We will be updating the Harbor Beach at Saginaw Nouvel game on this thread throughout the contest tonight.
7-0 Nouvel late in the first quarter... 7:15 pm
7-0 Nouvel after 1 quarter... 7:20 pm
Travis Essenmacher picks off a pass in the end zone for the Pirates, still 7-0... 7:35 pm
Eli Kraft picks off a pass inside the 5-yard line to stop another Nouvel drive... 7:50 pm
7-0 at the half. Harbor Beach is still in it... Good for the Pirates...
Saginaw Nouvel 28, Harbor Beach 0
The Pirates had a great season. They could be even better next year...
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Adams filed this report on Friday's Harbor Beach at Saginaw Nouvel game...
HARBOR BEACH — The last time Saginaw Nouvel suffered a loss it was to a Thumb school.
Harbor Beach is hoping to make it two in a row.
The Pirates (11-0) will travel to face the Panthers (10-0) at 7 p.m. Friday in Saginaw to play for the Division 7 regional championship.
Last year, Ubly ended Nouvel’s season in a 34-21 victory.
“We talked about that a little bit,” said Harbor Beach coach Troy Schelke. “I think that definitely gives us hope. We know we’re going to have to play a real good game, but we think we can play a real good game.
“If we don’t believe that we can do it, we really don’t have a chance. We first have to believe and then go out and do it.”
Nouvel has been barely tested this season, with its closest game coming in Week 8 when it beat Flint Northwestern, 36-14.
Meanwhile, the Pirates are battle tested, including last week’s 27-21 victory over Reese.
During the regular season, Harbor Beach defeated five playoff teams.
“I’m sure Nouvel is very confident and they should be, they’ve blown nearly everyone out this year,” Schelke said. “We have to get them into a close game late. If we do that, I like our chances.”
Schelke said he expects a number of different looks from the Panthers offensively.
No matter the formation, it’s a good bet the ball will be going to Class C Player of the Year candidate, running back Bennett Lewis.
In 10 games, Lewis has posted outstanding numbers, rushing for 1,463 yards and 28 touchdowns. He averages 13.2 yards per carry.
Three times this season Lewis has scored four touchdowns in a game, including last week’s win over Blanchard-Montabella.
In that contest, Lewis ran for 225 yards on just nine carries and scored on runs of 6, 31, 61 and 75 yards.
Quarterback Joe Buchalski was perfect, going 5-for-5 for 134 yards and three more scores.
“Nouvel looks very good on film, they run a lot of different formations offensively and have good athletes all over the field,” Schelke said.
The Panthers are nearly as impressive on defense. They haven’t allowed more than 14 points in a game this season.
“Defensively, they’re very aggressive and sound,” Schelke said. “It will be a good challenge.
“They’re very fast, very athletic.”
Nouvel has done most of its damage early. In the playoffs, it has outscored its opponents 63-0 in the first quarter.
For the season, the Panthers have outscored their opponents 415-46 in the first half and have allowed a total of just 12 points in the first quarter.
“If they score a touchdown, or make a big play, we can’t hang our heads,” Schelke said. “They’ve gotten teams down after the first quarter.
“We have to be real physical and limit our turnovers and finish some drives.
“As much as we can, we’re going to have to keep the ball away from them while still making some big plays and finishing drives.”
Like Nouvel, Harbor Beach has shown the ability to run a number of different offenses.
The Pirates, led by sophomore quarterback Eli Kraft, junior running backs Sloan Klaski and Derek Pfaff, along with junior receiver Aaron Ginther, can run anything from spread to Wing-T.
“We’re going to have to take full advantage of our opportunities,” Schelke said. “We’re going to have to mix things up offensively with our pass and run.
“Whatever we do, we have to be real physical. We have to be strong on special teams and take care of the ball. If we do have a turnover, we have to play over it.
“We’ve been real opportunistic and we’ve really improved the last two or three weeks.”
Harbor Beach hasn’t advanced this far in the playoffs since making it to the Division 7 semifinals in 2007. The last Nouvel was this far was 2008, when the team fell in the 2008 Division 6 semifinals.
This will be the third meeting between the teams.
Neither time went well for the Pirates as they fell to the Panthers 21-13 in the 2003 Division 6 district championship and 42-7 in the 2006 Division 6 district championship.
Regardless of Friday’s outcome, Schelke said he’s proud of this group for coming together so quickly.
“Coming off of 4-5 (in 2010), I was a little dismayed that some people were picking us to be so good,” he said.
“I have been surprised that early on that we won some of the games we won, because I thought it would take us a few games to learn how to win. Our kids won some close games and improved throughout the year. I’m really happy with how things turned out so far.”
The winner of this game will play the winner the Ishpeming at Traverse City St. Francis regional championship contest.
W1: Bad Axe 42-0
W2: N. Huron 48-0
W3: Reese 30-16
W4: Brown City 34-21
W5: Ubly 34-22
W6: Marlette 12-8
W7: Sandusky 26-12
W8: Mayville 47-0
W9: USA 56-0
W10: Br. City 40-7
W11: Reese 27-21
PF: 396 (36.0)
PA: 109 (9.9)
W1: Powers 55-14
W2: TCSF 48-12
W3: Wind. Holy 43-7
W4: DWCA 55-14
W5: MABT 41-6
W6: Chatham 43-0
W8: Flint NW 36-14
W9: Freeland 37-0
W10: Coleman 63-14
W11: Bl-Mont. 62-6
PF: 483 (48.3)
PA: 87 (8.7)
BOGAN SAYS: Here’s a quote from the Freeland coach after his team lost to Nouvel in Week 9. “Unbelievable. I hope everybody from Saginaw has no plans for Thanksgiving weekend because Nouvel is going to the finals.”
Harbor Beach is a very good team. Nouvel is just loaded this season.
PICK: Nouvel 30, Harbor Beach 13
ADAMS SAYS: Nobody outside of Harbor Beach is giving the Pirates a shot in this game. I think the players and coaches are going to use that. Is it going to be easy?
Harbor Beach has to play the perfect game and get some things to break its way.
PICK: Harbor Beach 24, Nouvel 23
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
REESE — Deficits don’t seem to matter to Unionville-Sebewaing Area’s volleyball squad, which is now one win away from pulling off a well-deserved and hard-working triple crown.
The Greater Thumb West and district champion Patriots were forced to play from behind once again here Tuesday night in their Class C regional semifinal match against Sanford-Meridian. But like they did in the district finals against Bad Axe, the Patriots shook off a lackluster start en route to a 16-25, 25-15, 25-15, 25-22 victory over the Mustangs.
With the win, the 41-4-5 Patriots move on to Thursday’s regional championship match against 38-17-3 Saginaw Valley Lutheran — a winner over Marlette in the other semifinal showdown.
“I don’t have an explanation about our start,” said USA coach Teresa Rose. “We were just flat and there was no real talking out there.
“Sometimes, they don’t trust each other on the court. It’s sometimes like, ‘You take it... No, you take it...’ But I am proud of the way they came back and battled.”
The difference between Game 1 and Games 2-4 was the net play from the USA front row. The Patriots’ frontliners were outplayed by their Sanford-Meridian counterparts early on. But a few adjustments at the net resulted in plenty of USA blocks for points, as well as several Mustang errors, later in the match.
“We knew they had a better outside than middle,” Rose explained. “When you take the crosscourt away, (their hitters) were going to go (down the) line. We had a hard time early on getting over there and stopping that. We started cheating a little bit toward the line, and we also did a good job blocking.”
Calie Valentine did much of the work in the back row, netting 28 digs to go along with 34 receptions.
Up front, Maddy Payton led the Patriots in kills with 17, along with 13 digs, 15 receptions and seven points. Ashlyn VanHoost added 16 digs, 11 points, 14 receptions and four aces while Mackenzie Treiber had 12 kills, six digs and nine receptions, Sami Eisengruber 11 points and seven kills, and Chelsey Bitzer 33 assists, 11 points and nine digs.
After their sluggish start in Game 1, the Patriots were never really threatened in Games 2 and 3. USA led 7-0, 10-2 and 18-9 in Game 2; USA jumped out to leads of 4-0, 12-2 and 15-5 in Game 3.
The Mustangs rallied a bit in Game 4. In fact, they led 7-2, 9-4, 17-11 and 22-19 before USA made its comeback. VanHoost served the game’s final six points, including an ace to finish off the match. Eisengruber and Payton chipped in kills in the final rally.
Now, the Patriots are looking to at least duplicate their state tournament run in 2008 when they advanced all the way to the state semifinals.
USA and Valley Lutheran played early in the season at a tournament at Carrollton. The teams split their match.
“They are a very good team,” Rose said. “We can’t come out like we did tonight against them. It’s going to be a tough match.”
Thursday’s winner moves on to the state quarterfinals next Tuesday at St. Louis against the Ravenna regional winner.
CLASS D at BCAS
BAY CITY — It’s Eagles vs. Eagles, North vs. South, champion vs. champion.
At 7 p.m. on Thursday at Bay City All Saints, the Class D regional volleyball final will feature both champions from the North Central Thumb League in Caseville (North) and Deckerville (South).
On Tuesday, both teams took care of business by sweeping their respective opponents.
In the first semifinal, Caseville had an easy time with Genesee Christian (25-19, 25-17, 25-18) while Deckerville topped Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary (25-14, 25-23, 25-22).
Caseville improved to 31-4-2 with the win. It hasn’t loss since falling to Deckerville on Sept. 24 at the Carsonville-Port Sanilac Invitational (25-21, 25-21).
The teams began the season on Sept. 8 and Deckerville again came away with the victory (25-17, 25-16, 18-25, 25-23).
A few photos from the USA-Meridian match
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
THIS WEEKEND'S REGIONAL AND 8-MAN SEMIFINAL GAMES
NOTE: The MHSAA website did not have these updated until Tuesday afternoon.
R1: Grand Blanc (9-2) 97.778 at Rockford (10-1) 103.444 - S 1:00 PM
R2: Ann Arbor Pioneer (9-2) 87.333 at Detroit Catholic Central (10-1) 96.667 - S 1:00 PM
R3: Walled Lake Central (8-3) 71.556 at Utica Eisenhower (10-1) 102.111 - F 7:00 PM
R4: Detroit Cass Tech (8-3) 73.556 at Warren DeLaSalle (9-2) 96.556 - F 7:00 PM at SCS Lake Shore
R1: Fenton (9-2) 83.778 at Lowell (10-1) 103.111 - S 1:00 PM
R2: Walled Lake Western (10-1) 94.889 at Port Huron (10-1) 102.889 - F 7:00 PM
R3: Birmingham Brother Rice (7-4) 69.333 at Southfield (8-3) 72.444 - S 1:00 PM
R4: Detroit Martin Luther King (8-3) 72.889 at Wyandotte Roosevelt (10-1) 96.667 - F 7:00 PM
R1: East Lansing (9-2) 87.222 at Mt Pleasant (11-0) 108.444 - S 1:00 PM
R2: East Grand Rapids (8-3) 70.778 at Holland (9-2) 78.444 - S 1:00 PM
R3: Adrian (7-4) 55.556 at Battle Creek Harper Creek (11-0) 102.222 - F 7:00 PM
R4: Linden (7-4) 61.333 at Orchard Lake St Mary's (9-2) 90.778 - S 1:00 PM
R1: Alma (9-2) 71.444 at Comstock Park (9-2) 72.111 - F 7:00 PM
R2: Paw Paw (10-1) 85.222 at Zeeland West (11-0) 98.667 - F 7:00 PM
R3: Grosse Ile (9-2) 74.444 at Battle Creek Pennfield (11-0) 83.556 - S 1:00 PM
R4: Detroit Crockett (10-1) 101.889 at Marine City (11-0) 109.333 - F 7:00 PM
R1: Menominee (9-2) 79.667 at Grand Rapids West Catholic (9-2) 85.000 - S 3:00 PM
R2: Dowagiac (10-1) 86.778 at Lansing Catholic (11-0) 95.111 - F 7:00 PM at Holt JHS
R3: Jackson Lumen Christi (8-3) 65.000 at Almont (10-1) 83.444 - F 7:00 PM
R4: Flint Powers Catholic (7-4) 62.986 at Hemlock (9-2) 75.889 - F 7:00 PM
R1: Morley-Stanwood (10-1) 73.778 at Iron Mountain (10-0) 81.667 - S 1:00 PM
R2: Montague (9-2) 66.444 at Ithaca (11-0) 84.889 - S 1:00 PM
R3: Constantine (9-2) 60.222 at Grass Lake (11-0) 86.222 - S 1:00 PM
R4: Ecorse (9-1) 68.333 at Warren Michigan Collegiate (11-0) 92.444 - S 7:00 PM
R1: Ishpeming (9-1) 64.653 at Traverse City St Francis (10-1) 74.653 - S 1:00 PM
R2: Harbor Beach (11-0) 81.667 at Saginaw Nouvel (10-0) 101.683 - F 7:00 PM
R3: Watervliet (10-1) 64.000 at Pewamo-Westphalia (11-0) 74.667 - S 1:00 PM
R4: Hudson (11-0) 88.889 at Detroit Loyola (11-0) 89.556 - S 1:00 PM at MH Bishop Foley
R1: Crystal Falls Forest Park (9-1) 54.111 at St Ignace La Salle (11-0) 70.222 - F 7:00 PM
R2: Beal City (8-3) 48.556 at Fowler (9-2) 54.111 - F 7:00 PM
R3: Climax-Scotts (10-1) 57.222 at Mendon (11-0) 87.111 - S 1:00 PM
R4: Petersburg-Summerfield (8-3) 49.667 at New Lothrop (11-0) 78.222 - F 7:30 PM