High School Basketball – Slow Second Half Spells Pennfield in State Finals
The speculation - when would the season officially begin with the extended delay from the fall sports season? The expectation - how deep would the Pennfield Panthers go, returning all five starters and almost their complete roster from the season before.
The speculation ended in February, two months after the season was expected to begin. Pennfield reaching the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Division 2 State Finals for the first time in school history was very unexpected.
The Panthers provided the City of Battle Creek their first taste of the State Champions in Boys Basketball since the 1926-1927 Battle Creek Central Bearcats. Pennfield had the opportunity to not only bring home the first Boys Basketball title for the Cereal City ever, but the first in Calhoun County since Marshall in 1944.
The Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars were a team on a mission, reaching the District Finals last season before the COVID-19 pandemic shortened the season last year. They were also just three years removed from their first and only appearance in the State Finals. Speaking of expectation, the Cougars were ranked #1 in Division 2 all season entered the contest 19-0.