By Ken DeLaat
And now it’s the semis.
With Fremont and Tri County moving forward in the Fremont ‘B’ District and White Cloud advancing in MCC’s ‘C’ District on Wednesday each will be facing an opponent who has had a good 5 days rest as opposed to the these three who played their way in with an opening win.
Fremont (11-10) shook off a double digit loss to Tri County in the regular season finale by trouncing a totally overmatched Belding squad. Sparta is no Belding but they aren’t Tri County either. The Spartans (9-11) have stumbled to the end of the season losing all but one of their final 8 games, a one point win over an Allendale team that finished 0-20.
The Packers won handily in their mid December matchup and should be able to bring enough firepower to buy a ticket to the finals but they will need to get the offense going early and despite the home court advantage ensure the Spartans don’t hang around too long. 5 of their 9 wins were decided in the final minute.
Bre Harris is in her third game back, Sydney Noordyk is playing like she’s spent 4 years with the team and Paige VandenBerg, Natalie Jamieson and Chloe Shriver are finishing strong in their sophomore seasons. Calla Miller has ice in her veins and can hit the clutch shot from distance, Anna Patenge and Riley Sweet each provide a steady presence on the court and t bench players Katie Nicholas Torey Reichart-Slater Taylor Crowley and edrin Belleman contribute whenever called upon.
There’s enough talent to topple the Spartans
But like we said, don’t let them hang around.
.Tri County is hitting on all cylinders with a scoring attack that is so balanced that rarely does anyone on the team reach double digits. Tricia Slavens, Emma Overbeek, Summer Longstreet Alicia Bowen Dayoni Mahlich Emma Sickelsteel Grace Miller, can all score from a number of spots on the floor and when Jessica Thompson is in a zone she dominates the paint.
Grant has a youthful team that has shown flashes here and there but not against the Vikings with 2 losses by an average of 21 points. Cecilia Male can hit from distance Nicole Whan, Jill Arends, Brooklyn Pressler, Emerson Cole Kylie Patton and others will get their points but will it be enough to stop a steamrolling Viking team who have won 6 in a row and 10 of their last 12?
White Cloud, like TC is on a roll with 6 straight wins and a 12-2 mark since the calendar turned. Hannah Brown is the catalyst and she will get her points with Alexis Strait, Elexis Plotts Olivia Bowman and Hallie Schulz among those who will step up on both ends of the court.
For Hesperia Emily Bayle and Makenna Swisher are gamers who can score but it has been more than a month since the Panthers have finished with more than 40 points.
They will need much more than their usual output to compete with an Indian team that has simply been running away from opponents.