Division 3 and Division 4 playoff analysis, complete with district winners, semifinalists and winners
Here’s a look at the predictions and pathways for the top teams in the Division 3 and Division 4 playoffs.
Region 1 is a quagmire. I guess one would favor East Grand Rapids because of its history, and that’s the team I’m going with but in the other district, district 1, you have Mount Pleasant and Petoskey, teams that met in a district final last year and will likely meet in a district final this year.
E. Grand Rapids could stumble against Grand Rapids Christian this week but the Pioneers ar eplaying at home so I can’t predict that.
Region 2 is more cut and dry but is not without drama.
Orchard Lake St. Mary’s will breeze past the competition in district 2 but in district 1 we find the four teams from the CAC Red Division, DeWitt, Haslett, St. Johns and Mason, holding their own tournament. Often that is not good for the team that won the division, and that would be DeWitt. DeWitt is a young team that got better as the season progressed. Its late season loss at Menominee will actually benefit the Panthers.
Look for St. Mary’s and Dewitt play in the region final with St. Mary’s advancing.
St. Mary’s will also defeat E. Grand Rapids to reach the final.
In the other bracket it would be a big surprise if Coldwater doesn’t reach the Region 3 final. Its opponent is another matter. Though I like St. Joseph to reach the state final the Bears have a challenging road. Its district final opponent will be either Stevensville Lakeshore, its big rival, or undefeated Edwardsburg. I’m leaning toward Edwardsburg because Lakeshore has lacked consistency.
In Region 4 three teams stand out. Trenton, Chelsea and Allen Park are 8-1, and have all been challenged. I’m going with Allen Park because the Jaguars must either defeat Trenton or Chelsea to reach the semifinals. Trenton and Chelsea should play for the district 1 title in what promises to be one of the top district finals in this division.
I’m picking St. Joseph to beat Allen Park and then lose to St. Mary’s at Ford Field.
If you’re looking to pick a big upset in the playoffs Region 1 in this division just might be the one.
Escanaba is one of 40 additional qualifiers and the Eskymos only have one bad loss (Marquette) this season. They have Big Rapids at home this weekend and will likely plat Remus Chippewa Hills in a district final.
In district 2 Comstock Park and Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern should meet in the final. Eastern is stinging from last week’s loss (26-24) to Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern and should be hungrier. Comstock Park reached the semifinals 2011-13 and I like its formidable schedule. Take the Panthers in this region.
Region 2 is all Zeeland West unless it stumbles against Grand Rapids Catholic Central in the final.
Look for West to beat Comstock Park in a semifinal as it did in 2011.
In the other bracket Detroit Country Day should reach the final, the state final.
St. Clair Shores South Lake is talented and could make the Region 4 district 2 final somewhat interesting.
Milan should breeze through district 1 and play Country Day in the region final.
Region 3 is more competitive. Corunna, Richmond, Flint Powers, Goodrich and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep all have a shot.
I’m going with Richmond. The Blue Water Area Conference (BWAC) is steadily becoming a more competitive conference (look at Algonac this year) and Richmond’s only loss was to tournament-tested Almont.
It’s quite possible that Richmond will play with Country Day. I’m still going with the Yellowjackets to play Zeeland West in the state final.
Zeeland West will win its third state championship in the last five years.