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Bronson wrestlers bow out in state semi-finals, girl's basketball post-season begins tonight


COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - In Branch County high school sports, the Bronson wrestling team had another successful season come up short of a state title on Saturday in the MSHAA Division Four team finals at Kellogg Arena in Battle Creek.

After eliminating Sand Creek in Friday’s quarterfinals, the Vikings advanced to take on four-time defending state champion Hudson in the semi-finals and the Tigers moved on to the title match by defeating Bronson 39-to-24. Hudson went on to capture its fifth straight championship with a victory over Hesperia.  In the Viking’s encounter with Hudson, earning pinfall victories for Bronson were Hunter Machus and Brandon Losinski while decision wins were posted by JuKoada Sexton, Leonardo Mora, Jordan Jimenez, and Brett Burtrum.

The State Individual wrestling finals are this week with the matches running Thursday through Saturday at the Palace of Auburn Hills. 12 wrestlers from Branch County, including 7 from Bronson, 4 from Quincy and one from Coldwater, qualified at the regionals earlier this month to earn a trip to the Palace.

Also this past weekend, there was state tournament boys and girls bowling for Coldwater. Neither of the Cardinals teams were able to advance out of the Division Two Regionals on Friday but there were several Coldwater bowlers who had top ten finishes in the individual competition on Saturday at Continental Lanes in Kalamazoo to qualify for the state finals this weekend in Waterford.  On the boys side for Coldwater, Austen Reichart placed second at the regionals while Justin Wells finished in eighth place. Advancing to the girls finals were Bianca Porter in third place and Dana Bailey in ninth place.

The second season in Michigan girls high school basketball begins tonight with district tournament play. Coldwater is competing in the Battle Creek Class-A District and has a first round game this evening at seven o’clock at Mason. We’ll have the contest on the radio and stream the audio on-line at wtvbam.com beginning at 6:45 pm. The winner moves on to play Battle Creek Central in the semi-finals on Wednesday at 7 p.m. And tonight, in the Centreville Class-C district, Union City has a quarterfinal game against Centreville at 7:30 with the winner advancing to play Bronson in the semifinals.  Quincy drew a bye to the semifinals and will take on the survivor of tonight’s Reading-Schoolcraft game.  In Class-D, at the Jackson Christian District, In Class-D, at the Jackson Christian District, Tekonsha plays tonight against Marshall Academy.

The 40th annual Coldwater Noon Exchange Club Freshman boy’s basketball tournament starts tonight at Legg Middle School with two games each evening through Thursday and then four contests on Saturday. The host Coldwater Cardinals take to the court in this evening’s second game scheduled for 7:15 against Prairie Heights following the opener at 5:30 between Angola and Kalamazoo Loy Norrix.

Today on the Coaches Corner, it’s Coldwater girls basketball coach Ken Smoker.   

In middle school sports, in girl’s basketball, Coldwater opened play Saturday in their season ending tournaments. In the “A” team play at Harper Creek, the Lady Cardinals dropped their first round game to Harper Creek 31-to-13 with 7 points for Megan Lippert and 6 rebounds for Carly Howell. The Coldwater 7th grade team beat Harper Creek 13-to-4 with 4 points each for Carly Duke and Jamie Wellet.

In the “B” tournament at Gull Lake, Coldwater suffered a pair of losses to Marshall. In the 8th grade game, Sierra Wolfcale had 4 points. Coldwater lost the 7th grade game 20-to-7 with 3 points for Nadia Kiersey.

Also on Saturday, Bronson finished its season at the St. Joseph County tournament. The 8th grade team took second place, defeating Mendon in the second round 31-to-15 before falling 30-to-24 to Sturgis for the championship. Jill Pyles had 10 points against Mendon and then against Sturgis, she added 12 points and 12 rebounds.

The Bronson 7th grade team won their tournament, defeating Constantine 21-to-12 in the semifinals and Sturgis 23-to-12 in the finals. Kiana Mayer had 6 points against Constantine while against Sturgis, Payton Robinson had 10 points with 6 rebounds for Mayer. And in middle school wrestling, Bronson competed Saturday at the Gull Lake Invitational. The Vikings finished with 47 wins and 38 losses along with 28 pins. Winning championships for Bronson were David Erwin, Nathan Caudill and Joshua Laser while earning second place medals were Gavin Alger, Cole Houtz and Ruger Rainey.