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Inside look at high school and Oakland University sports from Oakland Press sports writer Dave Pemberton.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Regional finals

Last season Country Day, Notre Dame Prep and Bishop Foley were in the same Division 3 district with Bishop Foley emerging as the champion. A year later all three are in regional final games. Bishop Foley dropped down to Division 4 and is facing Ann Arbor Greenhills.

Country Day and Notre Dame Prep will face each other at Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish are looking forward to this matchup after the Yellowjackets eliminated them from the playoffs last season. Country Day looked good against Richmond, especially considering the weather conditions. There was a lot of controversy surrounding the Notre Dame Prep game, but I think everyone agrees the Fighting Irish, who were up 3-1 when the game was called, were the better team Tuesday night. Things won’t get any easier for the winner with Flint Powers likely waiting in the finals and then Hudsonville Unity Christian in the finals.

In the other all-Oakland County regional final OAA II champion Auburn Hills Avondale will get is rematch with Bloomfield Hills Lahser, which eliminated Avondale last season in districts. This should be a great game and the winner will likely reach the Division 2 championship game. I’ll go out on a limb and say whoever scores first wins. Also congratulations to Lahser goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer on being named a Parade All-American.

No Oakland County team remains in Division 1 after Novi lost to Northville, which fell to Ann Arbor Huron. Utica Eisenhower now has to be the favorite in Division 1, but things are pretty wide open.

Here are my predictions for the regional finals.

Division 2
At Berkley
Dexter vs. Farmington — Prediction Dexter
Don’t count out Farmington, but the Falcons haven’t faced a team as good as Dexter so far in the playoffs

At Fenton
Bloomfield Hills Lahser vs. Auburn Hills Avondale — Prediction Avondale
The Knights need to start off better than they did against Kearsley because they won’t be able to make up a 2-0 deficit against Avondale. Lahser’s goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer is always the X-factor, but this could be the year for Avondale’s first regional title.

Division 3
At Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Country Day vs. Notre Dame Prep — Prediction Country Day
It won’t be easy, but the Yellowjackets should prevail in a tight game.

Division 4
At Ann Arbor Pioneer
Bishop Foley vs. Ann Arbor Greenhills — Prediction Bishop Foley
This will be Bishop Foley’s biggest test in the playoffs so far, but the Ventures are battle tested from their Catholic League schedule and should be able to overcome Greenhills playing so close to home.

Bonus predictions (some are pure guesses so don’t bet the farm based on my pick)
Division 1
Portage Central vs Okemos — Prediction Okemos
Grosse Pointe North vs. Grosse Pointe South — Prediction South
Utica Eisenhower vs. Grand Blanc — Prediction Eisenhower

Division 2
Portage Northern vs. Chelsea — Prediction Chelsea
Petoskey vs. Forest Hills Central — Prediction Forest Hills Central

Division 3
Otsego vs. Hudsonville Unity Christian — Prediction Unity Chrisitan
Flint Powers vs. Williamston — Prediction Flint Powers
Tawas Area vs. Suttons Bay — Prediction Suttons Bay in My pure-guess special

Division 4
Kalamazoo Christian vs. Dansville — Prediction Kalamazoo Christian
Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker vs. Marine City Cardinal Mooney — Prediction Port Laker
Charlevoix vs. Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian — Prediction Charlevoix

My record so far
Regional semifinals: 11-1
Division 1 districts: 3-2



Anonymous eastside said...

great picks dave do you realize portage central already beat okemos 2-0 and just beat one of your "eastside" undefeated teams. Keep up the good work!

June 6, 2008 at 6:22 PM 
Anonymous eastside said...

fyi portage central won 2-1 vs okemos make sure you pick ann arbor huron next round as well..

June 7, 2008 at 12:51 PM 

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