by Ben Murphy
Clare boys pick up 41-27 win over Shepherd
The Clare boys basketball team was able to keep their top spot in the Jack Pine Conference standings, thanks to a home win over Shepherd on Thursday, Dec. 16. The Pioneers took down the visiting Bluejays 41-27.
“Our defense was locked in and swarming,” head coach Matt Alexander said. “We made it tough for Shepherd to ever get a clean look at the basket. I thought our offense executed well, we just missed a lot of easy close looks at the basket. This was a big week for us going into break, getting two conference wins.”
Clare led just 7-5 after the first quarter, but was able to lead 21-12 at the half and 36-24 entering the fourth.
Ritchie Montgomery hit four threes and led all scorers 16 points, Al Warner was able to put in seven, Karson Tocco scored five, with Caden Dunn and Miles Haggert putting in four points each.
Clare (3-1 overall, 3-0 JPC) will host Reed City on Jan. 4 and returns to league action on Jan. 6 at Harrison.
Clare girls drop road battle at Shepherd
The Clare girls basketball team suffered their first setback in Jack Pine Conference play on Friday. The Lady Pioneers, playing at Shepherd, lost in a what was a closely played contest, 38-36.
Sofiah Coker was able to put in 14 points in the loss, Megan Gross scored nine points, Raegan Louch added five points, Izzy Jones was next with four points and with two points apiece was Ava Crowder and Hattie Veenkant.
Clare (3-3 overall, 3-1 JPC) plays at Reed City on Jan. 4 and on Jan. 7 it will return home to battle Harrison.
Coleman boys drop games with Shepherd, Vestaburg
The Coleman boys basketball team wrapped up the calendar year with a home non-conference game against Shepherd on Tuesday. The Comets were unable to make it a win however, falling 61-44.
Coleman raced to a 12-4 lead to start the game, but Shepherd closed the opening frame on an 11-0 run to lead 15-12 after the first eight minutes.
The Bluejays increased their lead to a margin of 31-23 at the half and 43-32 with just the fourth left to play.
Freshman Jared Devrieze had an eight point, nine rebound performance, Jaden Bovee scored eight points and also had three steals and two assists and Ty Klopf had seven points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
On Thursday, Dec. 16 the Comets lost a Mid-State Activities Conference battle at Vestaburg, 55-32.
Coleman was able to lead 9-7 after the first quarter, but the Wolverines held a 25-16 lead at the half and held a 41-25 advantage entering the fourth.
Jared Devrieze led the Comets with 10 points and nine rebounds and Conner Schrank added nine points and nine rebounds. Ian Johnson added six points and Klopf tracked down six rebounds and added five assists and two steals. Johnson also had two steals and one block. Logan Dudley chipped in with two steals.
Coleman (1-4 overall, 1-2 MSAC) will hit the court after the new year, on Jan. 4 down at Montabella.
Visiting Beaverton takes down Farwell in JPC action
The Farwell boys basketball team will continue to look for their first win of the season, after falling to visiting Beaverton on Thursday, Dec. 16, 64-20.
Garrett Baxter led the Eagles in the Jack Pine Conference contest with seven points, Landen Heller put in six points, Austin Lake scored five and with two points was James Seagraves-Grant.
Farwell (0-4 overall, 0-3 overall) resumes action Jan. 3 at Lake City.
Farwell girls claim JPC win at Beaverton
The Farwell girls basketball team was able to pick up their second Jack Pine Conference win of the season on Friday, claiming a 44-33 win at Beaverton.
The Lady Eagles had Raini Sponseller and Madison Travis each score 13 points, Macy Campbell put in 11 points, Rachel Odykirk netted four points and Remi Sponseller was about to contribute three points.
Farwell (4-2 overall, 2-2 JPC) will host Carson City-Crystal on Jan. 4.
Harrison boys come up short against Gladwin
The Harrison boys basketball team had one of their better offensive performances of the early season on Thursday, Dec. 16. The Hornets were still unable to overcome visiting Jack Pine Conference foe Gladwin however, falling 64-53.
The Hornets had Haydin Sims lead the way with 13 points, Logan Ashcroft hit double figures as well with 11 points, Conner Kirby and Zahn Tuckey scored seven apiece, Todd Kirchen added five points, Chris Benoit and Jayven Hamilton scored three points each and Dalton Noble and Landon Conrad netted two points apiece.
Harrison (1-3 overall, 1-2 JPC) returns to the court Jan. 4 with a non-league contest over at Marion.
Offensive woes cost Harrison girls in loss to Shepherd
The Harrison girls basketball team was unbale to get much scoring in its home Jack Pine Conference game with Shepherd on Wednesday, Dec. 15. As a result, the Lady Hornets came up short, 52-17.
Leading the team on the night was Maleah Gardner and Sophia Vanburen with five points apiece, Jiaryalou Cisse scored three points and with two each were Alexis Livingstone and Allison Whitaker.
Harrison (1-4 overall, 0-3 JPC) is off until Jan. 7 when it heads down to rival Clare for a JPC contest.
Marion boys come up short in Bear Lake
The Marion boys basketball team played with West Michigan ‘D’ League opponent Bear Lake to a tie game through three quarters Monday night. The Eagles couldn’t keep up in the fourth however, as they returned home with a 52-41 setback.
“We really struggled to put the ball in the basket,” head coach Dan Michell said. “Combined with being in foul trouble all night we sent Bear Lake to the foul line 31 times. It is tough to win on the road let alone be in the game when you send the opponent to the line 31 times shoot very poorly from the field and 10-of-21 from our own free throw line.”
Bear Lake held a 13-8 lead after the first quarter, but Marion hung around, down just 21-18 at the half and it was a 23-23 tie entering the fourth.
“Our defense and rebounding broke down in the fourth quarter and Bear Lake closed the game going 11-of-17 from the free throw line in the fourth,” Michell said. “Gavin Prielipp helped us stay in the game with his defensive play.”
Mason Salisbury had a big game, pouring in 29 points and Braden Prielipp was able to net six points.
Marion opened the season on Dec. 14, playing a league contest in Baldwin, where it came up short 61-43.
The Eagles led much of the first half, including leads of 9-5 and 21-16 through the first two quarter breaks. The Panthers had a monster third quarter though, jumping ahead to claim a 38-25 lead entering the fourth.
“We had a tough third quarter stretch where we were outscored 22-4, a stretch where we couldn’t do much right and didn’t get stops and back in transition like we needed,” Michell said. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds too and we were in foul trouble most of the night. We are a young team and will continue to learn and grow to get where we needed to be.”
Salisbury had a 17 point, 11 rebound and four assist performance, Cole Meyer had 13 points, 10 rebounds and two steals, B. Prielipp had 11 points, 10 rebounds and two steals and G. Prielipp tracked down six rebounds.
Marion (0-2 overall, 0-2 WMD) will play again on Jan. 4 when it hosts Harrison.
Marion girls earn home win over Walkerville
The Marion girls basketball team closed out the calendar year with what very well might have been their best game of the young season. The Lady Eagles, hosting Walkerville in a West Michigan ‘D’ League contest, led by just two after the first quarter but pulled away from there for a convincing 47-28 victory.
“This was easily our most complete game we’ve played this year,” head coach Matt LaGrow said. “Our energy was great from the start, and we had contributions from several different players. This game was closer than the final score. Every time Walkerville made a play, our girls responded with a play of our own. I was proud of the way we kept our composure throughout the game. Great team effort.”
The Eagles led 12-10 after the first quarter and were able to hold leads of 22-14 at the half and 32-21 entering the fourth.
Maddie Sutten was able to net 14 points, Georgia Meyer added 13 points, 15 rebounds and swatted three blocks and Jacelyn Moggow had nine points and three steals.
Marion (3-1 overall, 3-0 WMD) returns to action on Jan. 5 at Brethren.
McBain boys struggle in loss at Evart
by Ben Murphy
The McBain boys basketball team was unable to find the win column on Wednesday, Dec. 15, in their road Highland Conference game at Evart. The Ramblers led at the half, but ended up with a 42-30 setback.
McBain led 17-16 at the half, but fell behind 29-23 entering the fourth. The Ramblers pulled within 29-27 early in the fourth, but Evart closed the game on a 13-3 run to seal its victory.
The Ramblers had Evan Haverkamp score nine points with Kal McGillis and Braylon Pace scoring five points each.
Marcel White paced Evart with 11 points.
McBain (0-2 overall, 0-2 Highland) is off until Jan. 5 when it hosts Boyne City.
McBain girls take care of Evart, 51-29
by Ben Murphy
The McBain girls basketball team pushed their win streak to four games on Wednesday, Dec. 15, as they cruised to a 51-29 Highland Conference win at Evart.
“By far our most complete game of the season,” head coach Drew Bronkema said. “We are starting to click better and sharpen some of the things we were struggling at. Lots more to improve on, but a huge step in the right direction. Defensively we played without fouling but with very high intensity and great team defensive rotations. Offensively we moved the ball well and played very unselfish basketball.”
The Lady Ramblers had a huge 17-1 lead after the first quarter and led comfortably by the half, 27-9.
Emma Schierbeek buried six threes and finished with 26 points and Kahli Heuker was able to chip in with 10 points.
McBain (4-1 overall, 3-0 Highland) is off until Jan. 4 at Roscommon.