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Central Montcalm coach Rob Putnam talks with his team during a timeout this season. The Hornets went 7-14 overall this season. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Inexperience leads to struggles for Central Montcalm girls hoops

Rob Putnam took over the Central Montcalm girls basketball team this year and admitted it was a learning experience for both him and the team. The Green Hornets ended up 7-14 overall and 4-8 in the Central State Activities Association Gold Division. Yet Putnam liked the way his first season went.

Central Montcalm junior Kalika Wernette drives in for a basket during a game this season. - File photo

Central Montcalm trio earn CSAA Gold honors

The Central Montcalm Hornets girls basketball team had three players earn league honors for their play this season. Earning CSAA Gold first team honors was Kenzie Rutz. Makayla Studley was named second team, while Kalika Wernette earned honorable mention.

Central Montcalm’s Zack MacDonald, left, locks onto his opponent during the Lakeview Invitational this season. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Young Central wrestling team had ‘learning year’

Central Montcalm’s wrestling team had to learn the art of the sport real fast. The team had plenty of underclassmen, which didn’t escape the eye of coach Dan Vandervlucht.

Central Montcalm's Mason Barnwell drives to the basket during the teams’ Class B semifinal on Wednesday night.

Central Montcalm shoots for first district title since 1991

Not since the likes of Brian Thwaites, Matt Spencer, Tom Thomsen and Jason Anderson roamed the halls of Central Montcalm have the Hornets won a boys basketball district title. The year was 1991. Thwaites went for 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 59-44 win over Lakewood to lead the Hornets to its first district title since 1978. That same team went on to defeat Mason in the regional finals before falling to Flint Powers Catholic 59-47 in the Class B quarterfinals.

Carson City-Crystal’s Grant Gage, left, posts up against Central Montcalm’s Land Ledford during Tuesday’s game. The two combined for 36 points. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Simmon helps CC-C to 59-51 victory over Central Montcalm

It was a showcase between two of the area’s best basketball players in a head-to-head battle on the court. While Carson City-Crystal’s Grant Gage and Central Montcalm’s Lane Ledford put on a great show — combining for 36 points — it was Kyler Simmon and Kolton Kavanagh hitting shot after shot to help the Eagles fend off the Hornets in a 59-51 win at home on Tuesday.

Tri County’s Nick McGhan goes for a pin against Chippewa Hills’ Kaden Ellis during the 112-pound championship match at the CSAA tournament on Saturday. McGhan earned the fall at 5:31. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

14 area wrestlers place at CSAA tournament

Three area wrestling teams wrapped up the regular season on Saturday at the Central State Activities Association tournament at Tri County. In all, 14 wrestlers from Central Montcalm, Lakeview and Tri County placed in the top four. Tri County led the way with eight individual placers, while Lakeview and Central Montcalm each had three.

entral Montcalm’s Keagan James, bottom, signs his letter of intent Wednesday to play for St. Francis College while parents Marty, left and Lynn look on.  - Daily News/Chip Burch

Two Central Montcalm players sign college letters

Two Central Montcalm football players made their national signing day special by signing letters of intent to play college football. Seniors Keagan James and Jacob Palmer signed their letters of intent Wednesday. James will play for St. Francis College of Illinois and Palmer will play for Hope College.

Central Montcalm’s Todd Switzer fires up a three-point shot during the fourth quarter of Friday’s home game against Big Rapids. Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Central Montcalm rallies for win over Big Rapids

Todd Switzer’s fourth three-pointer was his biggest of the night, and quite possibly the biggest of the season. With just 2.6 seconds remaining, Switzer, who was also fouled on the shot, drained his final three-pointer and only free throw of the night to give the Central Montcalm Hornets a thrilling, 46-42 come-from-behind victory over the Big Rapids Cardinals on Friday night.

Central Montcalm’s Zac MacDonald competes against Grant’s Chase Hicks during the 140-pound championship match on Saturday. Hicks won by 12-1 major decision.

Mason County Central wins Lakeview Invitational

The Lakeview Wildcats hosted its annual individual wrestling tournament on Saturday. Mason County Central outlasted 16 schools to earn the championship this weekend with 202 points. Grant was second with 164 points and Belding third with 150.

Central Montcalm’s Makayla Studley, left, goes in for a basket during the first quarter of Friday’s game against Chippewa Hills. Studley finished with eight points. - Daily News/Bruce Bentley

Chippewa Hills fends off Central Montcalm girls in overtime

Central Montcalm’s girls basketball team struggled shooting most of Friday night, both from the floor and the free throw line. The Hornets, though, found a groove at the right time to force overtime against the Chippewa Hills Warriors at home. The Warriors refocused and battled back for a 45-40 CSAA Gold win in the extra time.