02-14-2019 Tri-City Area Sports

Coloma Comet wrestle their way to third straight team district title

The Coloma Comet wrestling team, due to a variety of circumstances have been unsure from week to week on how their team would be able perform in their team matches. However on Thursday, Feb. 7 in hosting the state team district, they were not going to give away the crown they have won the last two years without a fight.

Coach Kenny Ashley said he had a good feeling about the previous two years, going into the district, but this year was more of a guessing game. His team came through in a big way in first defeating South Haven in the semi finals by a score of 44-36, and then had to fight off a tough Buchanan squad in winning in the finals, 45-33.

The Comets 14-13 on the season, will be hosting the Division 3 Regional tournament, weather permitting, Wednesday, Feb. 13 beginning at 6 p.m. Coloma will face Otsego in one semifinal, and Dowagiac takes on Comstock in the other match. Results were not available as of press time.

Winning for the Comets in contested matches in the finals against the Bucks were, Dillon Clemons at 119 by pin at 1:01, Ian Ishmael at 140 by pin at 1:25, Alex DeLaTorre 160 by pin at 1:19. Wrestling at 171, Aaron Pounders won by pin in 1:59; at 189, Dalton Turner won a 5-2 decision, and finally at 285, Cole Alsup won by pin at 1:45.

Winning members of the Comet squad in the semi finals versus the Rams, Caeleb Ishmael at 103 won by pin at 1:01; Ian Ishmael won a major decision at 140 pounds by a count of 14-5. At 145 Cody Reese won by pin at 3:15, Mike Case at 152 also won a major decision, 15-1. Alec DeLaTorre won by pin at 2:25 wrestling at 160 pounds, and Cole Alsup won by pin at 285 pounds in 1:18.

Coloma Comet Basketball teams split 2 games vs. Saugatuck amid the Snowcoming festivities

The Comet boys improved their overall record to 10-4, and moved to 6-1 in the Lakeshore Division by overwhelming Saugatuck Friday night by a score of 87-30. It was the second blowout win of the season against the Indians for the Coloma boys as they had defeated them earlier in the season 75-26.

The Comets led at halftime by a score of 41-12, and entering the fourth quarter with a 70-28 lead, that final stanza was played with a merciful running clock. Coloma’s All State guard Zach Goodline didn’t lead the Comets in scoring but did fill up the stat chart and almost had a triple double, as he scored 17 points, pulled down eight rebounds, handed out 10 assists, and stole the ball six times. Phillip Caldwell had a big game scoring in leading the Comets with 25 points, and knocking down seven from 3-point land. Drew Goodline followed him closely with 23 points, including four long range bombs. Kenny Crowder had seven points, and Michael Dancer and Isaiah Reinhardt each chipped in with six points.

The Comet girls didn’t fare quite as well as the boys as they fell to the Lady Indians by a final score of 59-35. Megan Neubecker led Coloma with nine points and she also garnered eight rebounds and had five steals. Mia Cole and Vanessa Crisenbery each had eight points for the Comets. Kelsey Ellis had deuces wild as she had two each of points, rebounds, assists, and steals on the night.

Following their Friday night win, the Comets boys were right back on their home court again Saturday afternoon, for a make-up contest with Lawton that was frozen out a week or so ago. With Lawton coming in fresh and rested, it took a little time for Coloma to put them away, as the Comets led by only nine at the half.

According to Coach Paul Marfia, the Comet seniors stepped it up in the second half and led the charge as Coloma eventually cruised to a 75-49 victory. Zach Goodline led the Comets in scoring with 32 points, and also handed out 10 assists and grabbed eight rebounds. Coloma also had eight other players put points up on the board, as Phillip Caldwell had nine, Drew Goodline and Michael Dancer also had nine. Kenny Crowder and Isaiah Reinhardt each chipped in with six points.

The Comets move to 11-4 on the season. After starting the year at 1-3, have come back strong winning 10 of their last 11 games, with two five-game winning streaks sandwiched around a single loss to Benton Harbor.

The Coloma Comet girls also came right back with less than 24 hours rest. They were also up to the challenge and came away with a big win against Lawton. Megan Neubecker had a huge game for the Comets, with her highest scoring output of the year as she tallied 20 points. She also had 13 rebounds, five steals, and blocked three shots. Megan was very efficient as she hit on nine of 12 shots on the day.

Megan Koenigshof, the Comet fireball, came up big hitting for 10 points, grabbing six rebounds, and had seven assists. Marissa Sherburn had six points, and Vanessa Crisenbery had five points.

Coloma has 3 individual champs at Districts

The Coloma Comet wrestling team continued to impress as they finished the Division 3 individual district wrestling tournament held at Constantine with three champions. Also wrestling well but coming in 2nd place was 103-pound Caeleb Ishmael, as he also gains a berth to move on to the regionals next week.

The Champions for the Comets were Ian Ishmael at 140 pounds, Cody Reese at 145, and Cole Alsup wrestling at 285.

Coloma Comet men bowlers win 3

The Comet men’s bowling team has come up big and won their last three conference matches.

Coloma defeated Kalamazoo Hackett by a final of 29-1. Top bowlers for the Comets were Charlie Cullitan shooting a 223 and 160 for a 383, Jonathan Swetay shot a 348 with games of 184 and 164, and Damian Gomez added 363 with games of 192 and 171.

Coloma then defeated Constantine by a final score of 21-9. Once again Charlie Cullitan contributed greatly with games of 181 and 156, and Jonathan Swetay shot games of 204 and 167 for a 371 total. Christian McDonald added a 371, with a high game of 174.

Coloma’s next match was a little tighter, but the Comets again came out on top by a final score of 18-12. Jonathan Swetay rolled games of 212 and 143 for a 355 total, and Charlie Cullitan shot a game of 209.

Hartford Boys Basketball sweeps three games in five days

The Hartford Indian Boys Basketball team hit the court three times last week with a pair of conference games and a non-conference matchup on the slate. The Indians came into this week’s action at 11-2 on the season, after suffering just their second loss of the season against Marcellus the previous Friday night. The team looked to get back on track, and with a sense of normalcy returning, the Indians looked to continue building on their exceptional season with more wins.

 In the Tuesday, Feb. 5 game against Decatur, Hartford pulled away in the fourth quarter, turning a close game into a 68-45 victory over the Raiders. The first half started out strong for Hartford, as they outscored Decatur, 21-11, in the first quarter. The Raiders stormed back courtesy of a 16-2 run in the second quarter to take a 30-26 lead, but Hartford managed to go on an 11-0 run to end the half and took a 37-30 lead into halftime.

The second half started out with both teams getting good looks, but not converting on the offensive end; the final result was the Raiders pulling to within five points, at 46-41, at the end of the third quarter, courtesy of the visitors outscoring the home team, 11-9, in the stanza. The fourth quarter was the Indians time to shine, and that they did. They dominated the final eight minutes, outscoring Decatur by a whopping 22-4 margin to bust a close game wide open.

Hartford was paced by a trio of scorers in double figures that scored a combined 51 of the teams 68 points on the night. Aaron Sinclair led the Indians with his game-high 23 points, while Brandon Galvan put together a solid 18-point evening, and Trey Ackerman rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points. Moses Beraza scored just five points, but had another outstanding game, grabbing 14 boards and making four steals.

Those players also scoring for the Indians were Evan De La Rosa (8 points) and Elijah Rodarte (4 points). Hartford finished the game having made 15 two-point baskets, 12 three-point baskets and shot 2-for-5, or 40 percent, from the free-throw line.

In Friday night’s game against White Pigeon, Hartford survived without one of their best players and held off an inspired Chiefs effort to win by four, 54-50.

The first quarter saw the Indians jump out to a quick 7-0 lead behind some great defense and quick scores, but White Pigeon finished the quarter on a 13-9 run to close to within three, at 16-13. The second quarter saw Hartford struggle to find baskets, and the Chiefs would take advantage, taking the lead in the middle of the stanza. The teams went back-and-forth trading the lead, but it was host White Pigeon that led at halftime, 25-24, courtesy of a 12-8 scoring advantage.

It was Winterfest at White Pigeon this night, and the Chiefs continued to play inspired in front of their home crowd. They ran their lead to a game-high eight points in the third quarter, before Hartford began to get their groove back, and the Indians cut into the delicate lead. The Indians managed to get back even before the Chiefs finished the quarter on a small run, taking a 41-39 lead into the fourth quarter.

The Indians have prided themselves on defense all year, and they needed every bit of it to win this game. They managed to force the home team into some tough shots and turnovers in the final frame. It took until less than three minutes left in the game for the Indians to regain the lead for good, as they outscored the Chiefs, 15-9, in the final eight minutes to capture a tough road win.

Hartford was led by two scorers in double-digits, and without one of their leading scorers, Brandon Galvan, in the lineup, they needed every basket they could muster. The star of the night was Trey Ackerman, as the senior lit it up for 32 points, which included 13 baskets from inside the arc and a single make from three-point territory.

Aaron Sinclair only had one point at halftime, but found his groove in the second half, finishing with 11 points. Those players also scoring for the Indians were Moses Beraza (7 points), Elijah Rodarte (2 points) and Evan De La Rosa (2 points). Hartford finished the game having made 19 two-point baskets, three three-point baskets and shot 7-for-17, or 41 percent, from the free-throw line.

In Saturday night’s game against rival Watervliet, Hartford broke open a close game in the second half, cruising to a 59-45 victory over the Panthers.

The first half was hotly contested, as rivalry games always are. In the first quarter, the teams traded baskets for a majority of the frame, and the teams managed a total of 11 baskets between them. Hartford would lead, however, 15-13, when the horn sounded. The teams continued to play tight in the second quarter, with neither team able to build a substantial lead. Watervliet did take the lead late in the first half, but it was the host Indians that would lead by one, 28-27, heading into halftime.

The second half was the Indians time to shine, and boy, they really did shine in the third quarter. Hartford managed to make some critical shots, while forcing the visiting Panthers into some much tougher shots and misses, and with that, Watervliet cooled down from the field.

What was a close game at halftime was the distant past, as the Indians outscored the Panthers, 20-7, in the third stanza, extending their lead to 48-34 with eight minutes left. That would be the only quarter with a big point spread, as the teams equaled each other again in the fourth quarter, as they both scored 11 points in the frame. If not for the third quarter, it would have been a much, much closer game.

Hartford was led by a pair of scorers in double-digits, and seven total players scored points in the game. The Indians were led by Aaron Sinclair, who had a game-high 18 points, while Brandon Galvan, returning to the team after a brief illness, pitched in 16 points. Those players also scoring for the Indians were Elijah Rodarte (9 points), Trey Ackerman (8 points, but was in foul trouble a majority of the night), Evan De La Rosa (5 points), Moses Beraza (2 points) and Elijah Ledesma (1 point).

As a result of their 3-0 week, Hartford is now 14-2 on the season, which includes a 12-2 record in Southwest 10 Conference play. The team plays two games this week including one with major conference implications; on Tuesday, Feb. 12, the team traveled to Cassopolis to take on the Rangers, with the winner taking the lead in the conference championship race.

Hartford Girls Basketball manages 1-2 record in tough three-game stretch

The Hartford Indian Girls Basketball team returned to the court for three games during the past week. Like the men’s team, the six-day stretch featured two conference matchups and a weekend non-conference game. This season has been a bit of a roller-coaster for the Lady Indians, with success and triumph mixed in with defeat and frustration. The team came into the week at 6-5 on the year, and they looked ahead to brighter days to come.

In Tuesday night’s game against Decatur, Hartford trailed for much of the game, and the Lady Raiders pulled away late to defeat the Lady Indians, 35-24. The first half was a microcosm of the whole game, in that both teams were struggling to make baskets for much of the night. In the first quarter, Decatur outscored Hartford by just one point, 5-4. Hartford briefly took the lead in the second quarter, but Decatur extended their lead to four at halftime, 14-10, courtesy of a 9-6 advantage in the stanza.

The second half started out with the teams continuing to struggle to find the hoop, as both teams managed just two baskets and a free-throw in the frame, which ended with both teams scoring just five points each. That meant Decatur led Hartford, 19-15, heading into the fourth and final quarter. In that quarter, the lid finally came off the baskets, and both teams managed their best scoring frame of the night. However, the Raiders managed to outscore the Lady Indians, 16-9, and the ladies fell for a second straight game.

Hartford only had three ladies score in the contest. The team was led by Nautica Covington, who scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Mikenzie Chambers scored seven points and added a team-high 10 rebounds, while Megan Nelson scored the final seven points for the Lady Indians. Hartford finished the game having made eight two-point baskets, one three-point basket and shot 5-for-11, or 45 percent, from the free-throw line.

In the Friday, Feb. 8 game against White Pigeon, Hartford played a very solid game from start to finish, but came up two points short against the host Lady Chiefs, 46-44. The first quarter was played equal on the scoreboard, 14-14, but the first stanza was a game of runs. Hartford started strong, racing out to an early four-point lead at 10-6, before White Pigeon roared back to tie it. The second quarter was played just as tight, with both teams struggling to find baskets from the perimeter or from inside, mainly due to some tough defense on both ends. Hartford managed to win the frame, 11-9, and took a 25-23 lead into halftime.

The second half saw White Pigeon storm out of the gate; they created turnovers by the Lady Indians and scored several open layups on fast breaks. The Lady Chiefs, led by leading scorer Claycee West, outscored Hartford, 16-9, in the third quarter and built a 39-34 lead heading into the final eight minutes. In the fourth quarter, White Pigeon led Hartford by seven at two separate stages, but the Lady Indians battled back both times, courtesy of some great defense and forcing other players to shoulder the load for White Pigeon. Hartford managed to get within two points with less than a minute remaining and had a shot to win with less than 10 seconds left, however, the shot came up short and the Lady Indians would go on to suffer another heartbreaking loss.

Hartford was paced by a pair of scorers in double-digits, including one player who recorded a double-double. The Lady Indians were led by Jaelyne Galvan, who scored 14 points, which included four three-point makes from behind the arc. Nautica Covington picked up the double-double for the green and white, scoring 12 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dished out eight assists, while Mikenzie Chambers added eight points and led Hartford with 15 rebounds.

Also scoring for Hartford were Megan Nelson (7 points) and Alexis Snodgrass (3 points). Hartford finished the game having made 11 two-point baskets, six three-point baskets and shot 4-for-6, or nearly 67 percent, from the charity stripe.

In Saturday evening’s game against rival Watervliet, Hartford held off a late Panther charge and avenged a loss earlier in the season, taking the rematch, 47-45. As Saturday games often go, it takes a little while for teams to get into a rhythm, and this game was no different. Both teams couldn’t buy a bucket and both teams turned the ball over a-plenty in the first quarter.

After the first eight minutes, the teams had combined for five baskets and five makes from the free-throw line, with Hartford winning the frame, 9-6. The theme of the second quarter was the exact opposite, as both teams managed to score at will. After just 15 points combined in the first quarter, these two rivals managed a whopping 34 total points between them in the second stanza, but it was the host Lady Indians that held a slight advantage, 18-16, in points, as they took a 27-22 lead into halftime.

The second half started out feeling like one of those “grind it out” halves, as both teams dug in on their side of half court. They both made their share of baskets, but they also missed some open looks, and there were some very tough fouls called both ways. That, in essence, slowed down the tempo of the game and led to a little bit of stagnation on both sides. Hartford did manage to win the quarter, 11-9, and extended their lead to 38-31 with eight minutes left.

The fourth quarter started out seeming like the Lady Indians would cruise to victory, as Hartford opened up a nine-point lead and held onto that lead for much of the final stanza. However, the Lady Panthers fought back admirably, getting to within two points with 3.7 seconds left. After a timeout, Watervliet created a turnover at half court and had a chance to tie or score the victory, but the shot was off target, and the Lady Indians escaped with the win.

Hartford had a trio of scorers in double-digits to lead the team, and for the second straight contest, a player recorded a double-double. Mikenzie Chambers led the Lady Indians with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Nautica Covington put together a stat line of 15 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and Jaelyne Galvan was the final scorer in double-digits, scoring 10 points and recording four steals.

After a week that saw them go 1-2, Hartford is now 7-7 on the season, which comes with a record of 6-6 in Southwest 10 Conference play.

Hartford Wrestling grapples into the postseason

The Hartford Indian Wrestling team competed in a pair of wrestling meets this past week, both of which were postseason tournament competitions. It has been a year full of highs and lows for the wrestling program, with struggles coming in the team events due to the lack of bodies on the roster. However, in individual events, there are reasons to be optimistic, as each wrestler has given it 100% each and every day.

 Results from the Southwest 10 Conference wrestling tournament that took place on Saturday, Feb. 2 at White Pigeon had two wrestlers from Hartford make it on the podium and place on the day. James Terry finished in fourth place at 189 pounds, while Noah Wade also placed fourth at 285 pounds. Both wrestlers claimed All-Conference honors courtesy of their top-four finishes.

MORALES FOR THE WIN BY PIN… Hartford’s Uberth Morales, a sophomore, pinned his Lawrence opponent on Feb. 6 in team district action at Watervliet. Morales wrestled in the 215 lb. weight class and tallied the victory at 4:12. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

In Wednesday night’s team district competition, held at Watervliet, the Indians fell in the district semifinals to Lawrence, 42-24. Winning contested matches for Hartford were Uberth Morales, by pin (4:12) at 215 pounds and Anthony Alonso, also by pin (2:53) at 140 pounds. The Indians also recorded two match victories via forfeits to round out the scoring. Unfortunately, the lack of bodies in other weight classes doomed Hartford in the loss.

In Saturday, Feb. 9 individual district competition held at Lawton, the Indians had one wrestler make it to individual regionals. At 285 pounds, senior Noah Wade finished in third place. He began the day with a victory over Decatur’s Kenny Mann, via fall in 5:46. He met up with the eventual winner of the weight class, Schoolcraft’s River Fox, in the semifinals, and took a loss, falling via pin in 1:37. Needing to win his next match in order to qualify for the regionals, Wade met up with Lawton’s Cody Miller in the blood round, and picked up a win by decision, 6-1. In his final match of the day, Wade met up with Lawrence’s Brandon Wagner, and he managed to pull out a victory in a tight match winning by decision, 9-7.

After his 3-1 day at individual districts, Noah will travel to individual regionals on Saturday, Feb. 16, to try to become one of four wrestlers in his weight class that will make it to individual state finals. The individual regional will be held at Hudson, and will feature the top four finishers from the Lawton District and the Hudson District.

Hartford Competitive Cheerleading breaks into new territory

The Hartford Indian Competitive Cheerleading team returned to the mats to cheer in a pair of competitions last week. The team came into action fresh off one of their best overall performances of the season at the conference finals the week prior. With postseason competition looming in the not-so distant future, the ladies needed to continue cheering loud. But, above all, they needed to continue perfecting their routine, as this is the time of year when it matters most.

In Thursday night’s competition, the Rock the House Invitational hosted by Berrien Springs, Hartford finished in 3rd place out of four teams in their division. The team finished round one with a total of 198.6 points, which beat their previous season best first round score by nearly eight points. The second round saw the team put together a routine that scored 161.72 points, which left them with a sub total of 360.32 points through two rounds of action. The third and final round, the highest scoring round in a competition, netted the ladies 266.3 points to finish the night, bringing them to a final total score of 626.62 points. That total smashed their previous season best total, and it was the first time the ladies have scored in the 600’s all season long.

In Saturday morning’s competition, the 2019 Portage Central Cheer Fest, Hartford finished in 2nd place out of four teams in their division. The team finished round one with a total of 197.6 points, which is just shy of their season-best and came with zero points in penalties. The second round saw the ladies put together a solid routine that would wind up scoring them 165.5 points, which, like the first routine, came with zero penalty points. The third and final round netted the ladies 264.3 points, but unfortunately came with four penalty points, giving them a final round total of 260.3 points and brought them to a final total score of 623.40 points. This was the team’s second-straight 600-point event, and is setting them up for a nice finish to the season as the postseason nears.

Hartford’s Competitive Cheerleading team will return to the mat for just one competition this week. On Friday, Feb. 15, the team will take part in the District Competition hosted by Gobles. They will look to become one of four teams that will advance to the Regional competition.

Press Box Player of the Week!

By Dave Vollrath Cole Alsup of Coloma High School is this week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the week. Cole, who is a junior for the Comets, is currently participating in wrestling, but the big man is an all around athlete who competes on the athletic fields pretty much year round.

Cole, a 285-pound wrestler, is having a tremendous year, and according to his coach Kenny Ashley, Cole is one of a kind, and nobody puts in more work than he does. He gets up at 4 a.m. and works out every day. Most recently at the SAC Conference tournament, held at home in the Coloma gym, Cole went over the 100 win milestone. He had finally beat a long time foe from Constantine, who had previously beaten Cole six straight times. It was the highlight of the day as he won the conference championship. Cole is the son of Carrie and Preston Alsup. Cole also was a huge part of the Coloma Comet football team that went to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. He was selected to the 1st team all conference as an interior lineman. Cole also competes on the track in the spring as one of the top discus and shot put throwers in the area. With his junior and senior seasons yet to come, could compete for a state title. Cole also was one of the Comet wrestlers who qualified to go to state last year, and will be challenging for a state championship again this year. According to Coach Ashley, Cole is very dedicated and driven to do so. In the classroom Cole carries a 2.9 GPA, and if the football games weren’t enough to handle on Friday nights, Cole goes back on the field at halftime and plays in the Comet Marching Band. Congratulations Cole and best of luck the rest of the year.

Dr. Andy says… “Proper nutrition is essential for health. I recommend everyone should take a good supplement to ensure the body is getting what it needs. Who really does eat right? “

Panther Wrestlers win team district title, again

The Watervliet wrestling team won their second consecutive team district championship last week by beating Decatur and Lawrence in a meet at home on Wednesday, Feb. 6.

In the first match against Decatur the Panthers jumped out to a 34-6 lead and then cruised to a 52-30 win. That victory took them to the district championship match against Lawrence. In the final, Lawrence took the first match with a void, but the Panther team was too strong and they eased into a 54-18 win.

The Panthers won all but one contested match the entire evening, going 10-1 with nine pins. Including voids, they were 18-1 against both teams.

Leading the way with two pins were Matt Melcher (0:44 and 3:14), Alex Isbrecht (1:34 and 1:55), and Nathan Isbrecht (1:15 and 4:59).

Trever Pelton earned his 100th career win in a match against Asterix Chamness of Decatur with a pin at 3:53. Isaiah Yazel had a pin at 0:28 and Jordyn Angelo had a pin at 0:12. Don Smith had the only non-pin win of the meet, winning 13-2.

DIVISION 3 DISTRICT CHAMPIONS… The Coloma Comets varsity wrestling squad three-peated as Division 3 district champions after topping South Haven and Buchanan Thursday night.

 The district win earns the team a spot in the regional finals meet, weather permitting, was scheduled at Watervliet for Wednesday, Feb. 13. The Panthers face White Pigeon in the opening match. The winner faces the winner of the Schoolcraft-Brandywine match for the regional title. Results were not available at press time.

PELTON PINS FOR 100TH WIN… Following his pin of Asterix Chamness of Decatur Wednesday, Feb. 6, Watervliet’s Trever Pelton notched his 100th career victory on the mat.  Pelton and the Panthers topped Decatur and Lawrence to win their second consecutive team district championship title. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)

Panther Wrestlers compete at individual districts

The Panther Wrestlers rode their successful team performance into the individual district meet on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Lawton High School, where eight wrestlers finished fourth place or higher to qualify for the individual regional tournament at Hudson this weekend.

Matt Melcher and Don Smith captured district titles, winning their brackets and going 3-0 on the day. Melcher (30-3) pinned all three of his opponents in the 215-pound bracket, at 0:40, 3:30, and then 5:39 in the championship match. Smith (19-9) won his first match with a pin at 2:17 and then won 11-4 and finally 6-3 in an exciting 189-pound championship match.

Trever Pelton (33-6) took second place in the 112-pound bracket. He won with pins at 3:28 and 2:42; then lost a tight championship match 3-0.

Coby Henslee (21-19) finished second place by virtue of one win (9-1) and a loss in the 140-pound championship match.

Alex Isbrecht (28-14) took fourth place in the 125-pound bracket, going 2-2 on the day with pins at 1:57 and 2:03. His second win came on a second period reversal and a quick pin.

Santi Wilkinson (12-14) took 4th place at 160 pounds, also going 2-2 on the day. He won his first match with a pin at 3:30. In his third match he was losing 13-4 in the third period when he found an opening and in the span of five seconds got a reversal and a pin. The upset win sealed his trip to regionals.

Jordyn Angelo (10-13) also went 2-2 to take 4th place at 135 pounds. He lost his first match then won by pin (0:36) and a 13-2 decision to qualify for regionals.

Jimmy Kolosowsky (15-22) won once to reach the 103-pound 3rd place match, which qualified him for the trip to regionals. In his second match he was down on point but got a reversal and was seconds away from winning with a pin when his White Pigeon opponent, Yzack Hagen, suddenly needed a timeout for a bloody nose. Hagen recovered and Jimmy ended up losing that match.

Lady Panther’s furious comeback falls short at Hartford

The Panther girls’ basketball team fell behind against Hartford on Saturday evening, only to finish the game on an 11-2 run and come up just short, losing 47-45. They had trouble scoring early again, missing on their first eight shots of the game before finally hitting a couple shots near the end of the quarter.

Victoria Smith led the Panthers with 16 points. Celina Klimkiewicz scored 11, including a pair of threes. Elaine Koshar scored 10, all but two of those coming in that fourth quarter rally. Sabrina Klimkiewicz and Alex Worley each hit one three-pointer, and Ally Pazera scored two.

The girls’ next game is Friday at Saugatuck.

Panther Boys Basketball lose at Hartford

The Panther boys also traveled to Hartford on February 9. The Indians won 59-45 on the strength of a big third-quarter performance. The Panthers were ahead at the start of the second half but got outscored 20-7 in the third quarter. Like last week, the boys played well in three quarters but had one quarter make all the difference.

Andrew Chisek led the Panthers with 15 points. Omar Cardoso had the hot hand, hitting three three-pointers on his way to 13 points. Dylan Lawson was strong at the post, scoring six and collecting ten rebounds. Kade Van Neil scored five, Austin Roberts scored three, JayShawn Scruggs scored two, and Danaveon Gilbert scored one point.

Their next game is Friday at Saugatuck.

Watervliet Athletics Hall of Fame 2019 Inductees

By John Oliphant The Watervliet Athletic Hall of Fame nomination committee has chosen ten inductees for the class of 2019. The 12-member committee selected the former Watervliet High School athletes and coaches from a long list of nominations submitted over the last two years. They were chosen based on their significant positive impact and performance in the Watervliet sports program. The Hall of Fame was created in 2018 by athletic director Ken Dietz to honor Watervliet High School alumni, athletes, teams, and community leaders who have made outstanding contributions to the athletic programs. This is the last year there will be ten inductees, from now on the classes are limited to five each year. Nominations for next years’ class will be open soon and anyone can nominate a qualified candidate. Nominated athletes must be WHS graduates and have been out of school for at least ten years. Coaching nominees must have coached for at least five years. The nomination form and detailed criteria are available on the school’s website at www.watervlietps.org. New nominations are due by October 1, 2019. Qualified nominees will always remain in the pool of available candidates once they are reviewed by the committee. The class of 2019 will be honored at halftime of the boys’ basketball game against Brandywine on Saturday, Feb. 16. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. The inductees include two coaches and eight athletes, all of whom have outstanding athletic resumes. Here is a list of the 2019 Hall of Fame class and some highlights of their sports careers at WHS and beyond.

LEWIS MOHLER Lewis Mohler is a 1955 graduate and earned nine varsity letters. In basketball Lewis was the leading scorer in the Little 8 Conference and led his team to the state semi-finals where they lost by just one point. As a result he was named Honorable Mention All-State in 1955 by the Detroit Free Press. He was all-conference in both baseball and football in 1954-55, and earned try-outs with the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals.

MIKE LEITH Mike Leith is a 1972 graduate and earned 12 varsity letters. Mike was a First-Team All-State football player in 1969 and 1971. He held the school rushing record until 1999 with 3,558 yards. He was Red Arrow Conference first team baseball player in 1972, and was the Red Arrow Conference pole vault champion in 1971. Mike served on the Watervliet Board of Education for four years and wrote the sports column in the Tri-City Record for 28 years.

TIM LYNCH Tim Lynch is a 1978 graduate and earned 10 varsity letters. He was chosen as the WHS Outstanding Senior Athlete in 1978. Tim led several championship cross country teams, and was the Red Arrow Conference champion in 1977 and the runner-up in 1976. In track his team won conference titles in 1976-78. He was the conference champion in the mile, 880, and mile relay in 1978, and regional champion that year in the 880. Tim also served on the Watervliet Board of Education for six years.

LINDA HAGENBARTH WURZEL Linda Hagenbarth Wurzel is a 1984 graduate and earned eight varsity letters. She was a regional champion in cross country all four years, 1980-1983, and ran in the state championships in 1980 and 1983. Linda was the Berrien County cross country meet champion from 1980-82. In addition, she was the regional champion in track for the 800m (1984), 1600m (1982-84), and the 3200m (1981-83). She finished 6th in the 5k at the 1984 NJCAA Championships while at Southwestern Michigan College, and has run both the Chicago and Boston marathons.

JOHN EPPLE John Epple is a 1986 graduate and earned 11 varsity letters. A four-year starter on the football team, he was named to the all-conference teams in 1983, 1984, and 1985. In 1984 he led the team in tackles and was named to the AP All-State Team as a linebacker. He was named AP All-State Special Honor in 1985. He was named as both the offensive and defensive player of the year on the Panther football team. John was a three-year starter on the baseball team, and earned four varsity letters throwing the discus and shot put in track.

ANDREA HUTCHINS Andrea Hutchins is a 1995 graduate and earned nine varsity letters. She was named to the all-conference basketball teams in 1992-94, and All-State Honorable Mention in 1994. Andrea was named to the all-region volleyball team in 1995. In track she earned all-state honors in the 800m for three years and the 1600m for two years. Her 800m school record stands to this day. Andrea ran cross country and track at the University of Detroit Mercy and organized the Run-Frosty-Run WHS Athletic Boosters fundraiser. She competed in several IronMan triathlons including the Kona IronMan World Championship in 2010.

SARAH SHEFFER FIACCO Sarah Sheffer Fiacco is a 2006 graduate and earned 12 varsity letters. In volleyball she was named All-Conference First Team for four years, All-Region for two years, and All-State Honorable Mention one year. In basketball Sarah was named All-Region for two years and All-State Honorable Mention for one year. In softball she was First-Team All-Conference for three years, All-Region for two years, and All-State Honorable Mention for one year. In 2006 she was named the WHS Outstanding Senior Athlete, the Herald-Palladium Athlete of the Year, and the South Bend Tribune Athlete of the Year. She was the softball team MVP at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, and earned MCAA All-State honors at Saginaw Valley State University.

RACHEL SHEFFER WALKER Rachel Sheffer Walker is a 2009 graduate and earned 12 varsity letters. In volleyball she was named to the All-Region teams in 2006-08 and the All-State teams in 2007 and 2008. In basketball she was named All-State First Team in 2006 and was a 2009 Miss Basketball Finalist. She holds the current school records for points (1,490), rebounds (1,074) and blocked shots (479). In softball she was named First Team All-State in 2006. Rachel was also a 2006 qualifier for the long jump state championship. In 2009 Rachel was named the WHS Outstanding Senior Athlete and the Herald-Palladium Athlete of the Year. She played basketball at the University of Michigan for four years, three of those as the starting center. She also played one year of volleyball at Western Michigan University.

STEVE MILLER Steve Miller coached the baseball team for several years, earning Red Arrow Conference titles in 1990, 1991, and 1992. He was named the Red Arrow Conference Coach of the Year in 1992. Fifteen of his players went on to play college baseball. In volleyball he coached the team to their first-ever District Championship in 1994. In 1997 he was the pitching coach at Hope College when they won the MIAA championship. He also organized and coached local American Legion baseball teams.

JIM WINTER Jim Winter was the girls’ basketball coach at WHS for 19 years, compiling a 307-122 record. His teams won three Red Arrow conference titles, three SAC conference titles, and five SAC division titles. Jim’s teams won seven district championships and played in three regional finals. He also led the boys’ basketball team to a district title in 1996. His teams won 20 games in six separate seasons, including one undefeated regular season. Jim was named the Associated Press Class C Coach of the Year in 1994 and 2008.


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