Division 3: Bobcats advance; Rangers fall in semifinals
Published 10:51 am Thursday, March 9, 2023
WATERVLIET — Two of the best Division 3 boys basketball teams in southwest Michigan will square off for a district championship Friday night.
Host Watervliet, ranked No. 7 in the final Associated Press poll, defeated Cassopolis 59-37 in the second semifinal Wednesday night to advance to the title game against No. 9-ranked Brandywine, which shut out Bridgman in the first quarter on its way to an 47-14 victory.
Brandywine vs. Bridgman
The Bobcats (21-2) scored the game’s first 24 points against the Bees, who finish the year with an 11-12 overall record.
Brandywine led 29-5 at halftime and then coasted home with the win.
“My kids wanted Watervliet so bad,” said Brandywine Coach Nathan Knapp. “I have never seen the focus and desire for a group to work so hard on defense at practice and bring it to the game. Friday is going to be special.”
The Bobcats led 34-8 after three quarters.
Nylen Goins had 14 point to lead Brandywine, which also got 12 points from Bryan Linley and 10 points from Jaremiah Palmer.
Riley Gloe had nine points to pace the Bees.
Cassopolis vs. Watervliet
The host Panthers (20-3) opened up an 11-point lead in the opening quarter and were able to build that margin throughout the remainder of the semifinal.
Watervliet led 33-22 at half and 44-26 heading into the fourth quarter.
Davion Goins led the Rangers, who enjoyed a successful first season under new Coach Charles Superczynski, with 15 points. Jadyn Baucom added 11 points.
Cassopolis ends its 2022-23 campaign with an 18-5 overall record, which included an undefeated Southwest 10 Conference championship record.
Kaiden Bierhalter had a game-high 20 points for the Panthers. Wyatt Epple and Brady Bornas both finished with 12 points.
Friday night’s championship game is scheduled to tipoff at 7 p.m.