Now that the holidays are in the rear-view mirror and schedules should become a little more regular, it’s time to bring back one of our staples for this winter sports season: The CatchMark Catch-Up.
The Catch-Up is a weekly look at the West Michigan Conference and some of the sports highlights across the league. The goal is to include highlights from all winter sports in the league, but we need cooperation from all coaches in reporting results to firstname.lastname@example.org in a timely fashion.
Watch the video at the top of this story as Scott DeCamp takes you through some recent highlights in the WMC. Read the roundup below and see some related images for Episode 1 of the CatchMark Catch-Up taking a trip around the league.
Parker Hovey powers unbeaten Hart: The Pirates’ boys basketball remained unbeaten on the season at 9-0 overall and senior Parker Hovey is a big reason why. The 6-foot-5 guard nearly notched a third-straight triple-double with a 29-point, 13-rebound, seven-assist effort in leading Hart to an impressive 61-45 victory over host North Muskegon last Friday. This Thursday (Jan. 12), Hart travels to Mason County Central for a WMC Rivers Division battle of teams that entered this week unbeaten.
Speaking of Mason County Central: The Spartans stayed unbeaten as well at 6-0 overall by rallying for a 58-54 home victory over Ravenna last Friday. The Bulldogs led 46-39 through three quarters before the Spartans stormed back with a 19-8 fourth quarter. Senior Will Chye, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, led all scorers with 29 points to go with 11 rebounds to power MCC.
Ludington is unbeaten as well: WMC newcomer Ludington has taken the league by storm. The Orioles, who are capable of lighting up the scoreboard at times, remain unbeaten entering this week. They’re 9-0 overall and alone atop the WMC Lakes Division standings at 4-0 after a key 63-52 victory at Whitehall last Friday. Junior point guard David Shillinger typically leads Ludington, but against Whitehall, it was 6-foot-10 senior Matthew Westhouse with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Ludington leads the way: Last season, Ludington’s girls basketball team surprised a lot of people – even the most faithful Orioles fans – in battling its way to a berth in the Division 2 state semifinals at the Breslin Center. Ludington has continued its strong play this season as a new member to the WMC. The Orioles are 7-3 overall and alone atop the Lakes Division with a 5-0 record. Most recently, they posted a 39-24 home win over rival Manistee last Thursday. The typically balanced Orioles were led by senior Keelyn Laird’s 11 points and senior Annie Kline’s eight.
Montague still battling: Despite losing standout junior guard Kendall Osborne for the season to a knee injury, Montague is hanging in there in the league race. The Wildcats enter the week 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the WMC Lakes to sit in second behind Ludington. They picked up a 37-34 home win over Fremont last Friday. This week, Montague visits Manistee on Tuesday and hosts Oakridge on Friday in a pair of divisional tests. The game against Oakridge on Friday will be livestreamed for free on the CatchMark SportsNet YouTube channel.
Hart still the benchmark: Hart’s girls basketball team stumbled in a couple of big nonleague matchups against Kent City and Holland Christian recently, but the Pirates are still a benchmark in the league. They opened the season with a 43-42 overtime win at Ludington and sit alone atop the Rivers Division standings with a 4-0 record (5-2 overall). Last Thursday, Hart posted a convincing 54-38 road victory over Mason County Central in a key matchup at this point in the season. In that game, senior guard Aspen Boutell led the way with 19 points, while junior Abby Hicks added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Mason County Central at Shelby is Game of the Week: Mason County Central and Shelby — teams chasing Hart in the WMC Rivers girls basketball standings — square off Tuesday night (Jan. 10) at Shelby. It’s the CatchMark SportsNet WMC Game of the Week, which means we’ll be producing a free livestream on your YouTube channel. Mason County Central enters the week at 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the WMC Rivers. Shelby is 5-4 and 4-1, respectively.
Girls wrestling continues to grow at rapid clip: Girls high school wrestling continues to grow at a high clip and Montague is one of the programs helping to put the sport in the spotlight. On Dec. 29, Montague hosted the West Michigan Girls Showcase all-female event, which featured nearly 150 competitors representing 46 schools. Wildcats junior Savannah Winkleblack earned a championship medal in the 110-pound weight class with a 9-3 finals decision over fellow WMC wrestler Nyvaeh Wendt of Mason County Central. Winkleblack continued to shine on Saturday with a 3-0 record at the Adam Provencal Invitational in Grand Haven. Winkleblack beat Wendt again in the rematch in Grand Haven.
Notables on the boys’ side: In boys wrestling over the weekend, here are some of the highlights:
- At the Adam Provencal Invite Saturday in Grand Haven, Whitehall senior Shane Cook took first place at 285 pounds while sophomore Wyatt Jenkins captured the title at 175. Seven Vikings placed in that tournament. In the Lloyd Cogswell Invite on the same day at Ravenna, six Whitehall wrestlers placed.
- Montague senior Tristan Winkleblack placed first at the 14-team Lloyd Cogswell Invite at Ravenna. In all, 11 Wildcats placed at the event.
- Also at the Lloyd Cogswell Invite, Mason County Central junior Zane McCabe led his team by winning the 126-pound weight class. He remains unbeaten at 20-0 on the season. Eight wrestlers total placed for the Spartans at the event.
- In the Falcon Invite Saturday at Allendale, nine Hesperia wrestlers placed in the “A” and “B” events combined. Senior Alex Gleason led the way for the Panthers with a second-place finish at 157 pounds.
REMINDER FOR REPORTING RESULTS
For West Michigan Conference winter sports coaches consistently reporting results: Thank you!
For those who are not in the habit yet, please submit your results after each competition via email to email@example.com. It makes a big difference in the local sports content we’re producing at CatchMark.
Because of sparse reporting for competitive cheer and boys and girls bowling, those sports are not highlighted in this week’s Catch-Up.
We want to hear from you, coaches. Help us showcase your programs and your athletes.
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Vikings players Taylor Ottinger and Lianna Fagan and assistant coach Emily MacArthur pay homage...
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West Michigan Conference coaches: Please email your results to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Balanced Whitehall opens defense of WMC Lakes co-title with runaway win at Orchard View.