West Michigan Roundup, Monday 3/15/21

Written by
Nolan Unthank

West Michigan Roundup, Monday 3/15/21

Last night featured a small number of games across the area. The only major upset of the night was Maple Valley defeating Bellevue 46-40. In the Wolverine conference Edwardsburg took care of Vicksburg 66-54, Plainwell beat a short-handed Paw Paw team 59-49, and Three Rivers defeated Dowagiac 58-41. The game between Allegan and Otsego was postponed until Friday. One surprising score was Loy Norrix beating Portage Northern by 23 points, 74-51. Up until last night Loy Norrix only had three wins and two were against much smaller schools. Lastly, Mattawan was able to escape K-Christian 40-36 to win their fifth straight game. The Wildcats will have to play their best game against Gull Lake on Tuesday. Up north, Coopersville was the only team in the OK Conference in action and they defeated Holton 71-38.

Biggest Upset: Maple Valley over Bellevue 46-40

Bellevue had won their previous six games including a win over the #3 team in D4, Hillsdale Academy last week. Maple Valley is a division higher than Bellevue, but they came into the game with a (4-11) record. Overall, a tough let-down game for Bellevue who was ranked #8 in D4 in the AP poll that came out yesterday.

Top Performances:

-Coopersville’s Blake Stewart (2021 G): 27 points

-Coopersville’s Jack Castenholz (2021 G): 26 points

-Three Rivers' Isaiah Moore (2021 PF): 20 points, 13 rebounds

-Kalamazoo Heritage Christian’s Levi Beldon: 18 points

-Decatur’s Matt Allett (2022 F): 17 points

-Gull Lake’s Caleb Taylor (2021 PG): 17 points

-Three Rivers’ Aidan Judson: 20 points, 4 rebounds

Game I Attended: Gull Lake 61, Portage Central 45

(9-4) Gull Lake traveled to (3-4) Portage Central to take on the Mustangs. Portage Central had a strong season last year, but graduated some production and lost Luke Leto. The Mustangs were (3-2) prior to a covid pause, but dropped both games last week to fall to (3-4). Tonight Gull Lake led early 9-4, but Portage Central battled back trailing 18-16 after the first quarter. Junior forward Will Juday provided Portage Central with some offense in the second quarter scoring 6 points, including 4-4 from the free throw line. Despite their senior forward Zane Graham picking up his third foul in the quarter, the Mustangs only trailed 32-30 heading into the break. The foul bug plagued Portage Central in the third quarter when Grant Pikkaart picked up his third foul a minute into the second half and in the next minute Will Juday picked up two himself including a technical foul. For some reason Grant Pikkaart re-entered the game and picked up his fourth with 6:08 left in the third quarter. With Portage Central’s size in foul trouble, the big men of Gull Lake began to eat with Haidyn Garrison and Zach Collard both scoring twice before the quarter's end. By the end of the third quarter Gull Lake had blown the game open with a 48-37 lead. Gull Lake added a few more buckets in the early fourth quarter prior to the bench being cleared. The final score ended up being 61-45 Gull Lake as they won their fifth straight game. Caleb Taylor led Gull Lake with 17 points, while Haidyn Garrison, Max Skrceny, and Zach Collard each had 8 points. Taylor only attempted two three pointers the whole game and did most of his work driving to the hoop finishing through contact. Portage Central really struggled with the size of Gull Lake’s 6’7” Zach Collard and strong 6’5” Haidyn Garrison. If Portage Central wants to succeed they need to play more disciplined, the dumb fouls and techinicals cannot happen. Grant Pikkaart is an absolute mismatch for any guard in the area, but he forced things too much tonight picking up a few offensive fouls. Gull Lake will be back in action tomorrow against Mattawan while Portage Central has Portage Northern.