|Sport||Date||Visiting Team||Home Team|
|Hockey - Boys||3/2/2013||St. Clair||0||Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood||11|
|Basketball - Girls||2/2/2013||Birmingham Unified||4||St. Clair||1|
|Basketball - Girls||1/29/2013||Port Huron||26||Port Huron Northern||50|
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BOYS BASKETBALL: Armada hosts Class B district
Algonac's James Ruhlman (12), defended by Armada's Ryan Carlson, puts up a shot in a BWAC game earlier this season. The Muskrats play in the district hosted by the Tigers next week.
St. Clair's Nolan Young puts up a shot in a game against Anchor Bay earlier this season. The Saints will join a mix of BWAC and MAC teams at the district hosted by Armada next week.
With the final week of the regular season wrapping up on the hardwood this week, the post season will begin this Monday as the excitement begins.
The Class B district hosted by Armada features six Blue Water Area schools with some potential rivalry games on tap. Marine City Mariners coach Joel Whymer said when it comes to March and basketball, expect the unexpected.
"Our district is wide open this year with a bunch of good teams plus it is March madness and anything can happen," Whymer said. "It will be important for us to finish out our last week of the regular season strong and go into the districts with some momentum. We will play the winner of two tough teams in our playoff opener."
The Mariners will face the winner of the Richmond and Armada opener on March 6. Whymer said both teams defend well and have a physical style of play. Marine City defeated both teams earlier in the season, with a home-win over Armada in game three of the season and a three-point victory in a nail-bitter on the road at Richmond in game four of the season.
"All our guys are focused on right now is needing to play a full 32 minutes of basketball no matter who the opponent is," Whymer said. "It's win or go home. We have five seniors who want to keep playing. It will be exciting on Armada's home floor and we expect a tough game against a Blue Water Area Conference team. No matter who we play, we expect a tough and smart game from our opponent."
The Mariners are coming off a 45-36 loss to South Lake last Friday. Sam Honaker scored 19 points and Pete Patsalis added 12 points for Marine City who was 7-11 entering the final week of the season. The Mariners took on Cardinal Mooney last night, after The Voice went to press, and will play their regular season finale on Friday at Centerline.
On the other side of the Armada district, the St. Clair Saints and the Algonac Muskrats will face off in the district opener next Monday for the right to face the Marysville Vikings in the semifinals on March 6.
Algonac coach John Highstreet is excited to renew an old area rivalry as both the Saints and the Muskrats collide on the court for the first time in years.
"It has been a long time since we played St. Clair and its fun to bring back some of the old rivalries to the area," Highstreet said. "It is going to be a fun and tough district. The good thing is that it is a brand new season and everyone is excited for it."
The Muskrats are starting to gel as a team according to their coach and it showed in a 66-57 victory on Feb. 19 over Lutheran North. Jacob Wyant scored 17 points while Zach Osburne and Terrell Lee scored 14 points apiece in the victory.
Highstreet said his team will need to bring a similar effort against the Saints as they did against Lutheran North if they want to move on to the semifinal matchup with Marysville.
"St. Clair plays in a tough division and will come out with a lot of intensity so the key will be us matching their effort," Highstreet said. "We played a tight game with Marysville earlier in the season too, but our focus is on St. Clair and making sure we are ready to compete four quarters with a tough team."
The Saints entered the final week of the season with a 7-11 record. Coach Shawn Sharrow said his team has improved during the second half of the Macomb Area Conference Gold Division season and it will be the tough competition his team faced in the past month that should help give his team an egde in the playoffs next week.
"Playing the quality of opponents that we have has gotten us better in the past weeks because we haven't had a night off," Sharrow said. "We should be battle tested because we have seen a lot of different types of teams. If you are a basketball person, this is your time of year and a lot of our guys will be getting their first taste of the post season this year so we are all looking forward to it."
The Saints defeated Cardinal Mooney 52-41 last Friday before a 52-40 loss Saturday to Sterling Heights. Josh Barnes had 11 points and Jared Tobey had 10 for St. Clair in the win over Mooney. Alec Rood led the Saints in the loss to the Stallions with 14 points.
The Saints face Utica tomorrow in their final game of the regular season. Looking ahead to the district opener against Algonac, Sharrow said his team will need to focus on a few things if they want an extended post season.
"We have to defend and rebound while also having guys step up and put some points on the scoreboard for us," Sharrow said. "Scoring 35 to 40 points in the playoffs probably won't cut it, so we will need some guys to step up and score in double figures for us. Algonac is very talented and has a great supporting cast. It's going to be almost like a rivalry week in the playoffs and should make for some exciting basketball."
@Bhead:Renewed focus for Mooney
@body:Cardinal Mooney coach Mike McAndrews said he has been telling his team it isn't what you do in February - it's what you do in March that counts.
"Our goals are always set for March," McAndrews said. "We have played some big schools lately including Brother Rice, Cabrini and two tough area schools in St. Clair and Marine City so we know about playing with talented teams. We made this schedule like this on purpose. It's all about heading in the right direction right now, and that is something we have proved we are doing by hanging in with these teams."
The Cardinals faced their last regular season opponent last night as they took on Marine City. With the regular season behind them, it's time to focus on the Class D district opener against New Haven Merritt Academy on March 6 at Peck High School.
The Cardinals lost a pair of games last week, falling first to Brother Rice by the score of 50-32 last Wednesday. The Cardinals also lost to St. Clair 52-41 last Friday. David Sharpe had 17 points against Brother Rice. Jacob Irla and Sharpe had 13 points each in the loss to the Saints.
The Cardinals defeated New Haven Merritt Academy during the holiday Christmas tournament earlier in the season and will look to have the same performance so the Cardinals can soar to a district finals appearance on March 8.
"Merritt poses some problems for us and is a much-improved basketball team," McAndrews said. "They have some good guards and some size that can hurt you too. This time of year, you have to be able to defend well and play with anyone. We know Peck will come in as the favorite with only a couple losses, but we don't think our record indicates what kind of team we are and our guys are excited to prove that."
James Kelley is a freelance reporter. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
Last Updated: 2/25/2013 4:02:27 PM EST