Lady Hornets Sting Lions
Story and photos by Alexis Mercer
The buzz of the crowd was electric as the Newaygo Lions faced off against the Central Montcalm Hornets on Friday. It was Snowcoming week for the Lions, and the girls basketball team was ready to defend their home court.
The first five minutes of the game were a battle. Back and forth with aggressive play and lightning quick defense on both sides. But then Central Montcalm started to get serious.
Central Montcalm’s Libby Ledford was draining 3-point shots one after another despite the Lions being...
...in her face with strong defense. This put the Lions down 8-15 at the end of the first quarter and the Hornets never looked back.
Nikki Wilki, Kenzie Rutz and Libby Ledford were a force to be reckoned with offensively for the Hornets. If it wasn’t a 3-point shot, it was posting up inside, and if not that, then it was a gentle shot from just outside the key.
Newaygo didn’t have an answer in the first half and it meant they went into the locker room down 13-31.
Coach Thomasma inspired the Lady Lions to come out in the 2nd half with a renewed enthusiasm, and they came out determined to close the gap.
However, Central Montcalm was just as prepared to make sure that gap stayed just where it was. The Hornets played aggressively yet controlled and every time Newaygo would pull the score closer, they would push harder.
Dana duChemin hit a 3-point shot in the 3rd quarter to put the score at 20-38. The crowd, anxious for a run by the home team, erupted in excitement. But Hannah Putnam nailed another 3-point shot for Central Montcalm and the short-lived run was over.
The heart of the Lions shined through, as even in the waning seconds of the game, they hustled and defended as if it was a tied game. But the Hornets were too much, and the buzzer went off with a final score of 29-54.
Central Montcalm’s Head Coach, Rob Putnam, said about the game that it was the “best overall game of the season both ends of the floor.” The Hornets now go 12-4 overall and 7-3 in the CSAA Gold. They will take their momentum into the game against Fremont on Tuesday.
Libby Ledford led the Hornets in scoring, with 20 points. The team shot 58% behind the 3-point line (10-17).
This loss puts Newaygo at an overall record of 3-13 and 1-9 in the CSAA.
Madison Bush led the team with 12 points. Jenna Janke had 7 rebounds. Faith Smith chipped in 6 points and 3 rebounds.
“I give a lot of credit to Central Montcalm. They shoot the three ball every game. Tonight they were hot and draining some shots. Many of them were pretty contested but they put them in,” says Head Coach Nate Thomasma. “All we can do is move on to the next game against Big Rapids.”