Thursday, March 3, 2011

Boys get set for March into districts

As the saying goes, 'Ladies, first.'

Now that the ladies, or the girls' basketball teams, have started postseason play, it is time for the guys.

Area boys' basketball teams will begin district play on Monday in the Michigan High School Athletic Association boys' basketball tourney.

The win-and-continue, or one-and-done, if you lose, tournament that dominates the month of March is what every team in the area has been pointing toward since the season started in December.

District play for the boys will be Monday-Wednesday-Friday next week with girls' basketball continuing its' posteason with regional play on Tuesday-Thursday.

This year's edition has it all.

It will have key games right in our backyard in Battle Creek.

It will have city rivals, most likely, matching up in a few occasions.

And it will have its' share of celebration and heartbreak as some teams will win and some teams will see a season come to an end.

Let's take a look at what we have in front of us in key districts with city teams.
Class A at Battle Creek Central

Local angle: Battle Creek Central is hosting and going old school, literally, as it will have district games at the BCC Field House, instead of at its' new gym in the refurbished high school. The BCC Field House can seat more people and there could be some big crowds, especially early.

That's because host BCC (10-9) will face city-rival Lakeview (11-8) in the first round. Which means one of the two better big-school teams we have in the area will see its' season end on the first night of districts.

BCC won the first time these two teams played. Ironically, it was the first game in the new gym. Lakeview went on to win its division in the SMAC and BCC has played winning basketball the second half of the season.

Overall outlook: District is full of teams hovering around the .500 mark - meaning it is wide open. Jackson (11-7) , which has the advantage of receiving a bye in the first round, already owns wins over BCC, Grand Ledge and Holt this season. Mason, at 9-10, could also slip all the way into the finals fairly easily with possible games against two teams also under .500.

Boys & Girls Clubs to honor their members

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Conejo and Las Virgenes will recognize youth who have made significant contributions to the community during the annual Youth of the Year dinner and awards presentation from 6 to 9 p.m. Fri., March 18 at First Christian Church, 801 Knollwood Drive, Newbury Park.

The event theme is “A Night at the Oscars.” Approximately 45 nominees from each of the five clubs will be vying for the annual award. The event sponsor is the Rotary Club of Thousand Oaks.

This year, youths 14 years and older will be recognized in addition to those age 13 and under.

To qualify, each nominee is required to submit a written essay about their lives and highlight how the Boys & Girls Clubs has made an impact on them. The essays are followed up with interviews. The winner is selected by a panel consisting of Conejo Valley Unified School District officials and Boys & Girls Clubs board members.

The winners will receive a cash prize, certificates from local businesses and a plaque or certificate of recognition. The finalists will receive $200 and the runnerups are given $100 each.

The youth in the 14 and older category go onto participate in state and regional competitions with an opportunity to win up to $50,000 in scholarships that are awarded by President Barack Obama.

The dinner and awards presentation is open to the public and typically draws approximately 400 attendees. The four Conejo clubs will entertain the audience with performances by its members in addition to a slideshow followed by dinner.

Last year’s winner, Stephanie Fleishman, will be at the event. Stephanie is now a ninth-grader at Westlake High School.

Saturday, February 12, 2011