MACS Matters March 2014

MARCH 1, 2014











BOYS BASKETBALL: Midland Calvary Baptist trips up Rochester Hills Christian for MACS-I state championship

Dan Stickradt | March 2, 2014



CLARKSTON — If Midland Calvary Baptist and Rochester Hills Christian could have hit the basketball court 10 times this season, the two would likely go 5-5 against one another.

Fortunately for Calvary Baptist, its turn to shine came Saturday afternoon at Clarkston Springfield Christian High School.

The Kings, whose only losses this season came at the hands of Rochester Hills Christian, overcame a five-point deficit through three quarters of play and rallied for a thrilling, 61-59, victory over the defending state champion Eagles in the Michigan Association of Christian Schools Division I state championship game.

“You’re right. We probably would have split if we played that many times,” laughed Calvary Baptist coach John VanHolstyn, who collected his fourth state crown in 30 seasons as head coach. “We played four times this season and we each won two times. We’re very evenly matched.”

Midland Calvary beat Rochester Hills by six points in December in Midland, while Rochester Hills defeated Calvary by three points at Springfield Christian in December in the championship game of the Eagles Cup.

The two faced off on Feb. 11 in Rochester Hills with the Eagles claiming a rare, 25-point blowout win, 78-53.

“That was at home,” sighed Rochester Hills Christian coach Jon Bronsing. “Really, we are very evenly matched. We’ve had some great games with them the past few years. This time we left it all out on the floor. We just came up a little short. Credit to Calvary for playing a great game.”

The Kings trailed 44-39 entering the fourth quarter and were faced with a seven-point deficit (46-39) with under seven minutes to play before clawing back.

Midland Calvary closed with a 22-13 run in the final 6:57 and took advantage when

Rochester Hills Christian 6-foot-4 senior post Josh Steiner fouled out with 2:20 remaining and Calvary holding a 55-54 lead. The Kings took advantage of the extra space in the paint and utilized 6-5 senior center John Reece for a couple free throws and rebounds down the stretch.

“I think we benefited from that, when Steiner fouled out. That allowed us to attack the basket more and we were able to hit some free throws down the stretch,” said VanHolstyn. “We found a way when it counted most.”

Sophomore Jeremiah Altenburg’s two free throws with seven seconds left put the Kings in control for good at 61-57.

The Eagles made it a two-point game when sophomore guard Ryan Patton scored on a putback with two ticks left. The Eagles made only two of their final six shots and despite a late steal, could not get off a final shot as the final buzzer sounded.

“Our goal was to try to keep Marquez Hatcher to under 15 (points) and he had more than that at the half. Who really hurt us the last time was Ryan Patton. He had 28 points on us when we played a few weeks ago. We knew we had to try to contain both of them,” explained VanHolstyn. “I thought we did a great job keeping Patton from having a big game and we made Hatcher really work for his points. They are both really good players.”

Midland Calvary opened the game with a 16-13 edge, only to see Rochester Hills go on an 18-6 run in the second quarter for a 31-22 halftime advantage.

In the third quarter, the Kings whittled away at the nine-point deficit thanks to a 17-13 run in the frame, setting the stage for the final fourth-quarter rally.

“This one hurts because we had all of those seniors (six) and we were hoping to become the first team in our school history to win back-to-back titles,” said Bronsing. “We had a great season, a great run with this group. They will be missed. It’s an end of an era for us.”

Altenburg finished with 17 points and nine rebounds and junior guard Gideon Zelinski also scored 17 for the Kings. Senior forward Eric Lewis scored 13 and Reece patrolled the paint with 12 points, 16 rebounds, five blocks and two assists for Midland Calvary.

Hatcher overcame a rough 11-for-35 shooting performance to score a game-high 25 points with 10 points, seven assists and two swipes for Rochester Hills Christian. Patton scored 15 with 13 boards and three assists, while Steiner contributed 11 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and a trio of steals for the Eagles.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Maplewood Baptist stuns previously unbeaten Rochester Hills Christian in 2OTs for MACS-I state title

Dan Stickradt | March 2, 2014



CLARKSTON — Hannah May must have ice in her veins.

The sophomore from Kinross Maplewood Baptist calmly sank two free throws with 14 seconds left in the second overtime period, and the Black Bears’ defense made it stand, as they stunned previously unbeaten Rochester Hills Christian, 58-56, Saturday for the Michigan Association of Christian Schools Division I state championship at Clarkston Springfield Christian High School.

“I knew I could make them,” said May. “I was calm. I knew the Lord was with me.”

May had shot at the end of the first overtime that rimmed out and would have won the game for the Black Bears (19-4). She gained her redemption in the second extra session.

“That one was so close,” said May of the near-miss. “I just wanted to help my team win again. We beat a very good team.”

Maplewood Baptist, which opened its doors just 12 years ago, captured the MACS Division II crown each of the past two years on the same court. The tiny school located north of St. Ignace in the Upper Peninsula only has 27 high school students. The Black Bears opted to play up a division for this year’s MACS tournament.

It was more than worth it.

“We’re excited. We felt like we were ready to play up a division. We wanted to face stiffer competition in the tournament this season and we did,” said Maplewood Baptist coach Colleen Rader, the head coach on all three MACS championship teams. “Rochester Hills Christian is a very good team. It took everything we had to beat them.”

Top-ranked Rochester Hills Christian finished the year 19-1, and it took a double overtime to knock off the Eagles from their perch. RHC has reached the Final Four of the MACS-I tournament each of the last four years, including a state title game loss in 2012 to Carson City Fellowship Baptist.

“This one stings because we came so close again. We had an incredible season only to fall a couple of points short,” said RHC coach Paula Bronsing, whose program rose from the depths after not winning a game six years ago. “This was an incredible game —

one of the most (entertaining) games that I have ever coached. I know our girls wanted to win more than anything, but if we are going to go down, this is the way to do it.”

Maplewood Baptist opened the game with a quick 8-2 run and eventually led 21-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Black Bears held their biggest lead at 27-15 with 5:13 left in the second following a layup from May — RHC’s largest deficit of the entire season —

before the Eagles got untracked.

Rochester Hills Christian answered with a 9-1 run to close to within 28-24 and eventually settled for a 32-30 deficit at the half.

Maplewood Baptist, which was ousted in the MHSAA Class D districts by state-ranked Brimley three days earlier, held a three-point advantage at 39-36 through three quarters of play only to see RHC force overtime with an 11-8 fourth period. Rochester Hills Christian junior Courtney Patton’s steal near midcourt and ensuing layup tied the game with 21 seconds left in regulation.

In the first overtime, freshman guard Makayla Smith’s three-pointer with 2:49 left gave the Eagles their first lead of the game at 51-49. May tied it at 51-51 with 1:14 off a short-range jumper.

Maplewood Baptist held a 7-5 edge in the decisive second extra overtime.

“We’re thankful to have this chance and excited to win three straight titles. We’re still young with only one senior,” noted Rader. “We hope to be back again next year.”

Rochester Hills Christian went with a six-player rotation throughout regulation and the first overtime. Due to foul trouble and two players fouling out, the Eagles had to bring in three freshmen off the bench late in the game.

“Being in foul trouble hurt. Not only were we fatigued, but we couldn’t play the type of defense that we are accustomed to playing,” said Bronsing. “We had some young girls come in and they did a great job, made a couple nice plays. We just ran out (of steam).”

Junior Jenna Porter scored 18 points with nine rebounds to lead Rochester Hills Christian. Junior forward Ashley Parker compiled her 13th straight double-double with 12 points, 15 rebounds, six blocked shots, three steals and three assists. Patton added four points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals, and Smith scored a career-high 17 for the Eagles.

May twined a game-high 24 points to go along with eight rebounds and five steals to pace Maplewood Baptist. Sophomore forward Harmony Bailey added 12 points, 16 rebounds and two blocks, sophomore guard Ashton Bonnee added 11 points, five rebounds and five steals, junior guard Abigail Lockhart contributed five points and 13 rebounds, while senior Bethany Burton chipped in with six points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for the Black Bears, who held a 55-37 edge on the glass.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Springfield Christian wins first MACS-II title since 1988

Dan Stickradt | March 2, 2014



CLARKSTON — The last time Clarkston Springfield Christian won a state title in girls basketball, Ronald Reagan was in his final months of presidency. Safely put, it had been a long time for the Eagles.

Springfield Christian ended its quarter century drought Saturday, winning the Michigan Association of Christian Schools Division II state championship on its home floor, staving off Saginaw Shields Community Baptist, 46-42.

The Eagles, who also won a title back in 1986, had lost in the finals in 1999, 2000, 2012 and 2013. The previous two years Springfield Christian lost to Kinross Maplewood Baptist, but the Black Bears of the Upper Peninsula volunteered to move up to MACS Division I this season, leaving the door open for the Eagles to seize the moment.

“This was a great way to end a really good season,” said Springfield Christian coach James Day. “We scheduled a lot of (MACS) Division II schools this year and we went undefeated against them. All of our losses were to bigger schools. We thought once the brackets were (released), we believed we had a chance.”

Springfield Christian (11-4), which graduated only one player from last year’s team and competed with only two seniors on an 11-player roster this season, defeated Community Baptist, 46-29, back in January. This time around the Kings (9-3) made it close.

The Eagles led 42-29 entering the fourth quarter, only to see Community Baptist rally back with a 13-4 run inside the final minute to cut the deficit down to four points. Time ran out on the Kings.

“They just couldn’t miss in the fourth quarter. Credit to them for coming back on us,” said Day. “We did a nice job (Fending) them off in the end.”

Springfield Christian led 12-9 after the first quarter and used a 15-7 second quarter surge to open up a 27-16 halftime advantage. The Eagles went on a 15-13 edge in the third stanza for its 13-point lead heading into the final period.

Sophomore guard Heather Key pumped in a game-high 25 points to lead the Eagles. Junior Arrin Jones and freshman Joanna Brindisi added six points apiece and senior Lauren Key chipped in with five points for Springfield Christian.

“We’ve had a nice run the past few years. The seniors on this team have played in three state championship games,” said Day. “

Junior guard DJ Jensen scored 18 and freshman guard Breanna Lovegrove added 14 points for Community Baptist.

April 11, 2014

MACS Fine Arts Competitions

Jr. High Fine Arts Festival Bethany- Troy

Bethany is proud to host the annual Michigan Association of Christian School fine arts competition for both Jr. High and elementary students.

April 22-23, 2014

Secretaries Summit

Boys Baseball 2014

2014 Tournament Dates:

Quarterfinals: play by 5/16
Semifinals 5/22

and Final: 5/27