BRONSON, MI WTVB) - In Branch County high school sports, the 2013 MHSAA boys basketball tournament tips off tonight with district play and a trio of county teams will be in action. Over the weekend, there were plenty of events beginning with the state wrestling finals and Saturday’s third and final day of competition at the Palace of Auburn Hills, where 4 competitors from Bronson finished in the top eight to earn All-State honors. Seniors Hunter Machus and Leo Mora placed fifth while senior Dan Erwin and sophomore Kahle Scheenks placed eighth. Also advancing to Saturday from Bronson but not placing was sophomore Brett Burtrum.
The 40th Coldwater Noon Exchange Club freshman basketball tournament wrapped up on Saturday at Legg Middle School. The host Coldwater Cardinals finished in fourth place after losing 50-to-28 to Jackson High with 12 points for Nick Galliers and a team-high 11 rebounds for Spencer Dudek. And it went right down to the wire in the title game with Jackson Lumen Christi getting by Kalamazoo Loy Norrix in overtime 78-to-76. Coldwater’s Austin Krzeminski and Brendan Spangler were named to the All-Tournament team. The last varsity game of the regular season for county teams was a makeup contest for Bronson on Saturday afternoon and the Vikings lost at home to Colon 64-to-43. Mark Robinson had 12 points and 14 rebounds while Eric Toledo added 10 points for the Vikings, who finished with a 3-and-17 record.
In gymnastics, Coldwater traveled to Rockford High School on Saturday for an MHSAA Regional tournament. Coldwater finished 7th out of 12 schools with their second highest score of the season at 129.575. The top 3 teams advance to the finals while the top six individual scores also qualify for finals coming up this weekend at Plymouth Canton where senior Kylie Dudek will represent Coldwater. Dudek placed third at Rockford in Division One and qualified for the finals for the fourth straight year. The MHSAA divides gymnasts into two divisions based on skill level, rather than hosting individual Class tournaments. Coldwater opened the Regional meet on the balance beam and Dudek led the way with a seventh place finish with an 8.75. Next on the floor exercise, Dudek again placed seventh with a 9.05 while as a team, Coldwater posted their second highest mark of the year. Then on the vault, they again earned their second highest total of the season as Dudek dazzled the crowd with a nearly flawless performance for a new school record with a 9.8 And finally, on the uneven parallel bars, Dudek stuck her double back dismount landing and tied her own school record with the effort and collected a second place finish at 9.75.
Tonight’s boys basketball state tournament first round action will see Coldwater open play in the Battle Creek Lakeview Class-A District and a game at Battle Creek Central. The matchup between the visiting Cardinals and host Bearcats will be in the new Central high school gym with the tip-off at seven o’clock. We’ll have the game on the radio and stream the audio on-line at wtvam.com. Our live coverage on AM 1590 and FM 95.5 begins at 6:30. The winner will move on to play either Holt or Battle Creek Lakeview in the semi-finals Wednesday night.
Quincy this week is hosting a Class-C district and in tonight’s opening doubleheader, it’s Union City against Schoolcraft at six o’clock followed by Quincy vs. Centreville at 7:30. Bronson and Reading drew byes and await the winners for Wednesday’s semi-finals.
Also tonight, at the Litchfield Class-D district, Litchfield takes on Pansophia Academy while at the Jackson Christian District, it’s Tekonsha vs. Marshall Academy. Finally, in high school bowling, two boys and two girls from Coldwater competed Saturday in the Division Two State Finals at Waterford but they were unable to advance out of the morning qualifying block to the Round of 16. In the boys field, Austen Reichart placed 19th while Justin Wells was 52nd while for the girls, Bianca Porter finished 42nd and Dana Bailey was 43rd. Today on the Coaches Corner, it’s Coldwater gymnastics coach Kim Nichols, who is one of five nominated for coach of the year with the winner to be announced at the finals on Saturday.