Tag Archives: MHSAA

OLSM Star Pitcher Brock Porter Signs with Texas Rangers

Brock Porter was recently drafted #109 by the Texas Rangers after being projected to go much higher. The Gatorade National Player of the Year had committed to Clemson after an incredible career and senior campaign. However, Porter said he would not sign at the slot amount and instead go to college. The Rangers negotiated and gave him a deal for just under 4 million dollars to sign and the recent graduate will be heading to Texas as a professional baseball player.

Forecasting Week Two of MHSAA Football

Game of the Week
It may be July, but the days are quickly passing like a 7 on 7 tournament happening all over the Mitten state as teams prep to chase their dreams at a state title. While some may have more reasonable hopes of achieving that dream, squads of helmeted teens prepare, nonetheless, to take the field in just over a month.

We wanted to take an early look at what will be our game of the week taking place during Thursday/Friday week 1 action the Rockford Rams and visiting Mona Shores Sailors.

The Sailors finished their season last year with an 8-3 (6-1) record with victories and defeats that were lopsided. When the Sailors won, they did with emphasis. When they lost, it was by a large margin. Much of this was due scheduling some difficult opponents in eventual state champion Detroit Martin Luther King and perennial power Muskegon. Mona Shores eventually fell in the second round of the playoffs in a lopsided 49-12 defeat to Caledonia.

Rockford had a tremendous season 11-1 (7-0) that saw them finish the regular season with a conference championship and undefeated record before being bounced in heartbreaking fashion in the third round of playoffs to Grand Blanc 28-27. The Rams came through in clutch time with several close victories throughout the year, but were unable to do it one more time and the magical run came to an end.

If the game had been played last year, Rockford would have been the clear favorite, but a single year can make a large difference; even at schools with larger class sizes. Rockford graduated a considerable number of impact players on both sides of the ball in 2021 and will see someone new under center in 2022. Replacing such incredible talent won’t be easy. On the flip side, Mona Shores also graduated star quarterback Mark Konecny. Both teams will be looking to find success regardless of changes in the lineup.

Mona Shores struggled to keep up when their defense put them in a position to make the game a shootout last year. If the Sailors are going to have a chance, it will be with stout defense in a game that keeps the score tight and low. If the Rams start stacking up points, the game will likely get out of reach for Mona Shores’.

Our “too early” prediction for the week one game of the week is: Rockford 38 Mona Shores 20

Other Week One Predictions:
Coopersville 28 – Sparta 7
GR Catholic Central 35 – Port Huron 20
Unity Christian 48 – Whitehall 14
Cedar Springs 7 – River Rouge 56
Reeths Puffer 14 – Grand Haven 13
Kent City 20 – Newaygo 13
Forest Hills Central 21 – Jenison 14
Northview 27 – West Ottawa 20
Forest Hills Northern 40 – Wyoming 13
West Catholic 28 – Edwardsburg 35



Unity Christian Freshman Arie Landstra Sinks Hole in One

Arie Landstra began developing a love for the game of golf at a young age during outings to the course with his father. 8 years later, the Unity Christian freshman is in his first year of high school golf as part of the Crusader junior varsity golf team.

The individual nature of the game appeals to Landstra, “unlike the sports I play like basketball or football… there is a lot more of a mental game in golf.” That focus and mental game was tested last Wednesday when Unity Christian participated in a jamboree against five other schools at Pigeon Creek Golf Course.

Landstra opened with a slow start and triple bogeyed his very first hole. He shook off the nerves and managed to get clicking. By hole 17, a 170 yard par 3, he was in a rhythm. He approached the tee wielding his 7 iron and with the wind at his back. He entered his backswing and launched a beautiful shot that sailed towards the flag and disappeared from view.

Landstra was immediately overwhelmed by what he was almost certain he had seen and took off running towards the pin to verify it for himself. What he found was what all golfers aspire to achieve; his golf ball nestled soundly in the bottom of the cup. A hole in one.

He closed the day shooting a 41 on 9 holes, which placed him first as an individual and aided Unity Christian in sealing the team victory as well.

Landstra has checked this milestone off his bucket list, but several goals still stand before him. He hopes to close his freshman campaign with a winning record and work towards earning a spot on varsity next year. His long term goal is to raise a state championship trophy. He is certainly off to a great start.

Top 35 Girls Basketball Players We Saw This Season

Player of the Year – Abbey Kimball, West Catholic (Senior)
Our player of the year is senior West Catholic guard, Abbey Kimball. While she came in second to Detroit Edison senior, Ruby Whitehorn, in the Miss Basketball standings and her Falcons lost to Edison in the state championship, she was the most complete and skilled player we saw all season. She is the best half-court scorer in the state and is able to finish in the paint or behind the arc. She also has excellent passing vision and transition skills to go with solid athleticism on the defensive end.

#2 – Ruby Whitehorn, Detroit Edison (Senior)

#3 – Indya Davis, West Bloomfield (Sophomore)

#4 – Macy Brown, East Grand Rapids (Junior)

#5 – Mya Petticord, Arbor Prep (Senior)

#6 – Theryn Hallock, Forest Hills Central (Senior)

#7 – Myonna Hooper, West Bloomfield (Senior)

#8 – Amanda Roach, Hartland (Senior)

#9 – Madisen Wardell, Detroit Edison (Senior)

#10 – Gabi Lutchka, Grass Lake (Senior)

#11 – Cadence Dykstra, West Catholic (Junior)

#12 – Jaci Tubergen, Hudsonville (Senior)

#13 – Soraya Timms, East Lansing (Senior)

#14 – Alyssa Wypych, Rockford (Junior)

#15 – Janae Tyler, Holt (Senior)

#16 – Maddie Petroelje, Hudsonville (Junior)

#17 – Ashley Bower, Portland (Senior)

#18 – Maddie Geers, Kent City (Sophomore)

#19 – Summer Davis, West Bloomfield (Sophomore)

#20– Claire Groenewoud, Holt (Senior)

#21 – Karianna Woods, Arbor Prep (Senior)

#22 – Dakota Alston, Detroit Edison (Junior)

#23 – Ella Miller, East Lansing (Senior)

#24 – Anna Wypych, Rockford (Freshman)

#25 – Lexie Bowers, Kent City (Junior)

#26 – Michelle McGee, Wyoming (Senior)

#27 – Mia Riley, Fowler (Senior)

#28 – Alaina Diaz, Hudsonville (Senior)

#29 – Brax Baker, Lowell (Sophomore)

#30 – Emma Riley, Fowler (Junior)

#31 – Lydia Meredith, St. Patrick (Senior)

#32 – Jamya Robinson, Muskegon (Senior)

#33 – Grace Lyons, Rockford (Senior)

#34 – Jayd Hovey, Hart (Senior)

#35 – Madison Garbow, Morley-Stanwood (Senior)

Top 5 Returning Players in 2023 – Indya Davis – West Bloomfield, Macy Brown – East Grand Rapids, Cadence Dykstra – West Catholic, Maddie Petroelje – Hudsonville and Alyssa Wypych – Rockford.

Kent City Did It Again

There are few teams that lost as much as the Kent City Eagles did last spring as two all-time Kent City greats, Kenzie Bowers and Jenna Harrison, graduated. The two school and state record holders left the small town of Kent City, Michigan to continue their basketball careers in the collegiate ranks (Bowers at Illinois State and Harrison at Siena Heights).

One could have been forgiven for assuming the Eagles would take a step back in 2022, even as they brought back several key pieces of that historic run. The Eagles had other plans and have battled their way into the state final with an unblemished record for the second straight season after handling Madison Heights Bishop Foley with relative ease. The Eagles got a huge boost from junior guard Lexie Bowers, who was held to just 6 points in the state quarterfinal, but was on fire inside Breslin for the second straight year.

Last year the Eagles faced Grass Lake and Big 10 Indiana commit Lexus Bargesser & Northwood commit Gabi Lutchka. This year the Eagles advance to challenge another giant, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep.

The Gators are loaded with Division 1 talent and led by Texas A&M commit Mya Petticord and Bethune-Cookman commit Karianna Woods.

One could also be forgiven for thinking the Eagles should shift into “just glad to have made it” mode with such a task ahead of them Saturday evening. While Arbor Prep’s aggressive and physical style of play will be on display in the final, it should be expected to see a Kent City team ready to respond and play with a chip on their shoulder as well.

It is not often that the David in the “David and Goliath” metaphor is the defending state runner-up, but it is the place Kent City finds itself and the stigma they’ve been upending all season long on their way to a perfect 26-0 record going into the final matchup of the season with a state championship on the line.

Clean Sweep for Area Girls Basketball

The talents of west Michigan girls basketball were on full display Tuesday night. Kent City traveled an hour south to face Schoolcraft in the quarterfinal for a second year in a row, Rockford welcomed East Lansing just down the road at Calvin University and West Catholic faced undefeated Edwardsburg in Wayland.

A year after Kent City (25-0) routed Schoolcraft (finished season 23-2), the teams battled it out through four quarters of defensive brilliance. Schoolcraft managed to slow Kent City star, Lexie Bowers, and held her to just six points. However, sisters Emma and Maddie Geers played sister-sister and led the Eagles on the offensive end to the 34-33 victory. The Eagles will head to Breslin for the second time in school history in as many years. They will face Madison Heights Bishop Foley (20-3).

While it took the Kent City faithful four quarters to find out if their Eagles would advance, West Catholic (24-1) had their answer much earlier in the night. Undefeated Edwardsburg (finished season 24-1) was outmatched from the jump and never got their bearings. The Falcons ran away with things in the first half and did the unthinkable by forcing a running clock in the second half during the state quarterfinal. West Catholic advanced with the stunning 82-27 final. The Falcons are playing with a fire brought on by a heartbreaking exit last year, partially due to Covid protocols and will have something to prove against Detroit Country Day this Thursday.

The final showcase of west Michigan girls basketball talent was the Rockford Rams (23-2) and East Lansing Trojans (finished season 19-5). Both teams are stacked with stellar guards able to handle and shoot the ball with efficiency. East Lansing also had the unique aspect of a post presence in senior center, Ella Miller. Both teams played a hard-fought first half with Rockford freshman Anna Wypych giving a standout shooting performance on the way to a 23-21 lead at the break. East Lansing’s offensive efficiency waned in the third quarter after coming out hot in their first few possessions and fell behind double digits. The Trojans made several runs, but couldn’t sustain them long enough to overcome the Rams’ hot shooting touches. The Rams advanced to the state final with the 54-43 victory.

All three west Michigan programs advance, proving once again that west Michigan hosts some of the best girls basketball in the state and deserves more recognition in the state-wide hoops landscape.

Northview Advances to Face West Ottawa

The gym was electric on Tuesday night in Grand Haven, MI. Elite basketball talent was on display all evening and four teams entered the confines of Grand Haven High School with plans to leave with berths into the regional championship. The unfortunate nature of the post-season meant that two teams would be leaving empty-handed.

Wyoming narrowly led West Ottawa at the half and seemed to be in control of that slim margin for most of the second half, but things began to slip as desperation set in for West Ottawa. With their season on the line, they managed to put together a small run and gain the advantage. That put them in the driver’s seat and allowed them to play keep away for most of the final 6 minutes. That strategy put them at the line and the Panthers managed to sink all but a couple down the stretch. Despite mounting a spirited effort, Wyoming could not get over the hump and lost a battle in the regional semifinal.

The second matchup of the night was a slugfest between two favorites to go the distance this post-season. The unfortunate news was that the two would be facing one another in the round of 16. Muskegon seemed poised for the opportunity to upset Northview and Mr. Basketball finalist, Kyler VanderJagt. They jumped all over the Wildcats in the early going behind impassioned defense and incredible shooting.

Northview also found themselves as the beneficiary of severe foul trouble to three of its starters and top two scorers, VanderJagt and Jalen Charity. That meant the Wildcats had to turn to their bench and next level of scorers to deliver quality minutes and most importantly: points. Not only did the Wildcats answer the call, but managed to maintain a lead going into half.

The second half saw more tough fouls called against Northview’s scorers, but Charity was able to see prolonged minutes, while VanderJagt patiently waited for time to dwindle low enough to step back on the floor in a close contest. Northview’s balanced attack slowly began to drain the Big Reds and the lead began to expand. However, every time it looked like Northview might run away with it, Muskegon would mount another run that kept things hopping in the packed gymnasium. In the end, Northview played like a veteran roster and never lost their composure, even as Muskegon pulled within striking distance multiple times. That poise will be necessary if the Wildcats are going to achieve their goal of a state championship.

Northview will face West Ottawa in the regional final on Wednesday night as heavy favorites.

Area Teams Prepare for Big Playoff Matchups

Boys Basketball Roundup

Northview will have one of the best showdowns in the area as they face a battle-hardened Muskegon team in Grand Haven. Despite being favorites for much of the season and knocking off several giants throughout the regular season, Northview will have their hands full with Muskegon and stellar forward Ethan Hill. Northview has some players to be contended with as well and it will be tough for the Big Reds to slow down all of them. Expect Northview to not overlook this matchup even though they have bigger goals on the horizon.

A year removed from a trip to Breslin and a state runner-up finish, Tri-Unity Christian will look to continue their run this year with goals of taking down the title in star Brady Titus’ senior campaign. It’s championship or bust this year for the Crusaders.

Girls Basketball Roundup
Kent City is no stranger to long post-season runs and will not be unfamiliar with their state quarterfinal opponent, Schoolcraft. The two teams met last year in the quarterfinal round with Kent City dominating their way to a nearly 40 point victory. While both teams have been rolling again this year, Kent City has had to find a new identity behind first year head coach, Aleah Holcomb, and emerging playmakers Maddie Geers and Lexie Bowers with the Eagles losing several key pieces from the 2021 squad. Despite those key changes from last year, Kent City is certainly a favorite to emerge as the victor and head for their second ever trip to the Breslin Center later this week.

The Rockford Rams will have a tough matchup against visiting East Lansing at Calvin University on Tuesday Night. The Rams upset Hudsonville by 22, despite losing both regular season matchups by double digits. The Rams will have another tough test as they face a very well-rounded East Lansing team, which has been rolling as well the last month. This one could go either way, but the Rams will look to play the role of underdog again, but are fully capable of turning the tables as well.

West Catholic got revenge over Newaygo, the team responsible for knocking them out of the tournament last spring. While Newaygo may have got the better of the Falcons that day, West Catholic had vindication on the brain as two of their key players were out of that previous matchup due to covid protocols. This year was a different story and West Catholic dominated for the full 32 minutes. They will have a solid matchup in southern Michigan this Tuesday, but should come out the victors and head to Breslin later this week.

Other Teams in Action this Week

Calvin Christian High School
Sparta High School
Wyoming High School
West Ottowa High School
Grand Rapids Christian High School
Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Kent City Eagles Continue Journey

Despite a very aggressive Covenant Christian team, the Eagles continued their journey towards the grand prize, a State High School Championship.

Covenant Christian led most of the first quarter, with the Eagles trailing close behind. But soon the tide changed and the Eagles took off.

Lexi Bowers finished with 19 points, but it was Madelyn Geers who had to take charge when Bowers got her fourth foul at the begging of the 3rd quarter. The Kent City Eagles defeated Covenant Christian 46-32.

Lexie Bowers 19 points Madelyn Geers 16 points Taryn Preston 9 points.

Kent City (24-0) will play Schoolcraft (23-1) tuesday at Edwardsburg High School at 7pm.

Potter’s House Raises Banner and Downs Grand River Prep for Homecoming

There is an adage that spans the parlance of the battlefield to the chessboard to the gridiron: the best defense is a good offense. Well the Potter’s House Pumas set out to prove two things on Friday night at “The House.” The first was that the age old phrase fits the confines of the hardwood and that the inverse of the popular colloquialism is also apropos: The best offense is a good defense.

The Lady Pumas dominated the court with defensive pressure running the length of the gym and were able to keep the visiting Grand River Prep Titans from crossing halfcourt for what seemed like the majority of the game. Wave after wave of fresh players left the bench and entered play to continue the defensive onslaught, which generated fast break points on the offensive end. That in turn gave the Pumas a sizable advantage early in just the first few minutes of play and they made sure to never look back again.

The pressure proved too much for the Titans and the Pumas gave Potter’s House its first varsity victory of the Homecoming festivities.

Potter’s House was not done celebrating after the teams left the floor and the Puma faithful welcomed and honored their 2021 state champion soccer squad with a post-season highlight film and championship banner reveal. The spotlight glowed on the fresh vinyl and generated even more energy to the already raucous crowd.

Then it was the Puma boys’ turn to bask in the spotlight.

Despite being heavy favorites, the Pumas struggled to settle into the flow of the game early on and fell behind the Titans in the first quarter. However, a big second quarter run gave the Pumas the advantage going into half and some adjustments at the break broke any hopes the visitors had of playing spoiler in night’s finale.

Potter’s House was able to generate significant pressure all over the court and played with such ferocity and energy that, at times, it felt like they might have had eight defenders on the court. Like in the previous game, this pressure gave the Pumas high percentage looks on the offensive end and absolutely crushed the Titans in the second half.

The game entered mercy rule territory and the clock ran out, giving the Pumas the incredible 79-34 homecoming victory.

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