Courier-Leader & Flashes Sports

Mattawan boys win SMAC West Division highlight recent area hoops action

The Mattawan boy basketball team finished off the SMAC West Division championship with Saturday’s win over St. Joseph.

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

Mattawan boys outlast St. Joseph to win SMAC West
The Mattawan boys basketball team hosted St. Joseph on Saturday, in a game that would decide the Southwest Michigan Athletic Conference West Division championship. The Wildcats were able to pick up the victory in the hard fought game, 60-53. This is the team’s first league title since 2019.
“This was a very back and forth contest that had a playoff feel,” head coach Josh Brown said. “Every possession mattered especially down the stretch. We tossed the lead back and forth but never got above five for either team. Brendan Garza filling in for injured point guard senior Ryan Van Liere chipped in with six fourth quarter points and 12 points overall to fill the void on both ends of the ball. While our normal hot three point shooting was cold on the second night of a back to back, we made up by getting to the rim consistently through the game.”
Noah Vanlaningham was able to get 14 points, Ryan Kiesling had 13 points and seven rebounds, Connor Walsh had 12 points and six board and Brendan Garza had 12 points and tracked down five rebounds.
On Friday, Mattwan was able to get a win over visiting Gull Lake, 75-69.
Vanlaningham had a huge 28 point game and he also had six assists. Walsh scored a career high 22 points and also had three steals, Kiesling had 10 points, nine rebounds and three steals and Garza added 10 points.
Mattawan (17-3 overall) wrapped up the regular season at Holt on Tuesday. The Wildcats begin district action on Monday at Kalamazoo Loy Norrix.
Mattawan girls take care of Gull Lake
The Mattawan girls basketball team closed out the regular season with a win over visiting Gull Lake on Thursday. They won the game 47-43 to claim their ninth win of the season.
“It was Gull Lake’s senior night so they had a lot of energy in the first quarter,” head coach Chad Conklin said. “We established ourselves with our press in the second quarter to get a small lead. In the third quarter we had trouble putting the ball in the basket. Gull Lake was taking away our drives to the hoop and we settled for a lot of three point shots and they were not falling.”
Gull Lake led 12-8 after the first quarter, but Mattawan would take a 23-17 lead at the half. Gull Lake went back ahead 29-27 entering the fourth, but the Lady Wildcats were able to get back in front in the fourth and hang on for the win.
“We adjusted in the fourth quarter and made a couple runners in the lane which was the shot they were giving us,” Conklin said. “We also got to the free throw line early in the fourth quarter. Cassidy Parmelee and Delaney Elsmore hit some big free throws down the stretch to ice the game.”
Elsmore finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and three assists, Savannah Waterlander had eight points and five rebounds, Julia Mosier had six points, four rebounds and five steals, Parmelee had four points and seven rebounds, Zhia Martin had four points and adding two points was Alyssa Hinkley.
Mattawan (9-11 overall) opened up district action on Monday against St. Joseph at Portage Northern. The semi-finals were Friday with the championship set for Friday.
Stroud scores career high 29 points in Lawrence girls district opening win
The Lawrence girls basketball team opened up Division 4 district action on Monday, taking on Eau Claire at Decatur. The Lady Tigers had a big game from Kaylee Stroud and dominated their way to a 69-22 win.
“Stroud’s 29 points were a career high and we got hot tonight form the three, with Stroud hitting four of them,” head coach Rasaun Brown said.
To go along with Stroud’s 29 points, Carolina Mancera scored 14, Shelbi Rindfield netted 12 and Addison Gendron added eight.
On Thursday Lawrence won a home Southwest 10 crossover game over Mendon, 43-36.
Stroud hit the nets for 16 points in this one, Riley Sinkler and Rindfield had 10 points each and Mancera added seven.
Lawrence (14-9 overall) took on Kalamazoo Hackett on Wednesday in the district semi-finals with the championship set to take play on Friday, between the winner of Martin and Byron Center Zion.
Lawton girls come back for opening round district win over Galesburg-Augusta
The Lawton girls basketball team was hosting Galesburg-Augusta in their opening round Division 3 district game on Monday. The Lady Blue Devils found themselves down by four points at the half, but they rallied in final two quarters to claim a 45-39 victory and extend their season.
Kenna Macon scored 10 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 20 on the night and she also had eight steals. Kenzee Terpstra hit four threes to net 12 points, Ella Richter had five points and seven rebounds and Kylee Somers tracked down eight rebounds.
Lawton (13-10) hosted Schoolcraft in a district semi-final on Wednesday, with the finals set for Friday. Delton Kellogg and Kalamazoo Christian played in the other semi-final.
Lawton boys drop game to Parchment
The Lawton boys basketball team was at home against Parchment on Friday. The Blue Devils dropped the game however, 61-39.
Parker VanPeteghem led the team with 15 points.
On Tuesday, Feb. 21 the Blue Devils hosted Coloma and were able to pick up a 44-40 victory.
Luke Leighton and VanPeteghem had 12 points apiece.
Lawton played at Paw Paw on Tuesday hosts Kalamazoo Christian today (Thursday) and begins district action next week.
Paw Paw boys drop home game with Otsego
The Paw Paw boys basketball hosted a tough Otsego squad on Friday. The Red Wolves lost the game 58-44, but still played well against the Wolverine Conference leaders.
Ayden Roth was able to score 17 points, Truman Brennan netted 11 and Troy Vandenberg scored eight.
On Tuesday, Feb. 21 Paw Paw lost at Parchment, 72-52.
Brennan was able to lead the way in this one for the Red Wolves, scoring 18 points while Roth and Ashton Toliver each put in nine.
Paw Paw (5-15 overall) hosted Lawrence on Tuesday, hosts Sturgis today (Thursday) in its regular season finale and opens up District action at home against Three Rivers on Monday.
Gobles girls wrap up regular season with pair of wins
The Gobles girls basketball team wrapped up their successful regular season on Friday, taking down host Galesburg-Augusta, 46-36.
“After a slow start both teams picked up the offense,” head coach Greg Barber said. “It was a tightly contested game through three quarters. Once again we were able to wear them down and take control in the fourth quarter.”
Gobles led 8-7 after the first quarter, the game was tied 22-22 at the half and the Tigers led 35-32 entering the fourth where they were able to get some breathing room.
Erica Barber led the team with 21 points. Kaya Huizenga had 11 points and five rebounds and Charlotte Zanetello had six points and eight rebouds.
On Tuesday, Feb. 21 it was a home win over Delton Kellogg for the girls, 43-27.
“We struggled most of the night offensively,” Barber said. “Delton came out playing very hard in the first half and made it very difficult for us. We finally found our stride in the fourth quarter. We were able to wear them down and take control in the last quarter. Erica Barber and Kylee Killeen led the way offensively.”
Gobles was able to lead after each quarter break, 12-6 after one, 18-14 at the half and 29-26 entering the fourth.
Barber finished with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists, Kylee Killeen had 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, Zantello had seven points, 10 rebounds, two assists and two steals, Deanna Wood had four points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals and Kennadi Killeen had six pints, seven rebounds and three steals.
Gobles (16-6 overall) played Hartford at Bloomingdale on Wednesday in a district semi-final game. The finals are set for Friday with Watervliet and Bloomingdale playing in the other semi-final.
Gobles boys close out regular season with loss at Galesburg-Augusta
The Gobles boys basketball team closed out the regular season on Friday. The Tigers lost that contest though, 69-24.
Aden Newberry led the team with eight points.
“Galesburg jump on us early in the contest jumping out to a 23- 6 lead to start the game,” head coach Scott Sherrod said. “They’ve been playing good ball all year long and their boys were the aggressors.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 21 Gobles won a home league game over Delton Kellogg, 57-50.
Tristan Harbaugh had a big game with 18 points and seven rebounds, Newberry netted 16 points, Jayden Otis had eight points, Jack Geiger had seven points and eight rebounds and Xavier Wilkes had 10 assists.
“Even with our point guard on limited minutes and Tristan in early foul trouble, we played composed all night long,” Sherrod said. “Newberry and Wilkes carried the load in the first half with Aden scoring 12 of his 16 in the first half.”
Gobles (4-18 overall) opens up district play at Hartford on Monday.

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