Forest Hills Northern is playing much better basketball than it was to start the season. And this is the time teams want to be playing its best basketball of the season. On Monday night, in the Class A district tournament opener in Greenville, the Huskies extended their winning streak to six games with a 71-42 win over the host Yellow Jackets.
On an afternoon with upsets taking place in all divisions, Carson City-Crystal senior Dallas O’Green wasn’t going to be denied a second consecutive state wrestling championship. With extreme focus and precision, O’Green won that second state championship with an 8-2 decision over Manchester’s Ethan Woods at 130 pounds in Division 4 at The Palace of Auburn Hills on Saturday. The win capped an undefeated season (59-0) and a remarkable career, one which will go down as one of the best, not only in school history, but in the state of Michigan.
Such a wide range of emotions can be found at the state wrestling finals where even winning is sometimes met with disappointment. Tears can stream from the faces of winners and losers. Winners can feel exhilaration, shock and relief. Losers can feel heartbreak, anger and even contentment. Without a doubt, no other sport displays as many emotions as wrestling does. After three days, just 56 wrestlers out of 896 will be crowned individual state champions, although 448 in four divisions will walk away with All-State honors.
Trent Braman’s wrestling season didn’t begin until February, yet he still made the most of it. A knee injury, suffered during football season, relegated the Central Montcalm senior to the sidelines for the first two months of the wrestling season. Braman had surgery in late December and was given a recovery time frame of six weeks or six months.
For most of the past two seasons, Carson City-Crystal’s Dallas O’Green has made wrestling look easy. For the rest of the 20 area wrestlers competing at the Michigan High School Athletic Association state finals, easy wasn’t necessarily the case on Friday.
Every time Greenville got within striking distance in the fourth quarter, the Wyoming Wolves killed the momentum with a 3-pointer. Wyoming — the O-K Bronze champions — drained four fourth quarter 3-pointers as the Wolves pulled away to defeat the Yellow Jackets 79-60 on Thursday night. Greenville, playing their final regular season game, trailed by five points with 5:29 remaining in the fourth quarter, but Chase Vander Klay drained a 3-pointer to extend the Wyoming lead. Vander Klay scored all of his 12 points in the fourth quarter to help the Wolves hold off the Yellow Jackets.
The Michigan High School Athletic Association individual state wrestling finals is an experience unlike any other. Whether a first time qualifier or one with state finals experience, the state finals can bring plenty of nerves and anxiety for wrestlers. Controlling those nerves can be the difference between standing on the podium or heartbroken in defeat. The three-day state finals tournament at The Palace of Auburn Hills begins today and concludes Saturday.
The question wasn’t who was going to get the ball. The question was could she be stopped. And the answer was no. Trailing by one point with just 13 seconds remaining, Greenville’s Paige Hallock drove the length of the floor, blew past a couple of defenders and scored a game-winning layup with just three seconds left to give the Yellow Jackets a thrilling 55-54 win over Forest Hills Central Rangers on Monday.
The Greenville Yellow Jackets girls basketball team is O-K Bronze champions for the third time in four years. Paige Hallock’s 27 points led the Yellow Jackets to a 59-48 win at Forest Hills Northern in a winner take all matchup Friday night. Greenville finished the regular season 17-3 overall and 8-2 in the league.
Justin Zimmer has been called “Michigan’s hidden secret.” For those who have witnessed Zimmer on the football field at both Greenville High School (2011 graduate) and Ferris State University (will graduate this year), the secret has been out of the bag for some time. While in high school, Zimmer was an All-State performer and helped lead the Yellow Jackets to a 9-2 record as a senior. At Ferris State, Zimmer developed a resumé that includes being a three-time All-GLIAC first team selection, three-time Academic All-American, two-time consensus All-America selection and a two-time nominee for both the Gene Upshaw NCAA Division II Lineman of the Year Award and the Cliff Harris National Small College Defensive Player of the Year Award.