High School Sports Blog
By, Nick Vlietstra
Loy Norrix, St. Joseph and Stevensville Lakeshore are all off to perfect starts this season. While 4-0 does look nice for Loy Norrix, they haven’t really been challenged yet. Last week I said their win over Sturgis was a nice win, but Sturgis is now off to a 1-3 start. I don’t want to take much away from them, because 4-0 is still 4-0 and they have done exactly what they have been asked to do so far. Lakeshore is in the same category as Loy Norrix. They are 3-0 but the three teams they have played have a combined record of 1-10. St. Joseph might be the best looking team as of right now in the SMAC. They have three players scoring in double figures right now.
Gull Lake had a very nice bounce back week. After a 0-2 start they came back to win two games this past week over Middleville Thornapple Kellogg and Battle Creek Central. Portage Central also bounced back nicely from their tough loss to Kalamazoo Central to beat Benton Harbor 55-46 and improve to 2-1.
Stars of the week:
Bishop Robinson, Loy Norrix.
Robinson scored 38 points in the Knight’s win over Coldwater. That broke the single game scoring record at Loy Norrix which was held by Julian Logan who scored 36 points in 2003. He also put together a 24 point performance against Portage Northern. He is now averaging 27.5 ppg through his first four games.
Dean Kolstad, Gull Lake
Kolstad had a great week in leading the Blue Devils to two wins. He averaged 28 points in the two games including a 31 point effort against Middleville. He was their leading scorer last season, and he is back in that same spot again this year averaging 21 ppg through the first four.
This week’s big games:
Tuesday: Kalamazoo Central @ Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills
Friday: Portage Central @ St. Joesph
Friday: Loy Norrix @ Battle Creek Central
What a strange week that was in the Wolverine. Teams I was talking a lot about last week, looked not so great this week. I do need to talk about Edwardsburg who is out to a 4-0 start. Big props on taking down an Otsego team that looked unbeatable after their first week. Josh Kozinski has been the main man for the Eddies as the Central Michigan commit and sharpshooter has been overly impressive in his first year in the Wolverine. It really is a special time to be watching Wolverine basketball. There have not been many division one players coming out of the Wolverine over the years, but now you look and see Otsego’s Jared Kline last year and now Dantel Highsmith going to Northern Illinois and Kozinski going to CMU.
I also was talking about the impressive week Vicksburg had on their opening week with wins over Schoolcraft and Paw Paw, but they came back to go 0-2. Their week started with a 38 point loss to Dowagiac and ended with a loss at Plainwell. They now sit at 2-2 and have games this week with Edwardsburg and Otsego.
I can’t forget Dowagiac who is also out to a 4-0 start and collected two good wins this past week. They opened up with that aforementioned 38 point win over Vicksburg. They then capped off the week with a 69-62 win over South Haven.
Players of the week:
Josh Kozinski, Edwardsburg
Kozinski scored 29 points in the win over Otsego. He also scored 18 points against Coloma on Friday. He is scoring over 25 ppg through four games so far this year.
Dontel Highsmith, Dowagiac
Highsmith will be a name that will come up plenty in players of the week. All he did this week was average 25 ppg in leading the chieftains to two wins. He is averaging over 23 ppg so far through four games.
Big Games this Week:
Tuesday: South Haven @ Otsego
Tuesday: Edwardsburg @ Vicksburg
Friday: Plainwell @ Paw Paw
The unusual start to the KVA season continues. Really, who would have thought through the first two weeks that Maple Valley of all teams would sit atop the standings? Say what you want about who they have played, who knows how long it has been since they started 3-0. They have had a very balanced look to their offense so far this season with four different Lions averaging double figures. They certainly have every right to be feeling good about themselves.
Kalamazoo Christian is out quickly with a 2-1 record and collected big wins this past week on the road at Pennfield and at home against Olivet. Holding a high scoring Olivet team to only 41 points counts as a good night in my book. Pennfield on the other hand had a very rough week. They looked very impressive in their season opening win over Parchment, but then came back this week with losses at home to K-Christian and Galesburg Augusta. This conference really seems impossible to predict at this point.
Players of the Week:
Luke Ryskamp, Schoolcraft
Get used to seeing this name here quite a bit. Ryskamp led the Eagles to a 2-0 week with wins over Galesburg Augusta and Hackett. Ryskamp scored 23 points against GA and poured in 24 against Hackett.
Quintan Harris, Olivet
The 6’8” big man has been the go to scorer for Olivet this season. In this past week he scored 15 points in a win at Parchment and 21 points in a loss at Kalamazoo Christian. Harris is averaging over 17 ppg so far this season.
Big Game this Week:
Tuesday: Kalamazoo Christian @ Parchment
It may be early, but the cream may be rising to the top already. Saugatuck is off to a 3-1 start which included a 2-0 week this past week. The Indians claimed an easy win over a previously undefeated Lawrence team and followed that up with a big division win over Bloomingdale. Wes Webbert has been the main man so far scoring over 16 ppg, but he has been helped by Joey Koscielski and Michael Winowiecki who are both scoring close to 13 ppg.
In the South Division Decatur and Watervliet are both off to 4-0 starts. Watervliet got two big wins last week winning at Bangor in overtime and then winning a close game with Lawton. Decatur picked up two road wins last week over Martin and Lawrence. It has been the Cevern brothers leading the way, both having big games last week. Both Tom and Tim are averaging over 18 ppg.
Players of the Week:
Travis Bolin, Watervliet
Bolin had one unbelievable night last Tuesday as he scored exactly half of his team’s points, dropping 39 in an overtime win over Bangor. While it wasn’t quite as stellar, he did show up with 16 points in the Panthers’ win over Lawton on Friday.
Tim and Tom Cevern, Decatur
Tim Cevern had two monster games in leading Decatur to a 2-0 record last week. He opened the week scoring 23 points against Martin and then followed that up with 27 points against Lawrence. His brother wasn’t too far behind him as Tom scored 18 and 19 respectively in the two games.
Big Games this Week:
Tuesday: Bloomingdale @ Watervliet
Tuesday: Gobles @ Decatur
Friday: Bangor @ Bloomingdale
St. Joe Valley/Cliamx-Scotts
Mendon, and Climax Scotts continue their hot starts. I was very impressed with Climax Scotts beating Albion the way they did. It was a step up in competition, and they clearly handled it quite well winning 58-44. Aaron Cook has had a great start to the season scoring 25 ppg through three games. Mendon beat Colon and Bronson this week to improve to 4-0. They have four different players scoring in double figures right now.