Swami has an excellent outlook

Last Thursday, Swami got an unexpected surprise. Moments before the Gaylord/Alpena boys JV contest, James Vanderveer came hustling over. Growing up as an athlete in Hillman, Vanderveer couldn’t wait to see Swami’s predictions. Last week he was in town to watch his son play for Gaylord’s team and then he hustled over to Park Arena to officiate the ACC/Wayne men’s basketball game.

It’s always been interesting for Swami to see how athletes progress after high school. In Vanderveer’s case, he’s done very well with working a daily job, raising a family and officiating high school and college basketball games. Swami is always looking towards the future and the All-Knowing-One says with people like this, the future appears to be bright.

ALPENA (13-2) at CADILLAC (9-5)–Friday–(Boys)–The Wildcats need to win their conference games from here on out. That includes taking care of business tonight at Cadillac since Petoskey, Alpena and Traverse City all have two losses in the Big North Conference. Winning on the road is not easy, but a win is attainable if the Wildcats put forth the same offensive and defensive effort as they have in their last two non-conference wins.

In the first head-to-head matchup, Cadillac did not play up to its potential. The Wildcats had an air tight defense that shut down the Vikings from the onset. Tipp Baker paced the Vikings with 14 points and Cale Mickelson added 10.

The All-Knowing-One believes the Vikings will put forth a better effort this time. They are down in the conference standings, but they can still play the role of spoiler.

The Wildcats’ offense is constantly getting more players involved. Such was the case in an 80-42 win over Cheboygan. Garrett Beaulieu and Kelley Stark came off the bench and were instrumental with eight and 18 points respectively. In previous games, Jack Schmanski has made contributions when inserted into the lineup. The Wildcats did have a balanced scoring attack led by Chris DeRocher with 25 points, Jadon Duncan with 10 points and eight from Bruz Copping.

If the Wildcats are going to make their move for the conference title, it has to start tonight.

Swami Sez: Alpena 60, Cadillac 54

OSCODA (15-0) at ROGERS CITY (9-5)–Friday–(Boys)–The Owls team haven’t not been challenged to this point, averaging 60 points offensively while only giving up 40 on the defensive end. That looks pretty good on paper, but the last few games have been a little closer. It’s got Swami thinking the Owls may be on cruise control, but they’re still a very talented team.

Meanwhile, the Hurons had won eight of their last 10 games and are close to double-digit wins for the season. With this in mind, the Hurons are hoping a little home cooking will more than satisfy their hunger for a payback win against the Owls.

In a win over Mio last week, Owen Franklin was limited to 12 points, while Gabe Kellstrom added 10. Rogers City is a direct opposite with Nick Freel scoring 20, along with 15 points from Ethan Hincka, in an easy 67-27 win over Whittemore-Prescott.

Swami thinks if Freel and Hincka can offset the point production of Franklin and Kellstrom, the Hurons could have a real shot at upending the Owls. Home court advantage should not be a factor, but the All-Knowing-One believes the Huron fans could be. If the Hurons play a ball control game it could be most interesting. On the other hand, if the Owls work them into an up-and-down affair, it would favor Oscoda.

Swami Sez: Oscoda 64, Rogers City 51

Alcona (7-6) at MIO (12-3)–Friday–(Boys)–Mio had hoped to be in a tie for the North Star League’s Big Dipper division crown following last Friday’s action. Instead the Thunderbolts are two games behind Oscoda.

Drew Hess did his best to get Mio within striking distance against Oscoda in a 41-34 loss, but he was the only Mio player to finish in double figures.

The last time Alcona hit the floor was a tight 45-43 win over Hillman, almost a week and half ago, before taking on Whittemore-Prescott this week. Damion Stewart tossed in 11 in the win over Hillman, in what was considered to be a confidence builder for the Tigers.

Mio’s loss last week could shake its confidence, which could work in Alcona’s favor and be another confidence booster for the Tigers.

Swami Sez: Mio 68, Alcona 52