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Jan. 16: Blue Water basketball roundup

The Port Huron Northern girls basketball team is hitting its stride while Marine City and Marysville continue to lead their respective leagues. The leading BWAC girls basketball team will be decided this week as North Branch and Imlay City each stand 5-0.


The Croswell-Lexington boys team will head to Richmond with momentum, but the Blue Devils will look to defend their home court as both teams stand unbeaten in the league. Likewise, Northern's boys will face their two toughest league opponents this week.


Recap some of last week's biggest matchups, most notable performances, and games to watch in the week to come:


Cros-Lex, Richmond boys unbeaten in the BWAC

Cros-Lex senior Zachary Kroetsch dribbles the ball against Imlay City senior Beau Hund Friday night.

The Pioneers have played the role of spoiler this season. They ended Yale’s six-game win streak on Jan. 5 and picked up two more league wins last week, topping Almont 62-39 before handing Imlay City its first league loss Friday, 55-33. Zachary Kroestch led in both games with 19 and 17 points, respectively. Cros-Lex is now 8-2 overall and 4-0 in the BWAC.


Richmond also stands undefeated at 3-0, but not without a fight. The Blue Devils won 68-49 over North Branch Tuesday but against Almont Friday, they trailed 26-25 at the half. Richmond managed to take control in the third, 41-38, and hold the Raiders to just five points in the fourth to win the game 53-43.


It was a battle between 3-point shooters as Clay Roszczewski led the Raiders and Karl Stevens led the Blue Devils, each with 18 points and four triples.


Armada also picked up two league wins on the week, topping Algonac 60-39 and North Branch 63-42. Andrew Sniesak led both games with 17 and 18 points, respectively. Camden Khon added 15 against the Muskrats and Justin Schapman had 14 against the Broncos.


After suffering another league loss to Imlay City 53-43 Tuesday, Yale bounced back to defeat Algonac 73-31. Ryan Monarch led the way with 20 points, including three 3-pointers. The junior has averaged 16.8 points in the last five games.


A big week in MAC girls basketball


Port Huron Northern picked up its first two conference wins and is now 2-3 in the MAC-White and 4-8 overall. The Huskies had their way with Romeo, 60-30, and turned around to edge Utica 40-37. They were led by freshman Jadelynn Freeman who had totaled 42 points in both games, and Kate Nichols who posted 19.

Marine City junior Jade Blanchard drives against Yale freshman Sadie Dykstra in a game earlier this season.

The highly-anticipated matchup between Marine City and St. Clair took place Wednesday in the Mariners’ gym. Both teams were leading the MAC-Gold at 3-0, but Marine City managed to take sole possession of the lead, outlasting St. Clair 41-36.


The Saints turned around to take on fellow 3-1 league opponent Fraser just two days later – and they would do so without starting senior Ashlyn Zimmer who suffered an ankle injury against Marine City. They pulled off a 45-40 victory to stay in contention for the league now at 4-1. They were led by juniors Audrey Schindler and Alexa Vickers who had 12 and 11 points, respectively.


After beating Stevenson 43-18 Wednesday, Marysville hosted Cousino Friday. The two teams were atop the MAC-Blue at 4-0 ad 3-1, respectively, and the Vikings stayed perfect with a 53-37 victory. Junior Avery Wolters led the team with 16 points and senior Kara Miller added nine.


Notable performances

Port Huron High sophomore Garrett James defends St. Clair senior Jackson Oles Tuesday night.

Port Huron High escaped St. Clair in overtime, 58-53, on Tuesday in a MAC-Silver matchup. Senior Garrett James led the Big Reds with 18 points, including four threes.


The Cros-Lex girls gave Imlay City a scare Thursday, narrowing the deficit to five midway through the fourth quarter. The Spartans would go on to win 43-33, led by junior Lexa Forti with 20 points. Cros-Lex sophomore Ava Oleski posted a double-double in the loss with 13 points and 10 rebounds.


Despite Ella Stephenson’s 24-point performance against Armada Tuesday, Algonac still fell to the Tigers 60-48. Armada was led by seniors Meya Drob and Elled Sutton with 16 and 14 points, respectively.


Looking ahead


This week holds several exciting games that will further determine conference leaders.


On Thursday, Cros-Lex will travel to Richmond Thursday to see which team will take sole possession of the No. 1 spot in BWAC boys basketball. In three of their last six meetings, the final was decided by two points or less.

Then on Friday, the BWAC girls leader will be decided – should North Branch and Imlay City both win on Tuesday. Both teams currently stand 5-0 and will play on the Broncos’ home court Jan. 20. The Spartans have won the last three league titles, making this local rivalry even more meaningful.


The Port Huron Northern boys team, which is the only undefeated team in the area at 8-0, will play two of the top teams in the MAC-White this week. The Huskies will host New Haven (9-1, 2-1) Wednesday and then travel to Grosse Pointe North (7-2, 3-0) on Friday. This will mark an exciting challenge as Northern has won its first three league games by an average margin of 22 points.


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For in-game updates and other news, follow Calli on Twitter @ newberry_calli


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