Cats looking to regain momentum for run at second straight district crown

VICKSBURG — The regular season didn’t end the way Three Rivers would have liked.
After losing 60-57 last Thursday to visiting South Haven in the Wolverine Conference championship game, Three Rivers must regroup and be ready to go as the postseason tips off.
Three Rivers competes in the Class B district boys’ basketball tournament at Vicksburg this week.
Paw Paw battles Dowagiac in tonight’s opener at 7 p.m. with the winner facing Vicksburg at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Three Rivers squares off against Edwardsburg at 6 p.m. Wednesday. The finals are Friday at 7 p.m.
Three Rivers, which is looking to win its second consecutive district title, can’t get caught looking past Edwardsburg, a team the Wildcats defeated twice during the regular season 46-33 on the road and 55-43 at home.
“We need to be ready for them and to play some zone and man-to-man defense against them. Edwardsburg is a team that can knock down the three-point shot and has guards that can attack the basket,” said Three Rivers coach Brian Burg.
A big key for Three Rivers will be to contain Edwardsburg’s top three perimeter players in seniors Chase Tarwacki and Adam Kozinski and sophomore A.J. Rosebush.
“We need to make sure that we don’t leave those three open on the perimeter,” Burg said.
“Those three guys can shoot from behind the arc and we need to make sure we contest their shot and force them to put the ball on the floor,” Burg said.
Beating Edwardsburg a third time will be difficult, but Burg has confidence in his ballclub.
“Playing a team three times in a year can be very tough and we need to make sure that we take care of the basketball and finish around the rim, especially inside the paint area. We are coming of a tough loss last Thursday to South Haven but we are ready and determined to play on Wednesday.”
Three Rivers is led in scoring by senior 6-foot-5 forward Carson Charvat who averages 15 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.1 assists and one steal.
Sophomore guard Jalen Heivilin averages 10.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.1 steals.
Senior guard Sam Hawkins averages 7.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.5 steals and 1.2 steals.
Sophomore Gavin Charvat, Carson’s younger brother, averages 8.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.2 steals.
Junior center Tirrell Hausmanis (6-5, 240) averages 12.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists for Three Rivers.
Eric Johnson, a 6-4 senior postplayer, comes off the bench and averages 6.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and one steal.
Three Rivers also gets contributions off the bench from junior Ashley Manansala and senior postplayer Max Chapman (6-4).
Three Rivers also owns two regular-season victories over Vicksburg 75-70 and 74-68 in overtime.
The Wildcats committed 25 turnovers in a 71-49 loss to Paw Paw. Three Rivers split its regular-season meetings beating Dowagiac 64-58 at home and losing on the road 69-56.
“Both Dowagiac and Paw Paw are playing very well and so is Vicksburg,” Burg said.
Vicksburg is led in scoring by seniors Deondre Lovell, Blake Rankin and Adam Grabowski and junior Trenton Lomason.
Paw Paw, coached by Rick Mitchell, is led by senior guard Trey Brennan and junior guard/forward Luke Toliver.
Dowagiac’s top players include senior guard Marcus Winchester-Jones, sophomore guard/forward Shaquan Stanback, freshman postplayer Deimetrius Lanier (6-2), junior Jadyn Smith, senior Adrien Bucha-Moore (6-5) and junior Jamin Hunt.
Favorite: Paw Paw
Darkhorse: Three Rivers and Vicksburg
Scott Hassinger can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 25 or sports@threeriversnews.com.

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