Coloma Press Box By Dave Vollrath
Coloma lady bowlers head back to state, Comets team wins 2nd regional title in a row
The lady Comet bowlers will have the opportunity to defend their Division 3 state title this week when they hit the lanes for the team competition on Friday, March 6. The Coloma gals won the team regional title for the second consecutive year, the first time for this accomplishment since the 2009-2010 seasons.
BACK TO BACK REGIONAL TITLES… The Coloma lady bowlers accomplished what they haven’t done since 2009-2010 season. The Comet bowlers won their second consecutive regional championship, taking the first qualifying position over 2nd place Hopkins and 3rd place South Haven. Pictured are (from the left): Back row – Ashley Ikerd, Emily Feldten, Coach Carley Burrell, Carissa Richmond, and Morgan Hosbein; Front row holding the trophy – Madison McQuillan and Eadie Needham.
The Division 3 state tournament will be bowled this year at Jax 60 Bowl in Jackson, Michigan with the team event on the 6th, while the individual event will take place on Saturday, March 7. The Comet ladies also qualified three bowlers for the individual event, and the Comet boys will have one bowling for the individual state title.
The ladies team won the regional title with a total pin fall of 3,341. Hopkins finished in 2nd place and South Haven finished in 3rd. The format for the team event includes six Baker games then three individual scored games, and those scores totaled. The top 3 regional teams all have a spot in the team state finals.
The Coloma team members who will be competing at state for a back to back team title are, Ashley Ikerd, Emily Feldten, Carissa Richmond, Morgan Hosbein, Madison McQuillan, and Eadie Needham. They are coached by Carley Burrell. Carley is very proud of her team and believes they have the talent to get hot, and bring home another state championship trophy.
The ladies who also finished in the top 10 individual event, which qualifies them for the individual crown as well are, Morgan Hosbein who finished 2nd, Emily Feldten 5th, and Carissa Richmond who finished in 10th. All three are seniors with a ton of experience behind them.
QUALIFY FOR STATE… Four Coloma Comet senior bowlers have qualified for the state individual bowling championship to be held on Saturday, March 7 at Jax 60 Bowl in Jackson. Nick Santarlas finished 6th for the boys to qualify at regional competition, while the girls were (from the left) Emily Feldten in 4th, Carissa Richmond in 10th, and Morgan Hosbein in 2nd qualifying at the regionals. The Comet girls team also qualified to compete at state.
The male Comet bowlers came up just a little short in the team competition. They finished fourth – just one spot out of qualifying for state. Nick Santarlas, another Comet senior, qualified as an individual for the state tourney by finishing in 6th place.
Good luck at state to all of our Comet competitors.
Comets sweep away and home hoops games, against next door neighbor Panthers
The Coloma boys and girls basketball teams completed the sweep of neighborhood rival Watervliet on Friday, Feb. 28. The boys won their game played in the Panther gym 50-39, following the Comet girls who came out on top, 42-33. Both Coloma teams won the first encounter in the Comet gym, earlier this winter.
EASY BUCKET FOR DANCER! Coloma senior forward Michael Dancer penetrates the Watervliet defense for a layup during second half of the Comet win, 50-39, Friday night in the Panther gym. Defending on the play were #32 Cole Pline and #22 Davis King for Watervliet. (TCR photo by Dave Vollrath)
The Comet boys came out of the locker room shooting the lights out, and knocking down 3-pointers. Five in all in the first quarter, with four of those from Coloma guard Jake Ickes. The effort gave them a 19-3 lead, only to have the Panthers cut that to 24-11 by the end of the first quarter.
The Panthers outscored the Comets through the second and third quarters, and pulled to within two points near the end of the 3rd quarter. A couple of Panther turnovers matched with a couple of late 3-pointers by Coloma’s Stacey Branscomb and Jake Ickes, and the Comets went to the 4th quarter leading by eight.
The Panthers seemed to run down most loose balls and out-rebounded the Comets throughout the game. In the end Coloma was the better shooting team. Watervliet had too many empty possessions when they had unforced turnovers, to make a serious run in the fourth quarter.
Ickes led the Comets with 15 points on five 3-pointers. Drew Goodline scored 13 points and also led with seven rebounds and had four steals and four assists. Michael Dancer contributed six points and six rebounds to the Coloma stat book. The Comets finish the Lakeshore Division of the SAC in second place with a 7-3 record, and are 11-7 overall. They have two regular season games left before the district tournament.
The Coloma girl hoopsters finished the regular season on an upswing with two wins the final week. They finally reached the .500 mark, at 10-10; an amazing accomplishment after starting the season with a 0-6 record. They also finish the SAC with a 5-5 mark.
In the Watervliet gym Friday night the Lady Comets jumped out to an early lead, though it was a low scoring first period, 10-6. The Comets dominated the second quarter, but after missing 10 out of 17 free throws they were only able to build an 11-point, 23-12 lead at halftime.
The Panthers were able to keep the game somewhat within reach, but in the end Coloma maintained a lead throughout the game and came home a winner.
Comet seniors Megan Koenigshof, Marissa Sherburn, Vanessa Crisenbery, and Megan Neubecker all had significant contributions for Coloma. Koenigshof had 15 points, Sherburn had 12, Crisenbery 8, and Neubecker had four points and 12 rebounds.
On Tuesday, Feb 25, the Comet gals hosted the Dowagiac Chiefs. After a very close 9-8 first quarter, Coloma had the lead. Then the Comets shutout the Chiefs while scoring 18 themselves, and took a 27-8 lead into the halftime break.
The second half found the Comets leading by double digit teen scores throughout, with Dowagiac never making any kind of run against the Lady Comets. Coloma came away with a 54-33 victory.
The Comet senior mighty mite, Vanessa Crisenbery got her touch back and led Coloma with 17 points, with two made 3-pointers. Megan Koenigshof added eight points, and also dished out four assists while pulling down seven rebounds. Marissa Sherburn also had eight points while Megan Neubecker scored five points, while collecting 14 rebounds.
Girls basketball district competition held at Coloma
Coloma is hosting the girls districts, with the championship final game scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Friday, March 6. The Comets have a very favorable chance to be playing in the district final, as Benton Harbor and South Haven, who the Comets have beaten this season, stand in their way to the final.
Coloma girls opened district play on Monday, March 3, by knocking off the defending district champ, Benton Harbor Tigers, 33-29. The Comets hit on 21 free throws which helped them get the win. Megan Koenigshof, Megan Neubecker, Marissa Sherburn, and Taylor Brown all came up big for Coloma in this game.
Coloma takes 3 wrestlers to state
The MHSAA individual wrestling championships will be held on March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at Ford Field in Detroit. Coloma has three wrestlers who will be competing for a state championship. Senior Cole Alsup at 285 pounds, senior Ian Ishmael wrestling at 145 pounds, and sophomore Caeleb Ishmael at 112 pounds, will be representing the Comets.
Press Box Player of the Week!
By Dave Vollrath
This week’s Tri-City Record Press Box Player of the Week is Coloma Comet sophomore Jake Ickes. Jake is a sophomore at Coloma High School, and a guard on the Comet boys basketball team.
Jake, along with his shooting guard/running mate Drew Goodline, has the Comets currently holding a four game winning streak. They are playing some of their best basketball of the year just in time for the beginning of District tournament play.
As the Comet point guard, Jake keeps the offense moving and frequently finds himself open beyond the 3-point arc. He has been knocking down 3’s regularly over the course of the last 5-6 Coloma games, and has had several games above 20 points this season. During the current four game win streak, Coloma has come out and taken early leads, mostly built on the outside shooting of Ickes and Goodline hitting from behind the arc. Later in the games, when the Comets sometimes struggle, it is Ickes who more times than not, comes up with a big 3-pointer or couple of assists, that get the Comets offense back on track.
Jake has shown a tremendous amount of improvement and a look of confidence the last few weeks, and is growing as a player, both in his own offense and in distributing the ball to open team mates. Coloma head coach Curtis McFall says he is very pleased with Jake’s play of late, and believes he will continue to improve.
Only a sophomore, Jake has already earned some all-conference accolades as a three sport star at Coloma. He ran his way to first team all division, all conference SAC on the Coloma cross country team last fall, and as a freshman. He was also named as an honorable mention all division as a freshman last spring playing infield and pitching for the Comet baseball team.
Jakes parents are Jenn and Dave Ickes, who fully support Jake in all of his athletic and academic endeavors. Jake currently carries a 4.0 GPA in the classroom, so his plate is usually very full but he seems to be finding a great balance in achieving success at both.
In the summers Jake stays busy playing travel ball, and loves video games. He is a huge Spartan fan, attending many of the Michigan State football and basketball home games.
We congratulate Jake on this award, and look forward to seeing him accomplish much more throughout his high school career.
Hartford Press Box By Jerrod Birmele
Hartford boys basketball splits weekly games, moves to 5-1 in last 6
Last week, the Hartford Indian boys basketball team continued their late season run by playing in a pair of Southwest 10 Conference games. The team has been playing very well as of late, winning four straight games to move their record above .500, at 9-8 overall. With just three games remaining coming into the week before the postseason begins, the team has been playing some of their best basketball – and that is a really good sign.
In their home game on Tuesday, Feb. 25 versus White Pigeon, the Indians avenged an earlier two point loss to the Chiefs, winning in dominating fashion, 71-49. The game was close after the first quarter, as both teams managed to get into double figures on the scoreboard, with Hartford outscoring White Pigeon by just one, 15-14. The game turned slightly further in favor of the Indians in the second quarter, as they used a 14-9 scoring spurt in the stanza to take a 29-23 lead into halftime.
The third quarter was the big turning point, as Hartford used solid offense and tough defense to break the game open. They outscored the Chiefs, 22-8, in the period to take a 51-31 lead with eight minutes left. The fourth quarter was the highest scoring quarter of the game, with the two teams combining for 38 points total. In the end, the Indians outscored White Pigeon, 20-18, to seal the victory.
The Indians had nine players score in the game, with three players finishing in double figures. Aaron Sinclair led Hartford with 26 points, while Elijah Rodarte finished with 13 points and Elijah Ledesma added 10 points in a winning effort. Other players who scored for the Indians were Ricky Baker (7), Kaden Johnson (5 points, and added 12 rebounds and 9 blocks), Elijah Smith (4 points), and Tanner Kinchen, Nick Pultz and Joel Soto (2 each).
In their home game on Friday, Feb. 28 versus Cassopolis, Hartford led early, but could not hold on, as they fell to the visiting Rangers, 65-59. Fired up on senior night, the Indians came out strong early, leading after the first quarter, 17-11.
Cassopolis was tied for the lead in the conference standings coming in, and showed why by turning a six-point deficit into a one point lead at halftime, 31-30, thanks to a 20-13 scoring advantage in the second quarter. The Rangers continued their good play in the third quarter, as they outscored Hartford, 15-10, in the stanza, to build their lead to 46-40 with eight minutes left in the game.
The fourth quarter was hotly contested, as both teams made a plethora of baskets on their respective offensive ends. The result was a total of 38 combined points between the two teams. Unfortunately, for Hartford, the final frame came to a 19-19 draw, and they fell in the end. This was the ninth loss for the Indians, but their eighth by ten points or less.
The Indians had six players score in the game, with a pair finishing in double figures. For the second straight game, Aaron Sinclair was the leading scorer for Hartford with 22 points, while Elijah Rodarte finished with 17 points in a losing effort. Other players that scored for the Indians were Kaden Johnson and Elijah Ledesma (7 each), Elijah Smith (5) and Tanner Kinchen (1 point).
Hartford girls basketball falls to White Pigeon, postseason on tap
Last week, the Hartford Lady Indian basketball team returned to the court just once for a conference game, but it was the conclusion of their regular season. This season has featured plenty of positives, and also some rough patches, for the team. Sporting a record of 10-7 coming into action, their seven losses have all come to the teams above them in the conference standings. Going into postseason action, a win in their regular season finale would be big for the ladies.
In their game on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at White Pigeon, the Lady Indians led the game at halftime, but would fall to the host Lady Chiefs, 46-35. The game started with a solid first quarter, with the team hitting their share of outside shots to build a three point lead, 16-13, after the opening eight minutes. Solid play on both sides of the ball continued in the second quarter, and after both teams managed 10 points in the frame, the game remained in the Lady Indians favor, 26-23, going into halftime.
White Pigeon turned up the defensive wick in the third quarter, forcing Hartford into missed shots and turnovers, turning a 9-3 scoring advantage in the period into a 32-29 lead heading into the final eight minutes. The frustration continued for the Lady Indians in the fourth quarter, as they managed only six points in the frame. The Lady Chiefs went on to outscore Hartford by eight points, 14-6, in the final period to grab the victory.
Four players scored for the Lady Indians, including a trio of ladies in double figures. Megan Nelson led all Hartford scorers with 12 points, while Jaelyne Galvan finished with 11 points and Alexis Snodgrass added 10 points. The other player that scored for the Lady Indians was Gillian Kuehnle (2 points).
Hartford powerlifting team sending 5 to state finals
Back on Saturday, Feb. 22, the Hartford powerlifting team competed in the MHSPLA Regional competition, held at Edwardsburg High School. The powerlifting team under the direction of Brad Manning and Luke Golas has been competing throughout the state of Michigan for a number of years. With the school attempting to find ways to keep athletes active when they are not participating in the “core” winter sports, the group has grown over the years.
In the regional competition, five athletes, including three men and two ladies, qualified for the state finals. To be a state qualifier, the athlete must finish in the top two of their respective weight class, or qualify using pre-determined additional criteria. The final results are determined by the total amount of weight lifted on their highest successful squat, bench press and dead lift added together.
On the boys side, the team finished in 3rd place out of 19 teams that competed. Aldo Acevedo, David Fernandez and Joey Lehmkuhl each finished in first place in their weight classes, automatically qualifying them for the state meet. Acevedo finished by lifting a total of 595 pounds, while Lehmkuhl finished by lifting a total of 845 pounds, and Fernandez finished by lifting a total of 1,265 pounds. Also finishing in the top six in their weight classes were Luis Barcenas (5th place) and Brock Schaner (6th place).
On the girls side, the team finished in 5th place overall, and was just one point out of 4th. Melissa Müller won her weight class, and automatically qualified for state, as she lifted a total of 500 pounds to score top honors. Emily Wilson lifted a total of 560 pounds to finish in 3rd place in her weight class, but her result was good enough to qualify for state on additional criteria. Also finishing in the top six in her weight class was Sandra Cortes (4th place).
Aldo, David, Joey, Melissa and Emily will represent Hartford at the state meet, being held this Saturday, Mar. 8 at North Branch High School, in the thumb region of Michigan. Good luck to our powerlifters, and represent Hartford well!
As always, GO INDIANS!
Watervliet Press Box by John Oliphant
Basketball teams drop two, prepare for districts
The Watervliet Panther varsity basketball teams are looking up despite finishing their regular seasons with losses to Martin and Coloma.
The Lady Panthers started the week on Tuesday, Feb. 25 with a 53-33 home loss to the 18-1 Martin Clippers. The Martin win set up a showdown between the Clippers and Gobles Tigers, both with 8-1 conference records. Martin won that game 29-26 to claim the Lakeshore Division championship.
On Friday night Feb. 28 the Panthers hosted 9-10 Coloma for the regular season finale. The Lady Panthers started the game strong but fell behind 10-6 at the end of the first quarter. The Comets doubled up the Panthers 25-12 at halftime on the strength of a balanced offensive attack and solid inside play. The Panthers were able to get several Comets into foul trouble, eventually getting five fouls on two of them. The game was close at times but the Comets came out on top 42-33, sweeping the season series.
Despite all the fouls the Panthers couldn’t take advantage of their extra free throws, going just 10 for 26 at the line, and missing the front end of several one-and-one opportunities. Meanwhile, the Comets went 16 for 29, good enough to stay in the lead and seal the victory at the end.
Samantha Dietz dominated for the Panthers rebounding inside and leading all scorers with 20 points. Point guard Madison Flowers played well, scoring seven points and defending well beyond her size. Alex Worley scored four points, while Madison Saunders and Serena Reyna each hit a single free throw.
NEON NIGHT… at Watervliet High School gymnasium. Samantha Dietz sinks two in front of her peers Friday, February 28 “Neon Night” during Winterfest festivities. Sam lead the team in rebounds and scoring 20 points for the effort, loosing 42-33 to the visiting Coloma Comets. (TCR photo by Amy Loshbough)
After the game Coach Ken Dietz talked about how far this team has come this year, and hopes the girls work on their strength for next year because they didn’t handle the stronger and bigger teams very well this season. They’ve had a good rebuilding season considering they have just two returning players from last year. The Lady Panthers finish the regular season at 5-15, a modest improvement over last year. The team is poised to be bigger and faster next year and could easily double that win total, or better.
By the time this issue hits the newsstands the girls will have played a district tournament matchup against 20-1 Brandywine at Cassopolis on Wednesday night. The top-seeded Bobcats beat Bridgman 57-15 on Tuesday night to advance to play the Panthers.
The boys faced an 8-10 Martin team on Tuesday and came out on the losing end 52-41. The Panthers broke their recent pattern and started strong, taking a 10-6 lead after the first quarter, but then they completely fell apart in the second quarter, scoring just once on a Danaveon Gilbert three-pointer and getting outscored 16-3 to take a 22-13 deficit into halftime. They played tough in the second half but couldn’t get the lead, with Martin hitting nine free throws in the final quarter to seal their victory.
COMET POWER… proved to be enough in Friday night’s contest against the Watervliet Panthers. The Coloma team won their first encounter with the Panthers at home earlier this season and this contest was more of the same. Drew Goodline stays true to his ability laying it up for two. Drew had 13 points on the contest with 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 assists. (TCR photo by Amy Loshbough)
Andrew Chisek led the Panthers balanced attack with 12 points. Evan Hutchins and Danaveon Gilbert both scored nine points. Jordan Abney, Cole Pline, and Brady Bornas each scored three points. Brennan Bornas added 2 points.
The Friday night games drew the usual big crowd complete with a noisy student section and lots of students who would attend the Winterfest dance after the game. The Comets came away with the 50-39 win. The Panthers were able to pull within four points late but couldn’t get the big shots to fall when they needed one.
The Comets were red-hot in the first quarter, hitting six three-pointers to take a 24-11 lead, which proved to be insurmountable. After that the Panthers played solid defense and outscored the Comets in the last three quarters. The Panthers didn’t draw enough fouls and were just one for five at the free throw line, while the Comets hit on ten of 18.
Andrew Chisek led the Panthers with 14 points. Davis King scored seven points, and Dylan Lawson played a strong game to finish with six points. Jordan Abney came off the bench and played solid defense, chipping in four points on offense. Evan Hutchins and Brady Bornas each scored three points, and Rylee Carter added two points.
The Panthers boys finish the regular season at 7-13, a big improvement over their 2-19 finish last year. This is a team on the rise, so stay tuned next season because they’re going to win a bunch of games.
The boys have a long break before facing 16-2 Brandywine in a district tournament matchup on Wednesday, March 11 at Bridgman.