck together, and the Indians will go into the postseason with their biggest lineup in many years.
In their team event, a pair of conference duals on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at Centreville, Hartford went up against the host Bulldogs, along with White Pigeon. Unfortunately, the Indians fell in both duals, losing to Centreville, 42-31 and White Pigeon, 51-21.
In their dual against Centreville, victorious Hartford wrestlers included Govani Perez at 160 pounds (by decision, 8-6); James Terry at 189 pounds (by major decision, 20-8); Ernesto Rodriguez at 285 pounds (by fall in 2:40); Noe Arreola at 103 pounds (by forfeit); Jorge Liborio-Davila at 119 pounds (by forfeit); Tim Dumont at 125 pounds (by fall in 3:15).
In their dual against White Pigeon, victorious Hartford wrestlers included Tim Dumont at 125 pounds (by decision, 7-5); James Terry at 189 pounds (by fall in :34); Ernesto Rodriguez at 285 pounds (by fall in 1:04); Noe Arreola at 103 pounds (by forfeit).
In the Southwest 10 Conference Individual Finals, held on Saturday, Feb. 8 at Bangor, Hartford finished in 8th place out of 10 teams, with a total team score of 52 points. The conference championship went to Mendon, as the Hornets won the event with a total of 162 team points.
Ernesto Rodarte became the first Indian to win an individual conference championship in the new conference, which is currently in its third year of existence. He needed just one victory to win the title, and did so by pinning Bangor’s Aurelio Mejandro in 1:02.
Also finishing in the top 4, and likely earning all-conference honors, were Tim Dumont, who finished in 3rd place at 125 pounds and Noe Arreola, who finished in 4th place at 112 pounds.
As always, GO INDIANS!
Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath
Coloma boys begin week with win at Lawton, close the week with loss to Fennville
The Coloma boys varsity basketball team began the week with a road game at Lawton on Tuesday, Feb. 4, and came home with a hard fought 3-point win with the final score of 51-48. The Comets had to come from behind in this one, though it was a close contest throughout the first half. Coloma had a 14-8 lead after one quarter, but then fell behind by a point going into the locker room at halftime trailing 20-19.
COMET DANCER SHOOTS OVER LAWTON DEFENSE… Coloma senior forward Michael Dancer, sur-rounded by the Lawton defense, easily shoots over the top. Dancer scored 13 points in helping the Com-ets pull out a victory on the road 51-48, on Tuesday Feb 4. (TCR photo by Dave Vollrath)
It was a game that saw neither team playing their best, and one that became chippy at times, with both teams being whistled for a multitude of fouls. Coloma finished with 21 fouls and Lawton was called for a total of 22 fouls. The free throw line was where Lawton was able to stay in the game however, as they hit 25 out of 29 from the charity stripe. Coloma made only 12 of 22.
On the strength of their free throw shooting Lawton led 38-31 going into the fourth quarter. It was the Comets who finally hit their free throws in the final quarter to outscore Lawton, 20-10. Drew Goodline led the late charge scoring nine of his game high 25 points in the fourth quarter, including 5-5 from the line.
Once again it was Goodline who came up big for Coach Curtis McFall when the Comets needed someone to step up. Michael Dancer was the only other Comet in double figures scoring 13 points. Coloma had a poor night from behind the 3-point arc as they only hit on five from long range. Drew hit three of those, while Jake Ickes and Grady Lauderdale each hit one.
Coloma had a couple of regular players who did not make the trip because of the flu virus that’s going around, but Noah Schwanke came off the bench for the Comets and played well in their absence.
The Comet boys then hosted Fennville on Friday night Feb. 7, and lost 68-59. It was a turnaround of sorts from earlier in the year when the Comets fell to the Blackhawks by 22 points at their house. This was another game that was close throughout, with Fennville holding a small edge after each of the first three quarters.
The score was 42-38 going to the fourth. Fennville spent much of the final stanza shooting from the free throw line when the Comets fell behind and were forced to foul, to lengthen the game. The Blackhawks made 14 of 18 to put the game away.
The game was still in doubt with just under two minutes to go. The Comets put up a pair of 3-pointers that could have cut the lead to four points, but neither of those shots fell. Coloma never got any closer than seven the rest of the way.
Coloma had Drew Goodline leading the offense with 20 points, while Jake Ickes continues his fine play of late adding 17 points. Grady Lauderdale scored eight points for the Comets. Coloma again did not shoot well from 3-point land as they made only three on the night; Ickes hitting a pair of 3’s and Goodline only hitting one.
The Comets will play at Saugatuck on Friday, Feb 14.
Coloma girls win 2 at home, exact a bit of revenge with big win over Fennville
The Coloma Comet girls varsity basketball team had a pair of big wins at home as they beat Lawton on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 41-24, and then came out on Friday night and whooped up on Fennville, taking the Blackhawks down by a stunning score of 58-28.
Coloma controlled the game against Lawton from start to finish, although they held a slim 15-13 lead at the half time break. The Comets then outscored their opponent 26-11 in the second half to easily defeat the Blue Devils. Megan Neubecker led the lady Comets with 14 points and pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds. Marissa Sherburn scored nine points and had seven rebounds, while Megan Koenigshof scored eight. Vanessa Crisenbery scored four points, but picked Lawton’s pocket getting six steals.
On Friday, Feb. 7, the Comets again dominated Fennville from start to finish. They were able to erase the memory of a loss they took at Fennville (45-41) back on Dec. 20. This time the Comets left no doubt who was the better team, as they won 58-28. The girls jumped out to an 11-2 first quarter lead, and never looked back.
Coloma had one of their best balanced scoring games of the year as they had four players in double figures led by Marissa Sherburn’s 13 points, including three from beyond the 3-point arc. Vanessa Crisenbery scored 12 and was 2 for 2 from 3-point land, and had five rebounds. Megan Koenigshof also contributed 12 points, as well as having four rebounds and four assists. Megan Neubecker came up big once again scoring 11 points, and pulling down 13 rebounds. Amaria Echols had one of her best games of the year scoring five points, but also had five rebounds and dished out six assists.
It was without a doubt the best overall game this year for coach Kim Swisher’s lady Comets, as they move to 4-3 in the Lakeshore division of the SAC, and 6-8 overall. The girls have won six of their eight games since the first of the year, after going 0-6 during December. They will also be on the road at Saugatuck on Friday, Feb. 14.
Cole Alsup and Caeleb Ishmael win championship medals in SAC wrestling meet
The Coloma Comets wrestling in their home gym, on Saturday Feb. 8, picked off a pair of championships, and had three second place finishers in the SAC meet. Cole Alsup continued on his way to another possible return to the State meet, by winning the conference crown in the 285-pound class. He beat Ethan Huff from Martin by pinning him at the 3:22 mark of their championship match.
Caeleb Ishmael, the Comet sophomore, would also like another opportunity to win a state championship. He seems to be on his way, following another win for the conference crown at 112 pounds. Caeleb once again got the better of Trever Pelton, his rival from Watervliet in the championship match, winning by a narrow 4-2 score.
Logan Ferguson wrestling at 119 pounds, Ian Ishmael at 152, and Travis Borr at 215, all came up just short, finishing in second place for Coach Kenny Ashley’s Comet wrestlers. Alec DeLaTorre finished in 4th place.
COMET LADIES ROLLING UP THE WINS… The Comet lady bow-lers competed and won the Trojan Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 2. Co-loma, ranked No. 2 in Division 3 in the State, finished the qualifying as the No. 2 seed in the Sturgis tourna-ment. They defeated the No. 1 seed Coldwater in the finals, 1218-1141. The Comets with the championship plaque are (from the left): Back row – Ashley Ikerd, Emily Feldten, Carissa Richmond, and Morgan Hosbein; Front row – Madison McQuillen and Eadie Needham.
Comet boys and girls bowling, roll over Martin by 30-0 shutouts
The Coloma boy and girl bowlers took on the Martin Clippers at Kelley’s Bowl on Monday, Feb. 3 and they each came away with 30-0 shutouts to continue their undefeated regular season dual matches.
For the boys, Charlie Cullitan had a high game of 197 and a 174 for a 371 total. Ryan Wilson shot 183 and 178, for 361. Jonathon Swetay shot a 179 and Nick Santarlas added a high game of 176. Leading the way for the girls was Morgan Hosbein who rolled a first game 225 and added a 146 for a 371 total. Madison McQuillan shot games of 170 and 162 for a 332 total, and Ashley Ikerd had a high game of 166 and a 311 total.
In the latest Michigan State High School rankings Coloma girls are ranked No. 2 in the state in Division 3, and the boys are ranked No. 3 in the same division.
Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant
Watervliet wrestlers take 4th at SAC meet
The young and tenacious Watervliet Panther wrestling team continued their solid season in a tough conference with a fourth place finish at the Southwest Athletic Conference championships held last weekend at Lawton. A total of eight wrestlers earned medals and all-conference honors by finishing fourth place or higher.
Coach Dan Isbrecht said, “This was a good day for the Panther wrestling team. We have three first-team all-conference wrestlers and five honorable mention all-conference wrestlers. It was a good tournament to get ready for the district meets this week.”
Trever Pelton (33-4) took second place at 112 pounds with pins at 1:11 and 4:45. Don Smith (19-6) took second place at 189 pounds, winning 12-4 and 8-0. Nathan Isbrecht (19-5) took second place with a pin at 5:26 and an overtime 12-10 win.
Isaiah Yazel (25-8) took third place at 160 pounds with pins at 0:30, 1:19, and 2:16, leading the entire 99-wrestler field for most pins in the fastest time. Jimmy Kolosowsky (28-11) placed third at 103 pounds, with a pin at 2:42 and 18-14 and 19-10 decisions. Parker Lanning (13-9) continued his breakout season by finishing third at 215 pounds. He had pins at 5:26 and 2:16, and won 13-10.
Royce Daugherty (12-6) finished fourth at 285 pounds with a pin at 1:31. Dominic Morrison (19-17) took fourth place at 125 pounds with an 18-14 decision.
Team scores: Lawton 144; Schoolcraft 140; Constantine 124; Watervliet 109; Coloma 107
The Panthers will travel to Constantine for their individual district meet. Wrestlers finishing in fourth place or better will qualify for the regional meet on Feb. 22, also at Constantine. The top four in each bracket at regionals will travel to the state finals at Detroit’s Ford Field, February 28 and 29.
Boys Basketball with exciting win at Gobles
The Watervliet Panther varsity boys basketball team picked up their fifth win in an exciting game at Gobles. The 5-9 Panthers won 68-66, handing the 9-4 Tigers their fourth loss on the season.
The game was similar to their earlier matchup when the Panthers led the entire way only to lose by one in the closing seconds. On Friday, Feb. 7 the Panthers jumped ahead in the second quarter, leading by as many as 14 points. The Tigers gym was filled with a noisy student section on homecoming night but the maroon team didn’t let it get in the way. Coach Dan Hoff said, “The boys really put it together tonight, great effort and great efficiency.”
With the score tied at 66, Brennan Bornas hit the go-ahead jumper with five seconds remaining in the game. The Panther defense stood tall and prevented the Tigers from getting a good look at the basket as the time expired, shutting down the home crowd for good.
Coach Hoff credited the team defense and their ball sharing on offense for the victory. Eight Panthers scored in the game, led by Andrew Chisek with 15 points, ten of those coming in the 2nd quarter. Kenny Russell scored 14 points, and Davis King scored 11. Danaveon Gilbert scored nine, and Jordan Abney scored seven points. Cole Pline and Evan Hutchins each scored four points. Interesting stat of the night: the Panthers went 0 for 1 at the free throw line for the entire game.
The team ends its extended road trip with a game at Lawton on Tuesday, February 18. They’ll return home on Friday, Feb. 21 when Saugatuck visits.
Lady Panthers beat Portage Northern
The Lady Panthers girls varsity basketball team hosted the Portage Northern Huskies on Tuesday, Feb. 4 and came away with a 41-34 victory. Coach Ken Dietz said the team fought the entire way in a back and forth game. Going into the final quarter the Panthers led by one, but Adriyanna Winters hit two big three-point shots to help seal the victory. Coach Dietz also credited their tough team defense and their ability to execute the offense.
#22 UP… Sophomore Addison Riley #22 fights hard against her opponent #22 Sara Bruns from Portage Northern. Home court advantage played a factor as the Panthers beat the Huskys 41-34. (TCR Amy Loshbough photo)
Samantha Dietz led the scoring with 14 points, followed by fellow freshman Madison Flowers who scored 13 points. Winters scored eight points, Serena Reyna scored three, Addison Riley scored two points, and Alex Worley scored one point.
Later in the week the girls took on the conference leading Gobles Tigers, dropping that one 52-36. The Lady Panthers remain winless in conference play, and are 4-12 overall. On Friday night, Feb. 14 they hope for a sweet victory at Fennville, and on Tuesday, Feb. 18 they play at Allegan.