Win and you move on time is here as Boys Districts begin this week. Nick Vlietstra gives you a full rundown and preview of all the area districts:
District 1 @ Mattawan
Teams Participating: Mattawan, Loy Norrix, Kalamazoo Central, Portage Central, Portage Northern, St. Joseph and Niles.
7:00 Mattawan vs. Niles (Game @ Niles High School)
7:00 Loy Norrix vs. Portage Northern (Game @ Loy Norrix High School)
7:00 St. Joseph vs. Kalamazoo Central (Game @ St. Joe High School)
Mattawan/Niles winnervs. Loy Norrix/Portage Northern Winner
St. Joe/Kalamazoo Central winner vs. Portage Central
Favorite: Loy Norrix
Other Contenders: St. Joseph and Portage Central
Sleeper: Portage Northern
Three teams will have a good look at winning this district. I put Loy Norrix as the favorite simply because they have the easiest path to the championship. There is a likely second round match-up between Portage Central and St. Joseph and the Mustangs have won both meetings between those two this season. Even though I put Loy Norrix as the favorite, I don’t feel as though there is one for sure favorite in this district.
District 2 @ Battle Creek Lakeview
Gull Lake, Battle Creek Central, Battle Creek Lakeview, Coldwater, Holt, Jackson, Mason
6:00 Jackson vs. Gull Lake (Game @ Jackson High School)
Lakeview vs. Holt
Battle Creek Central vs. Coldwater
Mason vs. Jackson/Gull Lake winner
Lakeview/Holt winner vs. Battle Creek Central/Coldwater winner
Favorite: Battle Creek Central
Other Contenders: Holt, Jackson
Sleepers: Gull Lake, Lakeview
Battle Creek Central is the favorite coming in with a 17-2 record and playing close to home, but both of their losses this season come to teams in this district (Holt and Gull Lake). Really, other than Coldwater, all of these teams have a reason to think they could win this district.
District 34 @ Edwardsburg
Paw Paw, Three Rivers, Vicksburg, Edwardsburg, Sturgis
7:00 Sturgis vs. Edwardsburg
Paw Paw vs. Sturgis/Edwardsburg winner
Three Rivers vs. Vicksburg
Other Contenders: Paw Paw, Vicksburg
Although they are the favorite, Edwardsburg has the toughest road. They face Sturgis in the first round who has won seven out of eight to end the season. If they can get past that game they still have to face Paw Paw and Vicksburg, who both have beaten the Eddies this season.
District 48 @ Otsego
Teams Participating: Otsego, South Haven, Plainwell, Allegan, Hopkins
6:00 Hopkins vs. South Haven
Allegan vs. Hopkins/South Haven winner
Plainwell vs. Otsego
Other Contender: South Haven
If Otsego shows up against Plainwell, it will be a South Haven-Otsego final. If they don’t Plainwell can beat them. South Haven has been playing great basketball and have won two straight district titles when they haven’t been the favorite and they could do it again this year.
District 35 @ Battle Creek Pennfield
Teams Participating: Parchment, Comstock, Pennfield, Marshall, Harper Creek
7:00 Harper Creek vs. Comstock
Marshall vs. Harper Creek/Comstock winner
Parchment vs. Pennfield
This is the most wide open district in the area. I’ve put Marshall as the favorite, but there really isn’t one. If we were talking about this three weeks ago they would have been the hands down favorite, but they have lost four in a row since their leading scorer Robby Ranville was injured. Harper Creek has the best size, but they have only six wins this season and have yet to win a game away from home. Pennfield has the home court advantage, but they have been far from stellar at home this season and Parchment nearly beat them over there in their last match-up. Every team should have a reason to believe and every team has a reason not to believe. Whoever believes may just win this one.
District 66 @ White Pigeon
Teams participating: Lawton, Decatur, Marcellus, Cassopolis, White Pigeon, Constantine
6:00 Lawton vs. Decatur
8:00 Cassopolis vs. White Pigeon
Lawton/Decatur winner vs. Marcellus
Cassopolis/White Pigeon winner vs. Constantine
Other Contenders: White Pigeon, Lawton
This is pretty wide open and a lot gets decided on the first night. I see the first night winners likely meeting in the championship. I have Decatur as the favorite, but they could go down the first night against Lawton.
District 68 @ Quincy
Teams Participating: Schoolcraft, Union City, Quincy, Reading, Centreville, Bronson
6:00 Schoolcraft vs. Union City
7:30 Quincy vs. Centreville
Schoolcraft/Union City winner vs. Reading
Quincy/Centreville winner vs. Bronson
Other Contenders: Sorry…I can’t honestly fill in this section with this district
Sleeper: Quincy (Only because they have an easy path to the championship)
Schoolcraft wins this thing easy, and should probably win every one of their games by 20 points or more. Other than Schoolcraft, there isn’t anyone in this district close to their level.
District 67 @ Bangor
Teams Participating: Kalamazoo Christian, Hackett, Bangor, Hartford, Gobles, Bloomingdale
5:30 Gobles vs. Bloomingdale
7:00 Kalamazoo Christian vs. Bangor
Gobles/Bloomingdale winner vs. Hartford
K-Christian/Bangor winner vs. Hackett
Favorite: Kalamazoo Christian
Other Contenders: Hackett, Gobles
Kalamazoo Christian hasn’t won a district in a few years, but they should get back to a regional this year. Their biggest test will be in the second round against Hackett. Gobles has had a nice season and if they get to the final they could give the Comets a game, but they need to get past their rivals, Bloomingdale, in the first round.
District 76 @ Delton
Teams Participating: Delton, Galesburg-Augusta, Maple Valley, Albion, Springport, Potterville
6:00 Albion vs. Potterville
7:30 Delton vs. Springport
Albion/Potterville winner vs. Maple Valley
Delton/Springport winner vs. Galesburg-Augusta
Other Contenders: Maple Valley, Albion
This should end up with a Maple Valley-Galesburg-Augusta championship game. In the past this probably would have been an easy district win for Albion, but not this year. Albion is down and GA and MV are up. This district should supply a lot of good games with Maple Valley-Albion, Galesburg Augusta-Delton and Maple Valley-Galesburg Augusta.
District 98 @ Athens
Teams Participating: Climax-Scotts, Mendon, Marcellus Howardsville Christian, Colon, Burr Oak, Athens
6:00 Climax Scotts vs. Mendon
7:30 Colon vs. Burr Oak
CS/Mendon winner vs. Howardsville Christian
Colon/Burr Oak winner vs. Athens
Favorite: Climax Scotts
Other Contender: Mendon
Sleeper: Howardsville Christian
The best two teams in the district will face off on the first night in a rematch of 51-50 Mendon win earlier this season. Whoever wins that game should win this district as long as they show up the other two nights. If either team falls asleep in the second game, Howardsville Christian has the ability to sneak up on either of those teams in the second round.
District 109 @ Battle Creek St. Phillip
Teams participating: Kalamazoo Phoenix, Martin, Heritage Christian, Battle Creek St. Phillip, Battle Creek Calhoun Christian
6:00 BC Calhoun Christian vs. Martin
Calhoun Christian/Martin winner vs. Kalamazoo Phoenix
St. Phil vs. Heritage Christian
Favorite: Kalamazoo Phoenix
Other Contender: St. Phil
This should be a district win for Phoenix. They are the by far the most athletic and most well tested team in the field.