About John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

Pine River falls in regional

Shelby’s height too much for Pine River in Class C regional semi MCBAIN – The streak is over, and so is Pine River’s girls basketball season. Shelby used its height advantage, rebounding supremacy and clutch free-throw shooting to defeat Pine River on Tuesday in the Class C regional semifinal at McBain. Shelby advances to Thursday’s […]

Bucks begin another title pursuit

Bucks begin another title pursuit

EVART – Pine River, fresh off one boys basketball championship, took the first step toward trying for another Monday night. The Bucks opened Class C district play at Evart by defeating the host school 68-44. Brandon Hoaglund scored 19 points while Tyler Lewis and Mitchell McDonald netted 11 points apiece. Last week, Pine River ended […]

Baldwin tops TC Christian

Baldwin tops TC Christian

BALDWIN – The power outage outside the Baldwin gymnasium also worked its way on the court for half of Friday’s Baldwin non-league boys basketball game with Traverse City Christian to close the regular season. Power outside the school eventually returned and so did Baldwin’s basketball energy in a 59-38 victory over the visiting Sabres. Brandon […]

Crossroads falls in district final

MCBAIN — Crossroads Charter Academy girls basketball coach JJ Eads knew it was going to be a tough game against Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart with a full team. But the Cougars were playing without Kaela Brooks, who was unable to play and then they lost Malory Carlson four minutes into the contest. The end result […]

Bucks avenge loss to Beal City

LEROY – It was about more than just revenge. Yes, Pine River wanted to avenge its first loss of the season a month ago at Beal City. But Tuesday’s 75-64 boys basketball Highland Conference win over Beal City also put the Bucks in excellent shape for the league title chase. Only one league game is […]

Sabers claim share of WMD title

Sabers claim share of WMD title

MCC knocks of Baldwin for share BALDWIN – Plenty was at stake inside the Baldwin gymnasium Friday night with Manistee Catholic Central taking a big step toward the West Michigan D League boys basketball title. Zack Bialik scored 23 points followed by Ben Feliczak with 22 points in leading the Sabers to a 54-46 victory […]

Wings look to overturn recent trend

DETROIT — Reinforcements are near for the Detroit Red Wings, but in the meantime, there’s a troublesome trend to overturn. The Wings haven’t won in five straight games, and squandered an opportunity to halt that sequence Thursday night when a two-goal lead turned into a 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, the third straight time […]

Ice fishing heats up on Haymarsh Lake

BIG RAPIDS — Local ice fishermen have been striking it rich at Haymarsh Lake, it appears. Jeff Greene of Rodney an avid ice fisherman, said fishing at Haymarsh has been slow. “But lately, it’s been productive,” he said. “Almost everyone that goes out there comes back with their limit of bluegills.” Bluegills are the main […]