**ARTICLE BY JOSH LONGSTRETH**
BOYS BASKETBALL DISTRICT ROUNDUP
District 9 hosted by Rockford
- Greenville pulled off a nail-biter over Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, 55-54.
- Lowell came from behind to knock off Forest Hills Central, 50-48.
- Rockford cruised over Cedar Springs, 64-41.
- Northview beat Greenville, 69-40.
- Rockford survived Lowell, 49-47.
Friday 7:00 @ Rockford High School
Northview (19-4) VS Rockford (17-7)
We’re in store for what should be an absolute thriller of a game in the District 9 Final. No surprise here as the two teams that were expected to be here take way Friday night. The Rams come in getting a bit of a scare from a gutsy Lowell team. Survive and advance, it doesn’t matter how you do it is the mantra this time of year. Rockford has the makeup of a team that could be playing deep into March.
The Wildcats have the advantage of playing one less game but they’ll be in store for a battle. Northview comes in on a 7-game win streak and they don’t plan on heading home any time soon. It’s been a great season for the Wildcats and don’t be surprised if that continues.
Both teams couldn’t ask for more. A district title on the line. Rockford has the home gym advantage but can they jump on the Wildcats early? We’ll see come Friday night.
District 11 hosted by Zeeland East
Round 1 :
- Jenison advanced over Zeeland East, 51-46.
- Zeeland West moved on over West Ottawa, 60-54.
- Grandville picked up a win over Holland, 50-34. Tyson Mann led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Logan Stoep-Stockwell and Cam Regnerus both added 14 points apiece.
- Hudsonville defeated Jenison, 59-48.
- Zeeland West knocked off Grandville in what was an absolute classic, defeating the Bulldogs in double OT 75-69. Tyson Mann finishes his high school career with a monster 30-point effort. Merritt Alderink led the way for West with 33 points and 9 rebounds. Myles Steffen was big with 16 points. Luke Bakker pitched in 14.
Friday 7:00 @ Zeeland East High School
Hudsonville (16-7) VS Zeeland West (17-6)
The Eagles come in after controlling most of the game against Jenison led by Brayden Szamrej who had a big district semifinal game. Hudsonville had everything clicking in that game as they limited an upset-hungry Wildcats team.
Zeeland West has been tested in their first two district games but they were able to find it in them to pull it off. The Dux are getting a balanced attack from their offense right now which is vital this time of year.
Hudsonville will look to take advantage of what could be a tired Zeeland West team. One thing is for certain, however, and that’s the fact that the Dux have the moxey to go grab another win in a tough spot. Fans will be in for a battle Friday night.
District 12 hosted by Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
- Ottawa Hills beat Thornapple Kellogg, 67-28.
- East Grand Rapids flexed their muscle over Wyoming, 69-50.
- Byron Center defeated Caledonia, 78-65.
- East Kentwood cruised past Ottawa Hills, 75-58.
- Byron Center defeated East Grand Rapids, 39-33.
Friday 7:00 @ TK High School
East Kentwood (17-6) VS Byron Center (14-10)
East Kentwood cruised in their district semifinal. The Falcons are a team that can score at will and turn you over in a hurry. The favorites heading in, they’ll look to seal a District title in just a couple days.
The Bulldogs come in showing that they can beat you offensively and defensively. Their first two district games couldn’t have been polar opposite with one being high-paced and the other being a grind it out affair. Now they’ll look to see if they can do whatever it takes to grab another win.
Byron Center has shown what they can do much of the year. They’ll be up to task in this one but if the Falcons make it a high tempo game the Bulldogs will have to be very careful. An intriguing matchup heading into Friday night.
District 10 hosted by Coopersville
- Grand Rapids Union rolled past Mona Shores, 75-63. The Red Hawks were led by a balanced scoring attack in Kyale Lockridge (18 points), Marquan Ross (16 points) and Brian Parks (15 points).
- Reeths-Puffer cruised past Kenowa Hills, 75-61. Jaxson Whitaker put in a big night with 35 points (9 three-pointers) and 6 rebounds. Travis Ambrose was big with 20 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks.
- Coopersville survived a thriller over Grand Haven, 47-44.
- Muskegon had it going in every way Wednesday night, defeating Grand Rapids Union 72-34. The Big Reds stormed out of the gate and held a 22-12 lead at the half. Jordan Briggs (20 points) and freshman James Martin (18 points) had big games to lead Muskegon. Anthony Sydnor helped with 14 points. The Big Reds put on an offensive display in the 2nd half by pouring in 50 points.
- Reeths-Puffer won a back and forth battle with Coopersville, 59-55 in OT. The Rockets held a 23-18 lead at the half. Porter Kretschman would come up big by sending the game into the extra period with a late three-pointer. Travis Ambrose (25 points) and Jaxson Whitaker (23 points) both had big nights to lead the Rockets.
Friday 7:00 @ Coopersville High School
Muskegon (21-2) VS Reeths-Puffer (15-9)
What can you say about Muskegon? One of the best in the state led by Wayne State commit Jordan Briggs and they haven’t skipped a beat all year. The Big Reds had everything working for them in the district semifinal, now they’ll look to cap it off with a district title.
Reeths-Puffer has been on a flurry of offense over their past two district games. Jaxson Whitaker and Travis Ambrose are a one-two punch that could give Muskegon some problems. If the Rockets can limit the Big Reds offensively, they’ll have a shot at raising a trophy Friday night.
Muskegon has been on a mission all season. The Rockets continued improvement could get in the way here, however. If they want their dream season to keep rolling, the Big Reds will have to make guys outside of Whitaker and Ambrose hurt them. Buckle up, this is going to be a battle.
District 13 hosted by Kalamazoo Loy Norrix
- St. Joseph defeated Portage Northern, 66-58.
- Portage Central defeated Stevensville Lakeshore, 53-26.
- Mattawan won a tough battle over Loy Norrix, 78-73. Trailing late the Wildcats were able to make a frantic comeback and stun the Knights. Noah Vanlaningham was sensational with 29 points coming away with a school record in the process (school record for most points in a playoff game). Ryan Kiesling had a big game of his own with 20 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Brendan Garza added 12 points. Connor Walsh pitched in 8 points and 7 rebounds. Cedric Huntley led Loy Norrix with 21 points.
- Kalamazoo Central knocked off St. Joseph, 61-56.
- Mattawan defeated Portage Central, 55-48.
Friday 7:00 @ Robert Quiring Gymnasium
Kalamazoo Central (19-3) VS Mattawan (19-4)
Central survived a tough battle with St. Joseph on Wednesday night but their offense and defense couldn’t have been better. It’s a team that has been on a mission all season and they’re a team that could be getting ready for a deep playoff run in March. They’ll look to answer the bell Friday night.
The Wildcats have had much of that same look throughout the season. A mission to make a deep run come tournament time. They can beat you in a variety of ways and they have their best stepping up at the biggest time.
These two have met once already this season. In the first matchup Central was able to limit the Wildcats and controlled much of the pace. Mattawan has likely learned from that game and have no plans of it happening again if they have anything to say about it.
District 43 hosted by Godwin Heights
- Unity Christian defeated Allendale, 72-58.
- Godwin Heights rolled past Kelloggsville, 62-40.
- Grand Rapids Catholic Central fell to Unity Christian, 55-57.
- Godwin Heights survived an OT battle with Wyoming Lee, 83-80. Jakhary Towns led the Wolverines with 47 points.
Friday Night 7:00 @ Godwin Heights Physical Education Building
Hudsonville Unity Christian (15-9) VS Godwin Heights (14-7)
The Wolverines offense has been potent as they look to seal a district title. Unity Christian has been impressive in both district games, they’ll look to do it one last time in hopes raising a district championship.
District 45 hosted by Plainwell
- Hastings beat Kentwood Grand River Prep, 65-56.
- Wayland cruised past Plainwell, 74-56. Brett Bultsma led the Wildcats with 21 points. Elijah Maas helped with 15. Kaharrie Pureifoy finished with 13.
- Grand Rapids South Christian was off and running over Hastings, 69-25.
- Otsego defeated Wayland, 65-54. The Bulldogs were led by Blake Marks (16 points) and Samuel Bronkema (15 points).
Friday night 7:00 @ Plainwell High School
Grand Rapids South Christian (20-3) VS Otsego (18-4)
It’s been a big season for the Sailors. Outside of just a few games, South Christian has dominated nearly every opponent they have played. Now? Well, the Sailors might be playing their best basketball fo the season. Offensively and defensively South Christian has been giving teams fits. One more time and they’ll secure a district title.
You can’t say enough about Otsego and the run that they’ve been on the past few seasons. This season might be their best yet. The offense is finding some big time traction right now and the defense isn’t letting anything happen for opposing offenses. Many might say they’re the underdog in this one, that’s just fine by them.
Otsego has proven they can beat you any way this season. South Christian is entirely different animal. The Sailors might be in for their biggest test yet.
- Hamilton advances by knocking off Holland Christian, 62-55. JT McIllwain (23 points) and JD DeGroot (21 points) came up big for the Hawkeyes. Kyle Cannon led Holland with 18.
- Allegan defeated Hopkins, 57-46.
- Hamilton rolls by South Haven, 48-33.
Friday 7:00 @ Hamilton High School.
Allegan (12-11) VS Hamilton (20-4)
The Tigers have a new sense or urgency right now and they were able to show that in an OT win over a very solid Hopkins team on Wednesday night. It hasn’t exactly been the easiest season for Allegan but with new life comes new hope. And they took advantage of that in every way as they now have a chance to play for a district title.
Hamilton is in the midst of a truly special season for their program. The Hawkeyes didn’t have much trouble throughout the regular season. They were able to secure a division title on a last shot attempt. Now they look to continue their special run and turn it into a district title. With the way they’re playing, they might not need that buzzer-beater.
Look for Hamilton to really push their pressure on the Tigers early. The Hawkeyes have played some of the best defense in any division this season. If they can jump on Allegan early and take away any hope for the Tigers, it could be a long night. Hamilton is looking to grab their first district championship since 1987.
OTHER DIVISION 2 DISTRICTS:
- Grand Rapids Christian knocked off Forest Hills Eastern, 66-60. The Eagles will now have a chance to secure a district title when they take on Ionia (18-5) on Friday night. Tip will be at 7:00 inside Forest Hills Eastern High School.
- Fruitport cruised past Montague, 48-35. The Trojans would survive an OT thriller over Whitehall to have a chance to play in the district final on Friday.
- Spring Lake was off an running in their win over Oakridge, 74-39. They’ll face a Fruitport team that is riding high when the two square off for a district title Friday night.
- Whitehall had they stellar season halted at the hands of Fruitport, 69-77 in OT.
- Big Rapids knocked off Ludington in what was a tight battle, 62-61. Dawson Dunn led all scorers with 19 points. Jack Ruggles added 14. Mason Dunn finished with 11.
- Hart was able to past a very good Big Rapids team in the district semifinals, 62-56. In that game, Parker Hovey recorded his 1,000th career point, finishing the game with 35. The Cardinals season will end in what was one of their best. With the win the Pirates will face Cadillac in the district final. That game is slated for Friday night at Big Rapids High School with a 7:00 tip.
- West Catholic defeated Comstock Park, 60-50, in the district opener. The Falcons would fall on Wednesday against Sparta, 49-63.
- Grant picked up a win over Newaygo, 64-48. After winning the district opener, the Tigers would fall to Fremont in the semifinals.
Fremont and Sparta will have a chance to capture a district title when they square off Friday night at Comstock Park High School. That final will be a 7:00 tip.
- Frankenmuth cruised past Caro in their first round matchup, 58-32. The Eagles season would come to an end in the semifinals as they fell victim to a one-point loss to Bridgeport, 37-38.
- Grandville Calvin Christian continues their monumental season by running past Fennville, 74-20. The Squires will have a shot at a district title on Friday when they face Grand Rapids Covenant Christian. The Chargers advance to the title game after taking down Potter’s House 63-39. Calvin Christian cruised in their meeting early this season, but this one has a lot more on the line.
- Ravenna knocked off Muskegon Western Michigan Christian, 52-49.
- Kent City raced into the district finals with their win over Holton, knocking off the Red Devils 55-35.
- Northpointe Christian took down Maple Valley 83-36 in the Wednesday semifinal. Kayden Bird had 39 points in the win.
- Grand Rapids Wellspring Prep saw their season end against Pewamo-Westphalia 90-46.
- Northpointe and P-W will square off for the district title on Friday. The Mustangs will travel to P-W for the 7:00 game.
- Kalamazoo Christian defeated Galesburg-Augusta in their first round matchup, 58-36.
- Schoolcraft is off to the district final as they cruise past Comstock, 62-39.
- Hackett Catholic Prep would hold off Kalamazoo Christian, 44-35.
- Schoolcraft and Hackett Catholic will battle for a district title on Friday. That game is set for a 7:00 start time at Galesburg-Augusta High School.
- Lawton defeated Bloomingdale in the semifinals, 74-40. Nolan Collins paced the Blue Devils with 18 points on the night. Parker VanPeteghem added 13. Lawton heads to the district final for the 4th year in a row when they face Hartford. That game will be Friday at 7:00.
- Muskegon Catholic Central fell to Fruitport Calvary Christian, 48-61.