Walled Lake Central earned its second victory over Waterford Mott to earn a division title, but the Vikings will now have to get past the Corsairs for a third time to have a shot at a conference championship.
Central hosted Mott on Tuesday, Feb. 19 after press time in a Kensington Lakes Activities Association (KLAA) Lakes Conference Tournament semifinal, with the winner playing in the Lakes Conference title game on Friday, Feb. 22 against either Grand Blanc or Walled Lake Western.
The third meeting this season between the Vikings and Corsairs came after Central (14-3) earned a 59-40 victory at home over Mott (12-5, 7-3 KLAA North) on Tuesday, Feb. 12 to clinch its second KLAA North Division title in three years with a 9-1 division record.
The Vikings led 15-13 at the end of the first quarter before taking a 30-24 halftime lead. Central then took control of the game in the second half by outscoring the Corsairs 29-16.
T.J. Warren led the Vikings with 17 points while Philip Nelson had 14 points in a game that was originally scheduled for Friday, Feb. 8, but was postponed because of heavy snow.
Since the formation of the KLAA in the 2008-09 season, Mott has won three North Division titles while Central has claim to two North crowns.
The Vikings then opened KLAA Lakes Conference Tournament play with a 47-40 victory at home over Brighton (5-12) on Friday, Feb. 15.
Central overcame a 20-17 halftime deficit by outscoring the Bulldogs 30-20 in the second half.
Brandon Nafso led the Vikings with 16 points while Nelson had 12 and Warren had 8.
Mott’s 53-41 victory at home over Howell on Feb. 15 set the stage for the showdown between the Vikings and Corsairs on Feb. 19 with the stakes even higher.
WALLED LAKE WESTERN-HURON VALLEY MILFORD
Walled Lake Western has overcome adversity all season and its first-round matchup against Huron Valley Milford in the KLAA Lakes Conference Tournament was no exception.
The Warriors overcame a 10-point deficit and the loss of their star player Miroslav Jaksic to stun the Mavericks at home, 48-46, on Friday, Feb. 15 thanks to a buzzer-beating bucket by Jerald Booker.
With the victory, Western (12-5) earned a Lakes Conference semifinal matchup with KLAA West Division champion Grand Blanc on the road on Tuesday, Feb. 19. The winner will face either Walled Lake Central or Waterford Mott in the Lakes Conference title game on Friday, Feb. 22.
The Warriors would then hold the ball for a final shot as Booker came through in the clutch with the game-winning basket as time expired, touching off a wild celebration on their home floor.
Booker led Western with 16 points while Marcus Bailey followed with 12. Jacob Lee was the Mavs’ leading scorer with 14 points.
WALLED LAKE NORTHERN
Walled Lake Northern was dominated in the second half on its home floor by Grand Blanc and fell to the Bobcats, 62-45, in a first-round KLAA Lakes Conference Tournament game on Friday, Feb. 15.
Gage Throgmorton led Northern with 16 points while Trent Lansaw had 10. Bart Williams paced Grand Blanc with a game-high 20 points, followed by Ken Miller with 14.
HURON VALLEY LAKELAND
Huron Valley Lakeland fell at home to Hartland, 44-41, on Friday, Feb. 15 in a KLAA Lakes Conference crossover matchup of two teams both nicknamed the Eagles.
Nick Troxell led Lakeland with 17 points.
WALLED LAKE WESTERN
Walled Lake Western lost to Brighton, 42-29, in a Kensington Lakes Activities Association Lakes Conference semifinal on Thursday, Feb. 14.
The Bulldogs (16-2), champions of the KLAA West division, earned a berth in the Lakes Conference title game against Waterford Kettering on Monday, Feb. 18 with the victory.
Shelby Turnquist led Western with 9 points while Erickah Woods had 6.
Laura Taylor scored a game-high 16 points to lead the Bulldogs.
Western opened the Lakes Conference tournament with a 49-46 victory at Grand Blanc on Tuesday, Feb. 12.
Woods led Western with 16 points while Sydney Denicolo had a game-high 22 points for Grand Blanc (12-6).
The Warriors played at Novi on Monday, Feb. 18 and will travel to Northville on Thursday, Feb. 21. Western will then open play in the Michigan High School Athletic Association Class A District Tournament against Walled Lake Central on Monday, Feb. 25.
HURON VALLEY LAKELAND
Huron Valley Lakeland fell to Brighton, 56-48, on the road on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in a first-round KLAA Lakes Conference Tournament game.
The Eagles (8-10) found themselves trailing 21-6 at the end of the first quarter, a deficit that would prove too great to overcome.
Kelly Merkle, Dominique Zigo and Amanda Lock each finished with 11 points for Lakeland.
Lakeland then fell at home to Grand Blanc, 45-40, in a KLAA Lakes Conference crossover game on Thursday, Feb. 14. Zigo finished with 13 points while Lock had 9.
The Eagles played at Hartland on Monday, Feb.18 and will travel to Livonia Franklin on Thursday, Feb. 21 in their final tune-up before the MHSAA Class A District Tournament. The Eagles will have a first-round bye and will face either Walled Lake Central or Walled Lake Western at North Farmington on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
HURON VALLEY MILFORD
After struggling through its division schedule, Huron Valley Milford earned two victories this past week in KLAA crossover matchups.
The Mavericks (6-11) first defeated Walled Lake Northern, 45-41, at home on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Milford took control of the game with a 19-2 run in the third quarter that gave it a 40-30 advantage.
Madison Kurtz led the Mavs with 14 points while Paige Smith followed with 8. Caitlin Crowley scored a game-high 19 points for the Knights (5-13).
Milford then followed up with a 37-24 dismantling of Walled Lake Central on the road on Thursday, Feb. 14.
Elise Gustafson led the Mavs with a game-high 19 points while Kayla Bryang led Central (1-17) with 9.
Milford hosted Livonia Churchill on Monday, Feb. 18 and will play at South Lyon on Thursday, Feb. 21.
The Mavs will then play in an MHSAA Class A District Tournament semifinal at Fowlerville on Wednesday, Feb. 27 against either Fowlerville or South Lyon.
-Walled Lake Northern defeated Pinckney at home, 51-48, on Thursday, Feb. 14 thanks in part to a 24-12 run in the third quarter.
Caitlin Crowley led the Knights with 27 points while also shooting 9-of-13 from the free-throw line.
Northern played at South Lyon on Monday, Feb. 18 and will travel to Livonia Churchill on Thursday, Feb. 21.
The Knights have a first-round bye in the MHSAA Class A District Tournament and will play either North Farmington or Farmington Hills Harrison at North Farmington on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
-Walled Lake Central fell at Pinckney, 41-31, on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in a KLAA Lakes Conference crossover game.
The Vikings played at Livonia Stevenson on Monday, Feb. 18 and will play at Wayne Memorial on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Central will then face Walled Lake Western in an MHSAA Class A District Tournament first-round matchup on Monday, Feb. 25.
WALLED LAKE CENTRAL
Two losses this past week extended the Vikings’ losing streak to three games and their winless streak to four.
Central (11-7-5) first fell to Romeo, 3-2, on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Michigan Public High School Hockey Showcase at Chelsea.
The Vikings’ struggles continued with a 6-3 defeat to Livonia Stevenson on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Central will look to right its ship on Friday, Feb. 22 when it hosts Goodrich for Senior Night at Farmington Hills Ice Arena.
The Vikings will then begin Michigan High School Athletic Association Tournament play with a Division 2 pre-regional matchup against Walled Lake Western on Monday, Feb. 25 at Novi Ice Arena.
The winner will take on either Walled Lake Northern or Novi on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
HURON VALLEY LAKELAND
Huron Valley Lakeland moved back to the .500 mark with a 3-2 victory over Troy Athens on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at Lakeland Ice Arena.
Adam Szymanksi made 26 saves in net for the Eagles in a much-needed victory.
The Eagles will host Stoney Creek tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 20 before playing at Birmingham Unified on Thursday, Feb. 21.
Lakeland will then begin MHSAA Tournament play when it faces Huron Valley Milford in a Division 2 pre-regional game at the Hartland Sports Center on Tuesday, Feb. 26.