By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
These next four weeks make up arguably the most exciting sports time of every school year.
With MHSAA tournament play beginning last week for track and field, girls tennis and lacrosse — plus the other sports settling their league championships — we're off to a fast start on another strong finish.
Here's a look at some of the biggest headlines dug up from last week's statewide media coverage. Click on the links for full reports.
Good Read of the Week
Fix stands strong: Jake Fix has played golf only two years and only after bone cancer led to the loss of his left leg and its replacement with a prosthetic. But he’s found a game for life and a career aspiration too now that his days at Brown City High School are drawing to a close. (Port Huron Times-Herald).
Spring Lake dominates: Spring Lake wasn’t sure how long it had been since it won its last Regional championship – but figured this weekend’s in Division 3 was the first in probably three decades. (Grand Rapids Press)
Powers split Allegan title: Division 3 No. 2 Allegan and No. 6 Holland Christian tied for first at their Regional at Allegan. The teams owned the top two seeds at every flight. (Grand Rapids Press)
Carlson goes low: Hamilton sophomore Nick Carlson shot an incredible 10-under par 62 to finish first of 107 golfers at the Hamilton Invitational on Saturday. He made an eagle and nine birdies. (Holland Sentinel)
Renaissance reigns again: Detroit Renaissance clinched its ninth consecutive Detroit Public School League championship Friday. Renaissance has won 14 of the last 16 league titles and moved to 26-4 this spring with the clinching win over Detroit Cass Tech. (Detroit Free Press)
Adding up to a championship: Unranked Addison defeated Concord, Hanover-Horton and Division 3 No. 7 Homer to win its bracket of the annual Al Glick Baseball Classic in Jackson. Addison entered Saturday’s event with a sub-.500 record but beat Homer 8-7 in the championship game. (Jackson Citizen-Patriot)
Finishing with honor: Petoskey said good-bye to its current baseball diamond with a Military Appreciation Game against Sault Ste. Marie which included the honoring of 1995 graduate Heath Robinson, who died in a helicopter crash while serving in Afghanistan in 2011. (Petoskey News)
Liggett wins battle of ranked: Division 4 No. 1 Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett edged Division 1 No. 9 Birmingham Brother Rice 6-5 on Monday. (Detroit News)
Hartland gets golden goal: Hartland and Brighton had tied 1-1 earlier this season, and both teams entered last week as honorable mentions in the Division 1 state coaches poll. But Hartland scored the lone goal in their Kensington Lakes Activities Association West-deciding game Thursday, which likely pushed the Eagles into the No. 7 spot this week (and Brighton to No. 10). (Livingston Daily Press & Argus)
Dow first in first SVL Tournament: Midland Dow, another honorable mention in Division 1, downed Saginaw Heritage 3-1 in the final of the first-ever Saginaw Valley League soccer tournament. The top four teams from each of the league’s two divisions played in the one day-event. (Midland Daily News)
GRC wins battle of Grand Rapids powers: Grand Rapids Christian, No. 5 in Division 2, edged Division 3 No. 4 Hudsonville Unity Christian in one of the state’s biggest games of the regular season. (Grand Rapids Press)
Track and Field
TC Central, at the finish: Division 1 No. 3 Traverse City Central finished 11 seconds and six places ahead of No. 5 Traverse City West in the night’s final event to edge its rival by 3.5 points total and win their boys Regional on Friday. (Traverse City Record-Eagle)
First in 40: The Eau Claire boys, ranked No. 4 in Division 4, won what was reported as its first track Regional title in 40 years by beating Mendon by 29 points Saturday in New Buffalo. Mendon’s girls won their side of the meet. (St. Joseph Herald-Palladium)
Marlette edges Eagles: Division 3 No. 7 Marlette finished just ahead of No. 5 and reigning Regional champion Frankenmuth in boys Regional competition at Bad Axe on Saturday. (Saginaw News)
Rice on top again: Birmingham Brother Rice, No. 1 in Division 1, downed No. 3-ranked Detroit Catholic Central 16-10 in the championship game of the Detroit Catholic High School League tournament on Saturday. (MLive Detroit)
New coaches at Dundee, Monroe Jefferson: A pair of Monroe-area playoff programs hired new leaders last week. Assistant Bruce Pickens has taken over at Monroe Jefferson for Marc Cisco, who retired last month after 47 seasons. Former Ottawa Lake Whiteford coach Matt Garno is the new coach at Dundee, replacing Ed Maloney. (Monroe Evening News)
1. HOCKEY Traverse City West came back from three goals down to defeat Muskegon Mona Shores 4-3 in a Division 1 Regional opener – Traverse City Record-Eagle
2. HOCKEY Brendan Chateau delivered the game-winner for Utica Eisenhower with less than a minute to play in its 3-2 Division 1 Regional victory over L’Anse Creuse Unified – Macomb Daily
3. BOYS BASKETBALL North Muskegon completed its first perfect regular season in this sport with an 83-36 win over Holton – CatchMark SportsNet
4. BOYS BASKETBALL Cadillac downed Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart 64-38 in a matchup of teams with a combined record of 37-4 – Mount Pleasant Morning Sun
5. GIRLS BASKETBALL Emily Zelinko went over 1,000 career points, but St. Charles fell to Midland Bullock Creek 34-24 – Saginaw News
6. BOYS BASKETBALL Schoolcraft edged Wyoming Tri-unity Christian 55-48 in a matchup of teams with high postseason hopes – FOX 17
7. BOYS BASKETBALL Reed City advanced in the Central State Activities Association Tournament with a 60-41 win over Grant – Big Rapids Pioneer
8. GIRLS BASKETBALL Kingston downed Caro 59-25 to extend its winning streak to 16 – Mid-Michigan Now
9. BOYS BASKETBALL Cass City finished a perfect run through the Greater Thumb Conference West with a 44-43 overtime win over Bad Axe – Huron Daily Tribune
10. BOYS BASKETBALL Frankfort earned a 66-58 win over Baldwin in a matchup of teams that are a combined 30-11 this season – MI Sports Now