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DK starts strong, holds onto third in SMCCC

Delton Kellogg flyer Alexis Bolton falls down towards the waiting arms of her stunt group during the Panthers' round three performance at the SMCCC Final at DKHS Saturday evening. (Photo by Brett Bremer)

Brett Bremer

Sports Editor

The Panthers were on pace for their best score of the season and another third-place finish at the Southern Michigan Competitive Cheer Conference (SMCCC) Final at Delton Kellogg High School Saturday until the warm-ups for round three.

One of the Panthers' back spots took a blow to the head and was unable to compete in the day's final round. The Delton Kellogg girls did what they could suddenly being one cheerleader down, and still managed to hold onto third place in the overall conference standings with their fifth-place finish Saturday.

Lawton captured the conference championship with an overall score of 739.4 on the day, finishing off a sweep of the four conference competitions. Gobles was the runner-up for the fourth time in the conference this winter, finishing with 709.98 points.

The Delton Kellogg girls were third at the three conference jamborees and finished fifth at the final with a score of 620.78, dropping behind White Pigeon and Hartford. DK was right in line with its best round one scores of the season Saturday, and the tallied a 177.48 in round two – its best performance of the season in that round.

“Round two, the skills were very on today,” DK head coach Zoe Reynolds said. “We were lacking a little bit of excitement, but they were all confident.”

The DK girls put together solid skills throughout the round: splits, heel-toes, front walk-overs, near-arm cartwheels and herkies.

The only time the Panthers have been better in round one this season was the previous Saturday at their own DK Invitational where they scored a 205.9 in round one and had their highest overall point total of the season with a score of 638.68.

“Round one was good,” Reynolds said. “It was clean. They were excited. Their jumps were together today. That was good. Their timing was more on.”

DK closed out the meet Saturday with a round three score of 239.50, a total that includes a ten-point deduction. The Panthers had one stunt group run through its routine without a flyer as everyone else performed its usual round three choreography.

“We have been slowly doing better, and better, and better,” Reynolds said. “We were on track, our goal right now is 650, and we were right on track for that today. Had we not had to go with a hole in round three I think we could have hit that. That is what it is.”

Lawton had the top score of the day in each of the three rounds. The Blue Devils scored 224.50 points in round one, 211.14 in round two and closed the day with a 304.30 in round three.

Gobles just missed the 300-mark in that final round with a score of 299.50. The Tigers opened the meet with a 213.80 in round one and then added a 196.68, after a ten-point deduction, in round two.

DK had the third best score of the day in each of those first two rounds.

The Delton Kellogg girls were scheduled to head to Portage Central for a meet Saturday and then Portage Northern for one Feb. 14. Those are the last two competitions on the schedule for the DK girls as they prep for their Feb. 22 Division 4 District Tournament at Bronson.

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