MWPA Quarterfinal Preview | Skyline vs. Grand Haven
The second quarterfinal in the Skyline half of the bracket pits the tournament host against one of the more intriguing teams from regionals. While Ann Arbor Skyline has incredible offensive power, depth and a goalie that can morph into a literal brick wall, Grand Haven is one thing you can never discount in the postseason: HOT! It makes for what could be an incredible start to the 2022 Boys State Tournament.
Meet the East Region Runner Up Eagles
Prior Match Ups: Skyline leads 2-0 (13-6 win on April 9 | 12-3 win on April 30)
This Year: East Regional and District 4 Runners Up
Head Coach: Ashley Hower
Ben Deininger - East Region First Team, East Region Tournament First Team
Jack Staunton - East Region First Team, East Region Tournament First Team
Ben Edlund - East Region Second Team, East Region Tournament Second Team
Evan McKelvey - East Region Tournament Second Team
Ian Root (G) - East Region Honorable Mention
The Eagles are a TRUE threat, and have been since the 2021 State Tournament ended. They're a team that was highly battle tested when they were largely made up of Juniors a year ago, and now, a year later, has a real shot at putting it all together. They're in their own pool, they've beaten good teams, contended with the best, shown they're able to battle back when behind against good teams. Despite a pair of losses to Ann Arbor Pioneer in the District and Regional Championship games, Ashley Hower's Eagles have had the difficult path required to sharpen a potential champion.
It starts with the high end offensive talent of monster center Jack Staunton. Ben Deininger has collegiate level ability already in many facets of his game. Ian Root was one of the state tournament's most impressive standouts last year as a sophomore and has the ability to turn on ridiculous mode at any time. Depth and scoring ability separates them from many. If their defense is on and their individual talent meshes the right way this weekend, they'll be hard to beat. By anyone.
Meet the West Region Third Place Buccaneers
Prior Match Ups: Skyline leads 2-0 (13-6 loss on April 9 | 12-3 loss on April 30)
This Year: West Region Third Place, District 1 Runner Up
Head Coach: Bill Hamm
Garret Barry - West Region Second Team, West Region Tournament First Team
Collin Kelly - West Region Honorable Mention, West Region Tournament First Team
Sam Timmer - West Region Tournament Honorable Mention
Gabriel Hamm - West Region Tournament Honorable Mention
For a team that dealt with just...a lot this year (injuries, roster turnover losing super stars, etc.) Grand Haven has put together an extremely impressive second half of the year with a tough schedule. And despite a 2-1 record at the regional tournament, they were extraordinarily impressive. They forced overtime with Rockford in...I guess you could say DRAMATIC fashion, and topped Jenison who had taken Hudsonville into the fourth quarter in a tight game earlier in the day. They're 10-5 over the last 15 and not keen to go quietly as Bill Hamm had his troops RALLIED three weeks ago at Regionals.
Garret Barry was exceptional at the West Regional Tournament. Collin Kelly tallied big goals as well in the effort, while Sam Timmer and Gabriel Hamm each had strong tournaments as well as Grand Haven made a strong showing of it. They played a brutally tough track of games, play physically, and play strong defense. Any team is a challenge when you get this late in the year, but a team that is feeling it can be a real tough one to take out.