Missed chances in the clutch keep Cats from claiming league title

THREE RIVERS — So close.
The Three Rivers varsity boys’ basketball team came up short of winning its first Wolverine Conference championship since 2005 after falling at home Thursday to South Haven 60-57.
South Haven led Three Rivers 19-12 after the opening eight minutes.
“We got down early to start the game by letting them penetrate to the basket and get some easy layups. They started in a 2-3 zone and we didn’t settle down very well to start the game,” said Three Rivers coach Brian Burg.
But Three Rivers would go on a 18-11 run during the second quarter that allowed the Cats to tie the game by halftime 30-30. A 21-18 edge during the third quarter left Three Rivers out in front of South Haven 51-48 after three periods.
“We adjusted and went to a 2-3 zone to help with stopping their guards from attacking the basket and it worked. We then started to work the ball inside and then back out for open shots. We tied the game at the half and did a great job of winning the third quarter to have a three-point lead entering the final eight minutes,” Burg said.
The Rams, however, were able to outscore the Wildcats 12-6 in the final eight minutes to claim the title.
The Rams’ Caleb Ford poured in a game-high 26 and Joe Wilkins was also a big problem defensively for the Cats pouring in 22. Griffin Rooker added six points for the Rams.
Sam Hawkins led Three Rivers, now 13-7, with 15 points. Carson Charvat and Jalen Heivilin each posted 12 points apiece for the Wildcats. Gavin Charvat and junior center Tirrell Hausmanis added nine points each for Three Rivers.
“They stayed in their 2-3 zone and we wanted to be patient and make them come out of their zone and when they did we would execute a man-to-man play and look to get a layup, but we just couldn’t finish the play with the layup,” Burg said. “Those shots would just come out of the rim. We had several chances at the end to win the game, but just couldn’t finish.”
Burg is pleased with how far the program has come despite falling short of its goal of winning a league championship.
“When I look at what we have done so far is incredible. I’m very proud of my team and how we have worked and got ourselves to get Three Rivers back on the basketball map,” Burg said.

Centreville 72, Howardsville 61
HOWARDSVILLE — Centreville’s basketball team came away with a 72-61 win Tuesday at Howardsville Christian.
“We played a solid defensive game against a great Howardsville shooting team. We were able to break their press and get the ball down low where we had an advantage. It was a nice win as we prepare and head into district week,” said Centreville coach Mike Hunter.
Centreville jumped out to a 20-8 advantage after one period, led 33-27 at halftime and 55-37 after three periods.
Hayden Stauffer poured in 25 points to go with 11 rebounds and two steals for Centreville.
Chris Cooper chipped in 11 points, five boards and two assists for the Bulldogs. Tyler Carpenter added seven points and seven assists for Centreville. Ross Hunter chipped in eight points, four assists and four rebounds. Coletin Gascho contributed eight points, four assists and two steals. Brady Reynolds chipped in with four points and three assists.
Dylan Jergens led Howardsville with 21 points, while David Cripps finished with 14 and Lucas Withers had 11.

White Pigeon 58, River Valley 54
THREE OAKS — White Pigeon’s boys’ basketball team finished the regular season with a 58-54 win at Three Oaks River Valley.
Carter Grant led the Chiefs with 18 points and had two rebounds. Zane Shoppell added 15 points, one assist, two blocks and two rebounds. Noah Krull had 13 points, three rebounds and three assists. Kamren Garten finished with 10 points, three assists and a pair of steals. Austin Yoder added three assists, one steal and four rebounds. Gavin Kopf had two points, two steals and three boards.

Schoolcraft 60, Constantine 17
CONSTANTINE — Schoolcraft’s boys’ basketball team earned an easy 60-17 SAC Valley Division win at Constantine Thursday.
Randy Small’s Eagles, now 19-1 overall, jumped out to a commanding 23-2 lead over the Falcons to start the contest and built their lead to 43-9 entering halftime.
Caleb Eustice scored 13 points for Schoolcraft. Ricky Clark added 12 points and Kobe Clark scored 10.
Riley Piper added three rebounds for the Eagles. Eustice also had two assists and three steals and Ricky Clark had two assists.
Schoolcraft made 13-of-23 free-throw attempts to 3-of-5 free-throw attempts for the Falcons.
Seth Wright scored four points and had four rebounds for Constantine. Nolan Malcom added three points.

Jackson Christian 72, Colon 52
COLON — Colon’s basketball team was overpowered by visiting Jackson Christian 72-52.
Dane Wilson led the Magi with 24 points and six rebounds followed by Daniel Alva with eight points and three assists. Chase Tomlinson scored six points and had five steals. Austin Stoll scored five points and had two blocks. Clayton Wolf had four points and three rebounds and Andrew Smolarz had three points and four rebounds. Harrison Sillings scored two points. Garrick Yaudes had seven rebounds.
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or

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