Posted On: 03/6/18 6:00 AM
The regular season has come to a close across the state, giving way to the postseason and the madness of March! We’ve followed names and narratives all year, but the next few weeks will determine whose story continues. Here is a list of Class A district games in the Grand Rapids area that feature some of those names and narratives and a brief prediction of what we may expect in upcoming contests.
District 6: GR Christian v Ottawa Hills (7:30 @ Caledonia)
A battle between two schools less than a mile apart, this game will determine who’s best in southeast GR. They offer an interesting matchup as Christian has a youthful roster and the Bengals are nearly all seniors. Because of this and the talent they offer, I predict Ottawa winning, but I think it could be close depending on the night the Eagles are having. Christian has shown themselves at times to be very competitive. How they perform, however, will depend greatly on what kind of game senior SF Seth Millner has and whether another teammate or two of his can go off with him. In their way are a dangerous PG in Damion Seifulah; a versatile, athletic forward in Nelson McCauley; and Ottawa’s group of hard-working, seasoned fighters who will be aggressive for four quarters.
District 6: East Kentwood v Wyoming (6:00 @ Caledonia)
These squads met once in the regular season with Wyoming pulling out the win, 62-60. Since then, the Wolves have gone on to have the better season, boasting a 16-5 record and a conference title. However, judging by some wins and close games they’ve had, EK does not seem to be too far behind, and their next meeting could be just as narrow as the first. A name to watch from Wyoming is that of Payton Harley. The point guard regularly leads in scoring and is considered one of the best unsigned seniors around. Playing antagonist to him will be SO PG Jamoni Jones, ranked ninth in the Prep Hoops C/O ’20 rankings. Another EK player to watch is Justin Lary, a SF who can make heavy contributions in both the rebounding and scoring columns.
District 7: Muskegon v GR Union (6:00 @ Muskegon Reeths-Puffer)
This matchup promises to be an electrifying dogfight. These teams have met twice in the regular season, and twice has Muskegon prevailed. In their first victory, they won 51-42, and they took the second meeting 59-54. Because of these two victories and their record (16-3), Muskegon is the favorite. Union will look to pull an upset, though, and it’s something they’ve proven capable of. They have several players who can have big performances. Notable names include Justin Fox (SR, PG) who dropped 31 in the overtime comeback to get into this game. Others are Jose Torres (JR, SG), Jaivian Fowler (JR, SF), and Jeremiah Pittman (SO, SG). A leader for Muskegon is combo guard Willie Shanks. Several others can put up big numbers, and the whole team plays with intensity on both ends of the floor. This one may be too close to call.
District 8: Jenison v Hudsonville (7:30 @ Hudsonville)
Two more schools that are close in proximity, this game should have a good atmosphere and promises to be entertaining. On paper, Hudsonville is the underdog with a lesser standing state-wide, a regular-season loss to Jenison (77-64), and a losing record (10-11). However, they played a respectable schedule and had many narrow losses, indicating their competitiveness. A name to watch is PG Max Perez (’20) who’s been a leader for the young Eagles team and can put up big numbers. Jenison enters the game as the favorite with a 16-5 record. The Wildcats are led by senior Jacob Boonyasith, a huge contributor logging over twenty points and several rebounds every night.