12-21-2017 Tri-City Area Sports

GARDNER SIGNS LETTER OF INTENT; NOW A RED HAWK… Grace Christian’s Sydney Gardner signed a letter of intent on Wednesday, Dec. 13 to play softball for the Lake Michigan College Red Hawks. Pictured with Gardner is LMC softball assistant coach Laurie Jewell and head coach John Je-well. Gardner, who played un-der the Jewell duo when they coached at Grace Christian, will hit the diamond this spring as a player on the Lake Michigan Catholic co-op team.


AQB WRAP-UP

Rodney-Isbrecht wins week as Lynch maintains his grasp on first place in the TCR AQB contest

By Kristy Noack

Our six fearless Tri-City Record Armchair Quarterbacks started off the college football bowl game season with a big, ole bust.  Only one ‘back correctly guessed one outcome of one of the two bowl games selected for consideration last week.

Bryan Conrad was the sole predictor of a Boise State win over Oregon; everyone else thought the Ducks would come out on top. None of our AQBs correctly predicted a Marshall victory over Colorado State. To say the college games did a little damage to some records would not be a stretch.

Each week six local football fans try their hand at predicting the outcome of eight football games. We are now in the thick of college bowl season and NFL playoff pictures are beginning to take shape.

College games notwithstanding, it was RoxAnn Rodney-Isbrecht who earned her stripes last week with a 6-2 best record.

Greg Krell finished in second place after he picked his way to a 5-3 record.

Chris Leach, Rodney Lynch, and Bryan Conrad all tied with 4-4 records, so their place in the standings came down to the tie-breaker game.

Each week, one game is selected as the tie-breaker. The contestants must determine how many total points will be scored in the contest. The person with the closest guess wins the higher spot in the rankings.

The Chicago versus Detroit game was the tiebreaker. The Lions came out on top in a 20-10 barn burner (not really) of a game.

With her 40-point guess, Leach landed in third place for the week. Conrad assumed 53 points would be scored, so he took fourth place for the week. That left Lynch in fifth with his 63-point guess.

Tim Hildebrand posted a 3-5 record and finished the week in sixth place.

Although he lost ground in the form of two games to Rodney-Isbrecht, Lynch still leads the pack with a 100-36 overall, first place record.

Rodney-Isbrecht is in second place overall; she holds a 97-39 record.

Hildebrand slipped a bit, giving up just one game to Lynch but three to Rodney-Isbrecht. Hildebrand has a 91-45 overall record and is in third place.

Krell gained ground on the top three last week. He improved to 87-49 and trails third place by just four games.

Leach maintained her one-game lead over sixth-place Conrad.  Leach has an 85-51 record in this year’s game and stands one game ahead Conrad’s 84-52 record.

Bowl games roll on in college, and the NFL has some interesting matchups on tap this week. Here are the games our AQBs are tasked with predicting:

Central Michigan vs. Wyoming

Texas Tech vs. South Florida

Fresno State vs. Houston

Detroit @ Cincinnati

Cleveland @ Chicago

Denver @ Washington

Seattle @ Dallas

Minnesota @ Green Bay

The tie-breaker game this week features the Chippewa squad in the Idaho Potato Bowl.

Santa has checked his list – twice. Our AQBs have done the same. Who will the jolly man with the twinkle in his eye (no, not Karl this time) make merry by bringing good picks? Check back next week to find out!

Watervliet High School establishes Hall of Fame

 Watervliet High School Athletic Director Ken Dietz shared exciting news involving plenty of Panther pride. The school has established a Hall of Fame in an effort “to recognize former Watervliet students-athletes, alumni, coaches, teachers, teams, and special individuals who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to society, their contributions to Watervliet High School, or performance in school-related activities.”

The creation of a Hall of Fame celebrating the successes of Panthers and community members has long been a dream of Dietz’s. “I’ve been thinking about it for years,” he said. “Then, we did this addition and this beautiful space we have here now, it’s time. I’m excited.”

Dietz spent six weeks meeting with individuals and groups, working to create a 12-member selection committee, and establishing bylaws and a selection process before the program could be rolled out.

Nominees can be appointed in four categories: individual players, individual high school coaches, varsity teams, or community/ school leaders.

For 2018 and 2019, a maximum of 10 inductees will be chosen for the Hall of Fame. Five inductees will be selected each year following 2019.

Nominations are now being accepted, and the inaugural Hall of Fame class will be announced in March during a Watervliet basketball game.

“We have a rich history of some great athletes,” Dietz said, “and we need to recognize those people in an honorable way.”

Each nominee must receive at least seven votes to be inducted into the Hall. Of the 12 selection committee members, 10 must be in attendance the night of voting.

The Hall of Fame inductees will receive a place of honor at the school, as a permanent plaque will be installed in the high school’s Hall of Fame near the gym.

Complete information regarding the nomination, selection, and induction process is available at the school’s website watervlietps.org.

The Hall of Fame bylaws note that it is “an organization that has no regular income, but requires financial support to sustain itself.” To aid the creation and sustainability of the school’s effort, monetary donations are accepted. To that end, the committee has established a “Panther Club” which will recognize donations that support the Hall of Fame program.

Details on how to become a Watervliet Hall of Fame patron are also available online.  Categories vary, beginning with a “Booster” donation of $1 to $49 up to the “Hall of Fame” donation level of $500 or more. Each donation receives a gift, but the real value is that you are helping create a lasting celebration of the talent that walked through the halls of the school for generations to come.

Nominations for the Class of 2018 induction ceremony are being accepted now through January 9. Nomination forms are available online.

If you have any questions about the program or wish to donate, please contact Ken Dietz at (269) 463-0758 or kdietz@watervlietps.org.

Team effort leads Watervliet over Hartford on the hard court

 A truer team effort hasn’t been seen on the hardwood in while, as Watervliet welcomed Hartford for varsity basketball on Saturday, Dec. 16.

Watervliet used a fast offense and pressure-filled defensive effort to limit Hartford’s scoring opportunities. The Panthers notched the easy 53-37 victory.

Watervliet led 16-10 after the first period. The Panthers and Indians both suffered turnovers as the squads hustled back and forth across the court. There was a lot of aggressive action, and it was nice that the referees held off blowing the whistle and let the teams play.

The second period found Watervliet opening up a 10-point lead. The Panthers limited Hartford to just nine points in eight minutes.

NOT SO SILENT NIGHT… Watervliet’s Jakob Aldrich lets out a rebel yell as he goes for a layup Saturday, Dec. 16. Rival Hartford’s Evan Delarosa rea-dies to block the shot. Water-vliet won the Red Arrow High-way battle 53-37. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Headed into intermission, Watervliet led 29-19.

In the second period, Hartford’s offense sprang to life. They outscored Watervliet 12 points to 11 and closed the point gap to 40-31.

Watervliet outpaced Hartford in the fourth period, scoring 13 points and limiting the Indians to just six points.  The Panthers posted the 53-37 victory.

Eleven Watervliet players posted stats for their work in the contest. Three players tied for most points scored; Garrett Matthews, Sheldon Tobar, and Bryant Kieft each put up nine points.

Matthews added six rebounds, two steals, and one assist.  Tobar had seven rebounds, one steal, and one assist. Kieft contributed three rebounds and one steal.

Ryan Chisek scored seven points and had three rebounds and one steal. Dan Cluster posted six points, 12 rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and one steal.

Jakob Aldrich tallied three points, six assists, two rebounds, and one steal. Omar Cardoso netted three points, two rebounds, and one steal.

James Bell scored three points and added two rebounds and one assist. Lamarrius Smith had two points and one rebound.  Austin Roberts chipped in two points and brought down two boards, while Tristan Schultz grabbed three rebounds and had one steal.

Hartford was led by Trey Ackerman; he scored a game-high 16 points.

Rowe paces Panthers in 66-35 win over Hartford

 Ariana Rowe scored 18 points and grabbed 11 boards in the Panthers’ varsity basketball game at home Saturday, Dec. 16 against Hartford. The Panthers overpowered the Indians, who struggled to control the ball and missed dropping the ball through the net in numerous scoring attempts.

Watervliet jumped out to an early 18-9 lead in the first period. Although Hartford provided good pressure on defense, Watervliet was able to move the ball well and created shot opportunities.

In the second period, Hartford slowed down Watervliet but only a bit. The Indians scored eight points but, more importantly, allowed only 13 by the Panthers.

At half-time, Watervliet led 31-17.

Hartford opened the second half with a much stronger defense but Watervliet continued to shine and set the pace of the game.  The Panthers scored 16 points as Hartford rebounded back, found their groove, and scored 12 in the period. Headed into the fourth period, Watervliet led 47-29.

The Panthers continued to roll in the fourth period. Watervliet head coach Jason Forrester commented, “The Lady Panthers used pressure defense to create turnovers and moved the ball well on offense to create open shots.” Following the final eight minutes of the game, Watervliet nabbed the 66-35 win.

In addition to Rowe’s effort, Jaelyn Pitre scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers. Kara Liles scored 10 points and had six rebounds.

Taylor Shafer added four points, three assists, and four rebounds in the team effort.  Zoe Smith knocked down four points, six rebounds, seven assists, and four steals.

Celina Klimkiewicz tipped in four rebounds and three steals.  Vicky Smith scored four points and had four rebounds.  Mikalah Clay had three points.  Emma Yazel contributed three points, and Allie Pazera had two.

AJ Jackson led Hartford with 10 points and eight rebounds.  Teammate Cora Wesaw scored nine points for the Indians.

The Panthers are 4-1 overall this season.

Coloma remains undefeated as Goodline scores 32

 The Comets of Coloma continue to take charge on the basketball court.  This time, the squad hosted Martin Friday, Dec. 15 for a varsity matchup.

Zach Goodline led the Comets with 32 points, as Coloma recorded a 74-51 win.

DECK THE HALLS… Mar-tin’s Kiaya Warner presents Co-loma’s Morgan Wagner with an elbow as Wagner drives to the basket Friday, December 15. Wagner landed the basket, drew the foul, and hit the bonus. Her team-high 20 points led Coloma to a 53-45 win over the visiting Clippers. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


The Comets coasted to an early 21-15 first quarter lead.  The teams kept pace with their opponent in the second period with Coloma scoring 18 points and Martin notching 15.

At intermission, the Comets held a 39-30 lead.

Coloma head coach Paul Marfia commented, “I was disappointed with our intensity on the defensive end during the first half.”

Coloma virtually shut down Martin in the third period. The Comets’ rapid scoring pace, coupled with a strong defensive effort, limited Martin to just eight points. Coloma scored 19 and led 58-38 after three periods.

In the fourth, the teams traded baskets, but Coloma earned the 74-51 victory.

Tevon Blazier scored 10 points for Coloma.  Levi Wilkens dropped in nine points, and Robbie Schroeder chipped in eight.

Mike Dancer and Brendan Lute scored five points apiece. Bryton Fitzgerald added three points, and D’Avion Carter scored two points.

The Comets’ three-point shooting game was shut down; the team put up four 3-pointers.

At the foul line, Coloma was 18 of 25, hitting 72%.

With the win, Coloma moved to 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference – Lakeshore Division.

Hartford shell shocks Marcellus with 53-35 victory

Everything came up Hartford Friday, Dec. 15 as the Indians romped all over Marcellus, earning a 53-35 victory on the basketball court.

The teams were evenly matched in the first period, with Marcellus edging out the Indians 10-7 for the lead.

Hartford’s offense sparked in the second period. They scored 15 points, while Marcellus was limited to nine points. At the half, Hartford led 22-19.

The Indians continued to blaze a trail across the court. Hartford scored 20 points in the third period and 11 in the fourth period.

Marcellus was held to eight points in both the third and fourth periods. With the 53-35 victory, the Lady Indians remained undefeated with a 3-0 record.

AJ Jackson led Hartford with 18 points. Cora Wesaw and Jessica Cortes scored 12 points apiece, with Cortes’ points coming courtesy of her hot hands beyond the arc.

Mikenzie Chambers chipped in six points. Megan Nelson hit a long ball for her three points, and Elly Valdes scored two points.

Nelson had seven rebounds in the contest. Angela Saldana a team-high eight rebounds. Wesaw stole the ball from Marcellus four times.

Wagner’s twenty points paves way for Coloma win

Coloma hosted Martin Friday, Dec. 15, and Morgan Wagner led the way for the Comets’ 53-45 win.

Wagner nailed 20 points, including three 3-pointers and shooting a perfect five for five at the charity stripe.

Coloma led 14-12 after the first period, but Martin worked back to shrink the lead to one point (22-21) at the half.

Coloma began rebuilding their lead in the third period, scoring 14 points and holding Martin to 12. A big 17-point fourth period gave Coloma the breathing room they needed. Martin tacked on 12 points, but it was Coloma’s night to shine with the 53-45 win.

Kayla Yore scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers.  Mika Anderson added six points. Julia Sternaman and Megan Neubecker scored four points apiece. Hannah Mathis got on the board with two points.

The squad was perfect from the foul line. The three players sent to the charity stripe made all nine shots attempted.

Watervliet grapplers take third place in South Haven tourney

 The Watervliet varsity wrestling team scored a third-place finish in the South Haven team wrestling invitational Saturday, Dec. 16.

JOY TO THE WORLD… Watervliet’s wrestling team nabbed third place, overall, in the South Haven team tournament Saturday, December 16. Anthony Wade, wrestling in the 160 lb. weight class went 4-0 on the day, including a win by pin over his Godwin Heights opponent. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


The Panthers were on the prowl against Godwin Heights. Watervliet scored the 60-18 easy win.

Against host South Haven, Watervliet notched a 48-30 win. The most exciting matches of the day came against Bloomingdale. The Panthers and Vikings battled back and forth, with Bloomingdale edging out Watervliet 39-36.

In their last bouts of the day, the Panthers faced Niles and took home the 54-27 victory.

Trevor Pelton (103 lb. weight class), Dylan Lynch (145), Anthony Wade (160), Logan Swigart (189), and Matt Melcher (215) were undefeated on the day, posting 4-0 records.

Alex Isbrecht, wrestling in the 119 lb. weight class, and Klayton Marshall (135), posted 3-1 records.

Coloma bowlers remain on a roll

 The Lady Comets’ varsity bowling team continues to put up some big numbers bowling. The squad faced Constantine Monday, Dec. 11 and won 30-0.

Morgan Hosbein led the team with a series high 418. She also had a game high 226.

Lainey Meader rolled a 371 series, and Narelle Hickmon tallied a 297 series.

Coloma scored 1,699 total pins compared to 1,065 by Constantine.

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, the Comets rolled their way to a 29-1 win over visiting Schoolcraft.

Emily Feldten recorded a 374 two-game series, while Ashley Ikerd and Meader rolled a 374 and 327 series, respectively.

Feldten had a game-high 209.

Coloma picked up 1,658 pins compared to 1,086 scored by Schoolcraft.

Watervliet varsity basketball home opener ends with tough loss to Fennville

 The Panthers of Watervliet open their basketball season at home Thursday, Dec. 14 with a tough 51-46 loss to Fennville.

Watervliet got off to a slow start in the first period and, even after a huge third quarter, was never fully able to recover.

Fennville led 15-6 after the first period. Watervliet just couldn’t finish their scoring attempts and fell further behind in the second period. At intermission, the Blackhawks led 25-14.

Watervliet played a strong game in the second half but fell short of a rally. After the third period, Watervliet trailed 44-29; the Panthers would go on to lose the game 51-46.

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? That clanging you heard Friday, December 15 coming from the Coloma High School gymnasium was the Comets as they walloped Martin 74-51. Here, Levi Wilkens leaps for a layup. Wilkens scored nine points in the contest. (TCR photo by Kristy Noack)


Coloma wrestlers struggle in 51-30 loss to Bloomingdale

Coloma grapplers participated in the South Haven team wrestling invitational Saturday, Dec. 16. At press time, only scores from the Comets’ match against Bloomingdale were available.

Bloomingdale won five contested matches in the 171, 112, 119, 125, and 152 weight classes. The team also won four forfeited matches in the following weight classes: 103, 130, 135, and 160.

Coloma’s Brandon Sutherland won the 189 lb. weight class, Noah Mart won the 140 lb. weight class and Cody Reese won at 145 lbs. due to forfeits by Bloomingdale.

Jamane Smith Jr. pinned Brody Whitecotton in the 215 lb. weight class.  Cole Alsup earned a victory in the heavyweight category as he pinned Brian Jackson.

Rowe scores double double in Panthers’ 65-56 win over Fennville

Ariana Rowe came up big Thursday, Dec. 14 as Watervliet welcomed Fennville to the Panther gymnasium for basketball action.

Rowe scored a career-high 27 points and recorded 11 rebounds in the Panthers’ 65-56 win over the Blackhawks.

The fast-paced game was evenly matched through the first half. Watervliet led 19-15 after a lightning fast first period.

Watervliet’s defense made a stronger stand in the second period; the Blackhawks only scored eight points. Watervliet continued to land the ball, as they scored 13 points to take a 32-23 lead at the half.

A raucous third period found Watervliet scoring a whopping 27 points, as Fennville scored 12. Following the second to last quarter, Watervliet led 59-35.

Fennville clawed their way back into the game in the fourth period. It was touch and go for a bit, as the squad landed bucket after bucket. The comeback threw the Panthers off their game; Watervliet was limited to six points to finish out the game. But, a win is a win and Watervliet did it in fine fashion with Rowe leading the way.

Zoe Smith sank 14 points and was credited with nine rebounds.  Jaelyn Pitre landed 10 points and had three steals in the contest.

Kara Liles scored four points and notched five rebounds and two steals. Madalyn Hutchins tossed in four points and stole the ball two times.  Elaine Koshar lofted up four points and had two steals.  Taylor Shafer shot two points and had seven assists.

Watervliet and Coloma wrestlers hit the mats at Lawton

 The varsity wrestling squads from Watervliet and Coloma faced off against Lawton and Galesburg Augusta on the road Wednesday, Dec. 13.

The Panthers and Comets traveled to Lawton for wrestling competition.

Eight Panther grapplers won their individual matches, giving the team the 45-24 season opening win.

Watervliet got wins from: Trevor Pelton (103 lbs.), Alex Isbrecht (125 lbs.), Klayton Marshall (135 lbs.), Dylan Lynch (145 lbs.), Isaiah Yazel (152 lbs.), Logan Swigart (189 lbs.), Matt Melcher (215 lbs.), and heavyweight Cole Hunt.

The squad also faced a strong Lawton team and lost 47-27.

Against Lawton, the following wrestlers won their individual match: Pelton (112), Marshall (135), Lynch (145), Yazel (152), and Melcher (215).

Coloma lost 54-14 to Lawton.  Winning their individual matches were Ian Ishmael (145) and Jamane Smith (215).  Both wrestlers pinned their opponents. Cole Alsup earned a 6-2 decision over his opponent in the heavyweight bout.

Against Galesburg Augusta, the Comets lost 45-24.

Smith, Alsup, Noah Mart (140 lbs.), Ishmael, and Aaron Pounders (160 lbs.) won their matches by pinning their opponent.  Zac Colvin also notched a victory after he won a 12-6 decision in the 152 lb. weight class.

Brandon Sutherland (215) and Shane Champion (125) won their matches due to forfeit.

Hartford suffers 64-49 loss to Marcellus

The Hartford Indians varsity basketball team took to the court Friday, Dec. 15 at home and suffered a 64-49 loss to Marcellus.

Hartford head coach John Johnson stated the squad “took a tough loss with a cold night shooting.”

The Indians were led by William Martinez, who tallied 22 points.

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