Lions Bow Out To Broncos In District Finals
Photos and story by Alexis Mercer
From the second the clock started to tick until the very last seconds of the fourth quarter, the story was clear. The Coopersville Broncos had come to win and were not going to accept anything less than complete dominance.
That does not mean the Lions were just going to lie down and let the Broncos walk out of the gym with a trophy without earning every point. After all, the seniors would be fighting for the right to wear their Newaygo jersey another day.
The pace was quick to start, the intensity high. Neither team found their way to the bottom of the net on the first try.
Until Coopersville did. Then again, and again. And Newaygo, though they got some good looks, couldn't get the ball to sink.
The Lions were down 0-11 with 2 fouls against them and 3:28 on the clock in the first. It wasn't until Kade Buhyan dropped in a field goal with 1:38 left that the Lions finally broke the scoreless spell. Francisco Rios took the ball to the hole and got fouled, making the shot and one, which left the score 5-20 at the end of the first.
Coopersville did not stop with the pressure, shooting underneath, outside the arch, and everywhere in between. Two more minutes went by with Newaygo unable to find an offensive answer in any way.
Kade Buhyan charged to the basket to drain two more shots but as the buzzer rang for half, the Lions went to the locker room down a crushing 7-37.
The first four minutes of the 2nd half it looked like maybe the Lions had found a way to stop Coopersville's lightning offense, holding them to only 4 points, while scoring 23 of their own between Francisco Rios, Ryan Brummel, Connor Swinehart and Noah Cantu.
But that 18 point differential was as close as the Lions would be able to come the remainder of the game.
The Broncos would go on an 8-2 run at the beginning of the 4th quarter to seal the deal and own the District Title.
Final Score: Coopersville 59, Newaygo 37