Five down, five to go. The Belding Redskins girls basketball team reached the midway portion of the O-K Blue season with a perfect 5-0 record intact. In their latest victory, the Redskins used a strong first quarter and got a game-high 23 points from Katie Wood in a 60-39 home win at Sparta on Friday.
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Greenville’s wrestling team got a pair of wins it wanted Wednesday night. The Yellow Jackets won their O-K Bronze matchup with Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, winning 57-24. They then beat arch rival Belding 53-15. It was good enough for Greenville coach Paul Johnson.
The Belding Redskins wrestling team put on a good showing at the Lakeview Invitational on Saturday. Belding placed third out of 14 teams behind Grandville (ranked No. 6 in Division 1 by michigangrappler.com) and Chippewa Hills (ranked No. 3 in Division 3). In all, nine Belding wrestlers placed out of 12 at the individual tournament.
The competition at the individual Lakeview Invitational was noticeably tougher than past seasons. With the additions of Grandville (ranked No. 6 in Division 1) and Chippewa Hills (No. 3 in Division 3), the individual talent featured many 2015 state placers, including defending state champion Cameron Mahlich of Ionia. Chippewa Hills and Grandville dominated the competition with six individual champions and six runner-ups in 14 weight classes. Chippewa Hills, though, edged Granville in total points 250-233.5.
Belding’s wrestling team had one easy match and one hard one at their only home meet of the season Wednesday night. The Redskins’ hard match was the one they lost. Sparta beat them 56-15. The easy match was Wyoming High, which the Redskins won 71-6.
Lucas McNinch put the Belding Redskins on his back in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough. McNinch, a senior, scored 17 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter of a 64-54 home loss to the Lake Odessa Lakewood Vikings on Tuesday.
When you’re hot, you’re hot. As was the case with the Greenville Yellow Jackets on Friday night. The red hot Yellow Jackets knocked down 13 3-pointers, six of them by freshman Adele Kemp, in a 60-46 road win over rival Belding on Friday. The game was tight for 2 1/2 quarters before a flurry of 3-pointers midway through the third quarter propelled the Yellow Jackets their second win of the season.
It took the Belding Redskins less time to defeat the Alma Panthers than it took to drive to Shepherd High School. With a five-set district finals loss in 2014 fresh on their minds, the Redskins dispatched the Panthers in dominating fashion and straight sets at Shepherd on Thursday night. In near flawless play, Belding won 25-14, 25-9, 25-12 to win its sixth Class B district championship in eight years.
The West Catholic Falcons won’t be calling No. 13 unlucky any time soon. With a 67-37 win at Belding on Friday, the Falcons qualified for their 13th consecutive trip to the Michigan High School Athletic Association football playoffs. After starting the season 1-2, the Falcons have won four straight games, the last three against O-K Blue rivals.
Edgar Tovar, Fabian Corona and Chris Ornelas are Belding’s version of the big three. The soccer trio uses their quickness, agility and chemistry to weave in-and-out of opponents and have helped lead the Redskins to 13 wins this season. The latest victory was a 4-2 victory over O-K Blue rival West Catholic at Rudness Field on Thursday evening.