Lansing area teams chasing regional hoops titles

Lansing area teams chasing regional hoops titles

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Lansing area teams chasing regional hoops titles

Preston Granger ,51, drives to the Sexton basket defended by Jabril Rahim of Sexton during their game Tuesday December 20, 2016 at Lansing Christian High. KEVIN W. FOWLER PHOTO

Preston Granger ,51, drives to the Sexton basket defended by Jabril Rahim of Sexton during their game Tuesday December 20, 2016 at Lansing Christian High. KEVIN W. FOWLER PHOTO

The state tournament runs for four Lansing area boys basketball teams were halted in the regional final year ago.

East Lansing, Alma, Pewamo-Westphalia and Lansing Christian each have a chance to write better endings over the next few days as the state tournament enters its next phase.

Williamston is chasing a second consecutive regional title as the state tournament resumes Monday.

Here is an overview of the basketball regionals involving Lansing area teams.

CLASS A AT GULL LAKE: East Lansing and Holt were the top two teams in the CAAC Blue and played a pair of tight games during the regular season. There is the potential the two teams could meet again in a regional final Wednesday if both get past their opening tests.

Holt (19-4) kicks off play in this regional by facing No. 8-ranked Kalamazoo Central, which features Michigan signee Isaiah Livers. The 6-foot-7 Livers is rated a top-100 player nationally in the 2017 recruiting class by ESPN and has guided Kalamazoo Central to a 19-3 mark. One of the losses for the Maroon Giants came in overtime earlier this month to Xavier Tillman and top-ranked Grand Rapids Christian.

No. 2-ranked East Lansing (23-0) faces Battle Creek Central (19-3) in the second semifinal. Battle Creek Central was the runner-up behind Kalamazoo Central in the Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference East. East Lansing beat Central in a regional semifinal last season before being upset by Everett in the final.

Holt's Ar'tavious King races up court against Mason during their district final Friday, March 10, 2017, in Mason, Mich. Holt won 74-44.

Holt’s Ar’tavious King races up court against Mason during their district final Friday, March 10, 2017, in Mason, Mich. Holt won 74-44.

CLASS B AT IONIA: If Williamston wants to make a return trip to Breslin Center, it will have to get past the state’s top-ranked team. The Hornets get unbeaten Wyoming Godwin Heights in the the opener of Monday’s games at Ionia. Williamston beat Godwin Heights in overtime last season on its way to Breslin.

The Hornets (19-4) enter the regional semifinal having won eight of nine since a loss to Everett last month.

On the other side of the bracket is GLAC champion Olivet and Portland. Olivet (17-5) has won seven straight and 12 of its last 13 and used the strong finish to earn a share of the GLAC title. Portland (10-12) ended the regular season having lost six of seven, but posted wins over Hastings and Ionia to repeat as district champs.

Related: Boys basketball regional schedule

CLASS B AT CORUNNA: Alma (17-6) avenged a pair of regular-season losses to Ithaca to repeat as district champions. Now the Panthers, who finished runner-up in the TVC Central, will try to upset No. 7-ranked Frankenmuth in their regional opener. Alma will try to avenge a 19-point loss it suffered to Frankenmuth during a TVC crossover in January.

TVC Central champion Freeland and Lake Fenton are on the other side of the bracket.

CLASS C AT BELDING: CMAC champion and No. 7-ranked Pewamo-Westphalia (21-2) beat the only two teams to knock it off this season – Carson City-Crystal and Bath – while capturing a district title. Now the Pirates will try to make some noise in this regional. P-W is the only ranked team in the field and opens against Grand Rapids Covenant Christian (17-5). Covenant Christian suffered four of their five losses this season to Class A and B programs.

Muskegon Heights Academy and Galesburg-Augusta are also in the regional.

CLASS D AT LANSING CHRISTIAN: No. 8-ranked Lansing Christian (16-6) has seen its season end in the regional final the last two seasons. The GLAC champion Pilgrims will try to utilize home-court advantage to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Lansing Christian faces Morenci (10-12) in its opening contest.

Hillsdale Academy and Plymouth Christian are the other teams in the field.

CLASS D AT SAGINAW MLS: No. 10-ranked Fowler is the only team in this field featured in the final Associated Press poll. The Eagles (15-7) open the regional against Michigan Summit League champion Bay City All-Saints.

Summit League runner-up Flint International Academy and Peck round out this field.

Contact Brian Calloway at bcalloway@lsj.com. Follow him on Twitter @brian_calloway.

Senior Preston Granger, 51, and Lansing Christian are trying to capture a regional title this week. The Pilgrims have had their season end in the regional final each of the past two seasons.

Senior Preston Granger, 51, and Lansing Christian are trying to capture a regional title this week. The Pilgrims have had their season end in the regional final each of the past two seasons.

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