Newaygo Returns to State Semis, Readies for Country Day

NEWAYGO – With just two days lefts in the high school girls basketball season, Newaygo is busy preparing for its first state semifinal since winning back-to-back Class C state titles in 1984 and 1985.

Newaygo (20-1) faces state powerhouse Detroit Country Day (15-2) Wednesday in a Division 2 semifinal at Van Andel Arena.

The Lions enter Wednesday winners of 14 straight and have not lost since dropping a 38-33 contest to fellow semifinalist Portland back on Feb. 24. Newaygo recorded wins over Montague (47-37) and Grand Rapids West Catholic (55-48) in the regional tournament and a 51-35 quarterfinal win over Wayland Monday.

“Obviously, they’re really happy, excited, but they’re definitely not just happy to get there,” Newaygo coach Nate Thomasma said. “I think they’re still pretty confident in what they’re doing. Detroit Country Day is a good team, it should be a good game. If we play well it should be a good game and we’ll see where the chips fall.”

Newaygo faces a Country Day program that is historically one of the state’s best, having won 13 state championships, all since 1989 and under former legendary coach Frank Orlando. Country Day won back-to-back Class B titles in 2017 and 2018.

The Yellowjackets have won nine straight and have not lost since a 50-48 defeat to Allen Park Inter-City Baptist back on March 2. County Day picked up postseason wins over Wixom St. Catherine (51-49), Warren Regina (55-37), Eastpointe (76-27) and Imlay City (45-40).

The winner of Wednesday’s contest will face either Portland (18-2) or Parma Western (18-4) for the state championship at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Breslin Center.

First tip Wednesday from Van Andel Arena is slated for 3 p.m.

Categories: Girls Basketball