We are down to only two Kalamazoo area teams left and Schoolcraft and Climax-Scotts both head to their quarterfinal play against two very tough opponents. Still, it is the quarterfinal and you should be to the point where you are facing tough opponents. Here is a look at both games:
Regional #10 @ Bangor
Schoolcraft (23-2) vs. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central (22-2)
How they got here:
District – Union City 62-61
District – Reading 50-34
District – Quincy 66-57
Regional – Bloomingdale 42-36
Regional – White Pigeon 73-44
St. Mary CC:
District – Erie Mason 65-30
District – Ottawa Lake Whiteford 70-49
District – Petersburg-Summerfield 59-42
Regional – Hillsdale 59-48
Regional – Clinton 51-40
Schoolcraft will certainly have a better home advantage considering their trip to Bangor is about two hours less than St. Mary’s. Schoolcraft has had a very easy path so far, and the biggest surprise has come because of how close some of their games have been. This Eagles’ squad is not as strong as the teams the past few years, but they have still dominated a weak KVA, and have worked their way back to another quarterfinal. They are trying to make it back to the Breslin Center and if they do it would be their fourth trip in five years. The Eagles beat the Falcons 48-43 in the 2011 quarterfinal.
St. Mary is a very strong team who finished second in their conference to Milan. Both of their losses this season came to Milan who, by the way, is Class A and just lost to Romulus in the Regional final. While Schoolcraft is led by Luke Ryskamp, St. Mary is led by one very good player, Kevin Woodson. In the regional semifinal game, Woodson scored 34 points against Hillsdale. In the regular season they were winning games by over 20 ppg. St. Mary has been led by great defense which has given up only 38.8 ppg. Including the playoffs, they have allowed over 50 points in a game in only three games.
My Pick: St. Mary 54, Schoolcraft 49
Quarterfinal #13 @ Battle Creek Central
#4 Climax-Scotts (24-1) vs. #3 Southfield Christian (20-4)
How they got here:
District – #8 Mendon 70-51
District – Howardsville Christian 45-33
District – Colon 57-28
Regional – Covert 59-53
Regional – Adrian Lenawee Christian 62-45
District – Detroit Universal Academy 69-18
District – Detroit Davis Aerospace 85-49
Regional – Bellevue 68-44
Regional – #7 Allen Park Inter-City Baptist 68-61 OT
This is a rematch of last year’s state championship game where Christian trounced CS 76-44. The Panthers will have the upper edge on travel as they need to make the short trip to Battle Creek and Christian needs to come from Detroit. These two also have one common opponent this season. Read into this how you may, but Climax-Scotts has beaten Bellevue twice (51-42, 52-33) and Christian just beat Bellevue in the regional 68-44.
Christian has lost four games this year but all are to very quality opponents, and they have not lost since a January 11 loss to Inter-City Baptist. Their top two players are Lindsey Hunter IV and Bakari Evelyn who both are fantastic players who can shoot anywhere. To win this game CS is going to need to defend those two, and try to effectively use their size advantage inside.
My Pick: Southfield Christian 62, Climax Scotts 50