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Niles draws defending champs in first game

Published 11:16pm Thursday, December 22, 2011

Two-time defending state champion Kalamazoo Central will try to make history this season by winning a third consecutive title.

The Maroon Giants’ title defense will begin in Niles March 5 against the host Vikings.

Niles and Kalamazoo Central have faced each other the past two years with the Maroon Giants coming out on top. Last season the two met in the semifinals, while the previous year Kalamazoo Central knocked out the Vikings in the district title game.

Niles and Kalamazoo Central will kick off the tournament at 7 p.m. The winner will face Mattawan March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at Niles High School.

In other first round match-ups, Portage Northern will host Kalamazoo Loy Norrix March 5 at 7 p.m. and Portage Central will host Gull Lake at 7 p.m.

The winner of the Portage Northern-Loy Norrix and Portage Central-Gull Lake contests will meet in the semifinal March 7 at 5:30 p.m. also at Niles.

The championship game will be played Friday, March night at NHS beginning at 7 p.m.

Class A Girls

Defending district champion Niles will begin its title defense on the road against new Big 16 Conference member Gull Lake.

The Vikings will travel to Richland to face the Blue Devils Monday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to the semifinals at Mattawan High School to face either Kalamazoo Central or Portage Central. The Maroon Giants and Mustangs square off Feb. 27 at Kalamazoo Central at 7 p.m.

District host Mattawan will face Portage Northern Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. The winner takes on Kalamazoo Loy Norrix Wednesday, Feb. 29 at 7:30 p.m.

The championship game is scheduled for Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m.

Class C Girls

Three-time defending district champion Brandywine gets to host the tournament this year.

The Bobcats will open against a team that gave them quite a battle in last year’s district tournament before falling — Watervliet.

Brandywine and the Panthers will kick off the tournament Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. The winner advances to the semifinals Wednesday, Feb. 29 to face Benton Harbor Dream Academy in the second game of a doubleheader at 7:45 p.m.

New Buffalo and Bridgman, who each received a first round bye, will play the first game Feb. 29 at 6 p.m.

The championship game will be Friday, March 2 at 7 p.m.

Class C Boys

Brandywine received a first round bye and will face New Buffalo Wednesday, March 7 at 6 p.m.

Host Watervliet will take on Benton Harbor Dream Academy in the tournament opener March 5 at 7 p.m. The winner faces defending district champion Bridgman in the semifinals March 7 at 7:45 p.m.

The title game at Watervliet High School will be Friday, March 9 at 7 p.m.

Class B Boys

Benton Harbor replaces Dowagiac in the Class B district field this season.

St. Joseph is the host of the tournament, which will have a new champion with the departure of the Chieftains.

Edwardsburg and Buchanan will square off on opening Night, March 5, at 6 p.m. The winner faces Lakeshore in the semifinals March 7 at 6 p.m.

The host Bears will take on the Tigers at 8 p.m. on opening night with the winner moving on to face Berrien Springs March 7 at 8 p.m.

The title game is scheduled for March 9 at 7 p.m.

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