Tag Archives: Michigan

Morley Stanwood Boys Win on the Road in Kent City

The Morley Stanwood Mohawks and Kent City Eagles put on a great performance in “The Nest” at Kent City High School on Wednesday night.

The Mohawks looked prepped to put a stamp on things with a full quarter to go, but some costly turnovers and some desperation play on Kent City’s end made things interesting until the final buzzer sounded. Despite pulling within two scores several times in the final minutes, the Eagles could not get over the hump and Mohawks took the CSAA road victory back with them on the 35 mile trip north to Morley Stanwood.

Morley Stanwood improves to 6-3 (5-0) while Kent City 5-4 (4-2) hopes to get things back on track this Friday on the road against Holton High School. The Mohawks were led by Ryland Nelson with 24 points and 14 from Carter Veldkamp. Kent City received high scores from Kyler Larson with 20 points and Casen Armstrong with 16 points.

Kent City Girls Withstand Mohawk Surge to Remain Unbeaten

The #2 ranked Division 3 Kent City varsity girls basketball team got their first test of the season last night when fellow CSAA conference power, Morley Stanwood, came to town.

While Kent City has run through the competition so far this season, their schedule gets intentionally harder in the coming weeks with contests against Morley Stanwood, East Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Cedar Springs. Morley Stanwood, for their part, hoped to establish themselves atop the CSAA standings with an upset on the road and managed to pull ahead twice in the third quarter on a free throw by junior guard Maddie Garbow and jumper from senior forward Brooke Brauher.

The two teams battled within a possession or two for the duration of the game. However, Kent City’s blistering pace began to take its toll on the Mohawks going into the fourth quarter and Kent City caught fire at just the right time with senior guard Jenna Harrison, who had been uncharacteristically cold from the floor most of the game, knocking down several triples towards the conclusion of the second half.

Kent City stretched the lead to a final score of 43-32 for the double digit victory that was much closer than the scoreboard would suggest. Harrison led the Eagles with 15 points and was helped by senior guard Kenzie Bowers with 12 points. The Mohawks were led by Brooke Brauher’s double-double of 11 points & 10 rebounds and Braelynn Berry’s 10 points & 9 rebounds. The #2 Eagles improve to 11-0 (6-0). The Mohawks drop to 7-3 (5-1).

Brauher Tops 1000 in Convincing Mohawk Victory

One word describes Morley Stanwood’s performance against the Evart Wildcats on Monday night: Efficiency.

Things looked evenly match in the early minutes, if one didn’t look up at the scoreboard, but the constant pressure from the Morley Stanwood defense, unrelenting ball movement & a diverse palate of scorers on offense had the Mohawks in charge of a substantial lead early in the game. The sneaky efficiency of their offensive and defensive attack made the gargantuan lead even more shocking when a narrow lead stretched incredibly in just a few short minutes. They never looked back.

The Mohawks took control early in the second quarter behind Brauher and junior Madison Garbow, who delivered points in waves for the home team. Brauher continuously cut through the Evart defense like a hot knife through butter in a way that managed to be equal parts grace & power and finished under or around defenders with her long reach on several finger roll buckets.

It didn’t take long for the Morley Stanwood senior standout to eclipse 1000 career points on Monday night. Despite a delayed start and abbreviated season, the Trine University commit passed the milestone just five and a half games into her final season for the Mohawks on an “and one” just before halftime.

The fateful bucket came in the waning moments of the first half when Brauher drove the right side of the lane, finished an aggressive layup and drew the foul as the ball dropped through the iron. She hit the free throw, giving her 13 at that point in the night and number 1001 for her career. The Mohawk faithful presented her a ceremonial basketball to commemorate the moment and broke into locker rooms for halftime.

Coming out after the half with a 32-8 lead, Morley Stanwood seemed determined to get their deep bench some varsity experience. Evart, for their part, seemed determined to make that varsity experience a baptism by fire.

Despite trailing big, the Wildcats began applying renewed energy in their half court defense and even went to full court pressure in an attempt to boost possessions in the third and fourth quarters. The strategy worked as much as it could and Evart forced a series of turnovers that led to fast break points at the other end. The Mohawk lead got trimmed to just under 20 with four minutes remaining before some strategic subbing helped get some experience on the court to pair with the next generation of Mohawks.

The Mohawks finished the game over Evart with a score of 49-31. Morley Stanwood was led by Brauher and Garbow with 17 & 11 points, respectively. Evart was led by Baumgardner with 15 points.

All in all, the conclusion was never in doubt and the Mohawks showed they will be a formidable squad in the CSAA runnings and beyond this year. They will face a challenging test with Big Rapids coming to town this Wednesday in what is sure to be an exiting night of basketball.

Holton Boys Defeat Kent City in CSAA Defensive Showdown

Friday night was a hotly contested battle between the visiting Red Devils of Holton High School and the hosting Eagles of Kent City. While the teams split contests last year, with the Eagles walloping the Red Devils in the first matchup and losing a closer contest a month later, both teams have largely retooled in the past year.

The Eagles graduated several key seniors in 2020, including leading scorer and current Grace University Tiger, Eli Carlson. Holton, for their part, brought a deep class of juniors and a new cast of underclassmen to pair with seniors Aidan Poling and Joseph McLean.

While both teams showed elements of inexperience with younger rosters than in some years past, the defensive grit showed by both teams was evident from the jump (figuratively in 2021). Despite early pressure defense from the Eagles, the Red Devils were able to capitalize on elongated ball movement against the zone pressure applied by Kent City and found open shooters for triples.

The Eagles soon found their footing and answered on a run of their own behind the shooting of senior Casen Armstrong and junior Hayden Carlson, which managed to see them holding a narrow 9-8 lead after the first quarter. Holton began to figure things out again offensively and pushed their way to a halftime score of 18-14 over the home team.

Both teams came out of the halftime break with a plan to put points on the board and wear down each other’s extensive defensive pressure. Despite each team pouring in more points in the second half, the Eagles proved unable to narrow the halftime deficit and closed the game with a 4-point 42-38 loss in CSAA play. The Eagles were led by 20 points from Hayden Carlson and 11 points from sophomore Kyler Larson.

Familiar Faces Share Milestones as Kent City Girls Best Holton

Kenzie Bowers and Jenna Harrison have become so synonymous with Kent City varsity basketball in the last four years, that one just assumes they will be back again next year. The two guards have played with such poise and skill throughout their four year varsity careers that they could have been confused for seniors many times along the way. One wonders if opposing coaches have looked ahead to the forthcoming Kent City roster each year and thought, “They are coming back again?!”

Despite so much of the focus in Kent City being put on the team and program as a whole, a tall task when the town of just over a thousand people carries a roster with a four time all-state nominee and Miss Michigan Basketball candidate (Bowers), the level of camaraderie has been by design and is a testament to one of the things that makes high school sports so special: community.

While this year’s senior class has had a lasting impact on the Kent City program, one need only take a cursory look at the underclassmen and even youth programs to see that the end is not in sight for this small town powerhouse. However, when the visiting Holton Red Devils came to town on Friday night, it was clear that the torch was not yet ready to be passed and the two familiar faces of Harrison and Bowers, covered in masks this season, donned the numbers 4 & 23 once again, showing just how much they have meant to a program they have represented the last four years.

The game opened with Holton showing they were prepared to fight it out with everything they had until the final buzzer, but it soon became clear that Kent City was simply too much for the Red Devils. Defensive pressure forced turnover after turnover, seemingly leading to an assembly line of scores, coming courtesy of the entire Eagle roster and culminated in Bowers scoring her 1500th career point on route to a 24-0 first quarter and a 48-0 halftime score. Just a couple minutes into the second half, Harrison netted her 1000th point; fittingly on a three point attempt. Despite being shut out in the first half, the Red Devils kept their spirits and competitiveness high on their way to a few big buckets in the second half. Despite the valiant effort, the Eagles finished the game with a convincing 79-9 CSAA victory.

All seven Eagles got on the board with notable performances by junior Kierra Flegel and sophomore Lexie Bowers, who each scored a dozen points off the bench.

While much of the Eagles’ success the last four years can be attributed to the senior duo of Kenzie Bowers and Jenna Harrison, it is a testament to the program and the girls, themselves, that it has never felt more “about them” than their level of play has dictated. They have made their mark in Kent City history with an incredible level of unassuming humility that lets their play do all the talking. Despite witnessing two players reach such incredible individual career milestones, fanfare (diminished this season with fan limitations) was mild and marked by small celebrations with family and friends following the game.

Even on a night that these girls could be forgiven for making it about their individual accolades, it is clear that there is a singular focus on the horizon and one that they all hope to celebrate together as a team.

The Eagles will have a few tests early next month as they take on league-rival Morley Stanwood and class A Muskegon in their march towards the postseason. The games will be an important challenge for a team that is likely to run through most of its schedule heading into district play and will need that demanding point of reference when they inevitably face the challenges of a deep tournament run this spring.

Kent City Breaks Hart but not Broken Hearted on Valentine’s Day Eve

Kent City girls basketball was back in action on Saturday afternoon with a JV-Varsity doubleheader against the visiting Hart Pirates.

The JV Eagles were less than a week removed from the unheard of, a basketball shutout, against Lakeview. However, the Hart junior varsity dominated their way to victory behind stellar performances from the trio of Abby Hicks, Savanna Owens and Rayah Helenhous. The Pirates also received contributions from the rest of the squad, as all players saw time at the Nest.

The junior varsity Eagles struggled to gain traction out of the gate and fell behind after the first quarter, 8-3, on a single corner triple. Things picked up slightly for the Eagles in the second, while the Pirates kept a steady pace and the teams entered halftime with a score of 17-10 in favor of Hart. The Pirates again proved too much for the Kent City junior varsity and closed the third out 27-15 before ending the game with a final score of 35-22.

The afternoon was just getting started, however, and the varsity Eagles took the court and looked to defend the Nest in front of a crowd diminished by covid restrictions and far smaller than what has become the norm in Kent City over the years.

Despite restrictions, the Kent City faithful are thrilled to be watching their home team again. Kent City fans have watched and waited for this year, as the ’21 senior class looks to make one last run at a title, after contributing three of the most successful years in the program’s history. While fans’ and Hart’s attention was once again focused on stopping the one-two punch of seniors Kenzie Bowers and Jenna Harrison, it was a player from the ’24 senior class making waves early while sporting a jersey number to match.

Freshman Maddie Geers has wasted little time making a name for herself on a team with several faces on the Kent City Mt. Rushmore still active, which is a tall task for the guard in only her third varsity contest. However, what she lacks in high school experience, she makes up for in effort, court savvy and a blossoming set of skills that will likely be integral to Kent City’s success this season. Saturday proved once again that her role in 2021 will be an important one and she established herself early with several scores, including 10 consecutive Eagle points and defensive plays that countered an early blitz by the Hart Pirates.

While Maddie Geers may be a rather new face to Kent City High School fans, there was no shortage of traditional sights on Saturday. The game featured pillars of the Eagle program: stellar three point shooting, a tenacious full court press and a desire to spread the ball around to a seemingly endless supply of shooters.

The Eagles resisted the initial Pirate flurry that left them trailing 5-0 early and closed the first quarter, 18-8.

While the Eagles seem to run player after player onto the court that is capable of scoring and playing lockdown defense, the Kent City bench is shallower than most at just 8 players. The Eagles experienced further decimation to their bench when senior Alyssa Larson went down with her second of back to back season ending knee injuries, leaving just 7 players to cycle on and off.

Despite heavy pressure and reduced oxygen intake under MHSAA mask mandates this season, the Eagles conditioning appeared to withstand the adversity. However, three-time All State guard, Kenzie Bowers found herself in foul trouble early with 3 personal fouls in the first half. Foul trouble will have to be avoided at all costs this season if Kent City is to have success with a short bench and their brand of high intensity play.

While Bowers and Harrison justifiably draw much of the attention from defenses, the squad received tremendous boosts on the offensive and defensive ends from Lexi Bowers, Taryn Preston, Emma Geers, the previously mentioned Maddie Geers and the support of junior Kierra Flegel; proving that this season will be a team effort in the truest sense of the word. Kent City managed to enter halftime with an impressive 31-14 lead that felt much closer when watching the two teams in competition.

Following the break, Hart made halftime adjustments and came out in a zone defense, after struggling in man-to-man for the first 16-minutes. Kent City recognized the switch and seemed content to rest on the sizable lead they had created in the first half. This forced the Pirates to begin pressuring the ball and attempt several corner traps. While the defense did lead to a few mistakes and a couple timeouts by the Eagles, it was quickly apparent that the strategy would not yield enough possessions to trim the gap set out in the first half. Another timeout came with 1:55 left in the third and the Eagles having extended their lead to 38-19, allowing just five points in 6-minutes of game clock and with only 10-minutes remaining.

The Pirates continued to battle in the fourth, but came up short with a final score of 50-27. Kenzie Bowers led the Eagles scorers with 17 and Hart junior, Jayd Hovey, was the game’s high scorer with 18.

The Eagles certainly looked sloppy at times, but the emphatic victory cannot be understated against a very solid Hart team that seemed to match up very well in terms of athleticism and skill against Kent City. The matchup was an early test for a squad that will be receiving every team’s best effort this season. Kent City will be back in action again on Monday as they face another challenging matchup with the visiting Grand Rapids Christian in a battle of Eagles at the Nest.

Hunter Dickinson Nets Freshman of the Week Honors for 2nd Straight Week

Hunter Dickinson has been named Big 10 Freshman of the Week for the second time in as many weeks.

The 7’1” center from Alexandria, VA AVERAGED 19 points on 68% shooting, 7 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots in wins over Toledo (4-3) and Penn State (3-2) to help the Maize & Blue remain undefeated and improve to 6-0. The win in their 2020-2021 conference schedule has propelled the Wolverines into the top 25 for the first time this season at the 25 spot.

Michigan has largely been untested thus far with a schedule comprised of mostly Mid-American Conference and other mid-Major programs. However, reasons to cheer have been in short supply so far this year with several sports being postponed and a flailing football team.

They will face a struggling Nebraska team (3-3) and an interesting battle with Maryland (4-1) to close out the 2020 calendar.

Nevertheless, the Wolverines have exceeded expectations with several significant graduations or transfers from last year’s squad. Whether this early season success will last or is simply a mirage should be more clear in the coming weeks.

Breaking: Police Swarming campus at SVSU

The Saginaw Valley State University student newspaper is reporting that police were called just after 8pm on Thursday night regarding a faculty member in distress at the school’s Science West building. Police remain on campus as of Friday morning and little else is known at this time.

Police spokespeople have issued a directive to students and staff to avoid the following buildings: Science West, Pioneer Hall and Zahnow Library. Police have ruled out the involvement of any SVSU student at this time and the ongoing issue seems to be limited to just the lone faculty member.

We will update this story as more details are released.

Michigan Falters Against Hoosiers

Joe Milton topped 300 passing yards for a second straight week on just 18 completions and junior wide receiver Ronnie Bell pulled down 6 catches for 149 yards and a touchdown, but the Michigan Wolverines lost their second in as many weeks. Indiana dominated from the opening and held off a late surge by the Wolverines at the end of the third quarter; grabbing two interceptions and closing the afternoon 38-21. The loss marked the first time the Wolverines have lost to Indiana since 1987.

While the #23 ranked Wolverines seemed poised for a strong year after a season opening victory against Minnesota, but have taken a beating in back to back weeks. While #13 Indiana sits at 3-0, the loss must be a tough pill to swallow for the Maize and Blue as they struggled against a Hoosier squad that has showed flashes in years past, but remained a perennial second tier Big 10 football program.

The victory may show that the Hoosiers are for real in 2020, but it may also display that Michigan is on track to have their most disappointing season in a string of seasons full of them.

The Wolverines will try to get things back on track with a signature win against #10 Wisconsin next week, a game likely circled on the schedule by many at the beginning of the season, but the prospects of that are looking less likely after recent struggles.

Biden & Peters Claim Victory in Michigan

Just four years after a surprising upset in the Mitten state, Joe Biden has seemingly pulled the state back into the Democrat column. Senate incumbent candidate, Gary Peters, also pulled off a hard fought battle with challenger, John James to claim reelection.

The battle appears far from over, though, as legal challenges have already been raised and messy counts in Shiawassee and Antrim counties cast doubt on the credibility of the electoral process.

Biden appears to have largely been the beneficiary of massive increases in voter participation from the expansion of absentee and early voting. Voters who seldom turn out on Election Day were able to cast ballots with unprecedented ease this cycle, leading to celebration by some and criticism by others.

The election is still being held in limbo as several states hang in the balance around the country and even more court battles begin. Stay tuned for more unbiased election news in the coming weeks.

« Older Entries