Ludington 54 Fremont 44
“Ludington dominated every phase of the game. The won the 50/50 balls, completely out rebounded us and shot better from the field.”
That was the assessment of Coach Pete Zerfas after his team dropped a home game against one of their old Lakes 8 rivals.
Ben DevRies hit a triple to give the Packers a 3-2 lead but it would be the last time the hosts would be in front as the Orioles ran to a 19-12 lead at intermission and stretched it to 15 point advantage entering the final frame.
Josh Laman scored 19 of his game high 22 points for the O’s in the second half.
Logan Karnemaat and Ben Schmidt paced the Pack with 13 points apiece.
Fremont will play the Wildcats of Montague Thursday before beginning District play against Tri County at the home of the Vikings on Monday.
White Cloud 75 Tri County 59
The Indians snapped a 3 game losing streak with a cross conference win over the Vikings. Jared Elder hit 11 points from the charity stripe down the stretch to preserve the win for the Cloud who picked up win number 4 on the season.
Andy Newfer led the Indian offense with 22 points, Steven Holt hit for 18 and Darrion Holland dropped in 13.
The Indians conclude their regular season Thursday night at home against the Hornets of Central Montcalm. It will be Parents Night.
On Wednesday White Cloud travels to Shelby to face Hesperia with the winner advancing to the District Final.
Newaygo 55 Whitehall 54
Trailing by 8 after one Newaygo battled back to pull within a point by intermission but the Vikings kept them at bay until the final ticks of the clock when the Lions squeezed in front for the win.
“We only led for 2.6 seconds of this game, but if I have to choose a time to be ahead I guess that would be the time,” said Coach Joe Barrette. “Our kids believe in themselves and that is sure fun to be around.”
Connor Swineheart knocked down 21 points and collected 10 boards and Kade Bhuyan fired in 7.
“Cooper Henizman and Jacob Polasek led us defensively with several steals and hustle plays on the defensive end of the floor,” added Coach Barrette.
Newaygo has now won 9 of their last 10 and the game concluded their regular season with a 14-8 record. They will face long time rival Grant in the first round of District play Monday at Tri County.
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.
Cloud Moving On
Face Panthers Wednesday
WC 54- Hart 40
Make it 6 in a row for the Indians.
The White Cloud offense that has put up over 50 points a game during their winning streak did it again as they ran past the Pirates in the district opener. Nearly three months ago the teams met in White Cloud and the game produced the first of the 15 victories the Indian team has posted thus far this season.
“We had a well balanced attack and on-fire shooting,” said Coach Kurt Brown.
Hannah Brown continues to have the scoring touch dropping 22 on the Pirates and nabbing 3 steals. Elexis Plotts battled with Hart’s formidable front line to muscle in 10 points while grabbing 5 boards and Hallie Shulz tallied a team high 7 off the glass to go with her 7 points.Olivia Bowman had a solid game finishing with 9 points 4 rebounds and a quartet of assists for the Indians.
The win moves the Cloud into a semifinal matchup with Hesperia a team they have beaten In two previous meetings including a 57-30 win earlier this month.
The game begins at 7pm Wednesday at Mason County Central High School located in Scottville.
Vikes Cage Lions
By Mike Gesler
Photos by Catalpa Photography
Tri County 58 Newaygo 40
“As it is whenever you play Newaygo, it seems like it’s always a grind, and it’s never easy. Their kids play really hard,” shared Tri County’s Coach Overbeek. Tri County would open their Class B District 60 playoffs against the Lions of Newaygo. Tri County came into tonight winning six of their last seven games, and hoped that momentum would continue to see them through the playoffs. Newaygo, on the other hand, had lost their last five and would desperately need to find their A game in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Tri County’s Grace Miller got the Vikings going right away from outside the arc. This did not deter the Lions as Jaylee Long answered right back with three points of her own. From this point on, it was game as both teams brought considerable pressure on each other. With a minute thirty left in the first, it appeared that Tri County was starting to pull away, but Newaygo was undeterred as Alexis Brocker hit three to narrow the margin to two and slow down the Viking momentum. At the end of the first, the Vikings had a narrow four point lead at 12-8.
The second quarter started with Newaygo’s Jaylee Long once again finding a look from outside the arc to close the gap to one. For the first half of the second, the Lions confounded the Vikings shutting down their shooters, and winning the war of the boards. But Tri County was not to be discouraged. The Vikings finally found their rhythm, and went on a five point run before Newaygo called a timeout. The Lions made a few minor adjustments, and came out of that timeout with a four point run of their own to bring the game within three before Tri County called a timeout. A pair of threes from the Vikings closed out the half with Tri County heading to the locker room with a six point lead 25-19.
Tri County picked up the second half where they left off, and ran up another quick six points on the Lions before they suddenly went cold. While Newaygo benefited from this cool down, it would be four minutes into the quarter before Madison Bush was able to spark some life into the Lions. Sophia Frisbie then added two on free throws, followed by another three from Jaylee Long, and suddenly Newaygo was within five points. As the quarter closed, the gap was a mere seven points as Tri County narrowly held the lead 37-30.
It would be the fourth quarter that Tri County would finally shake the Lions. While Newaygo battled hard, the experience of the Vikings would be more than the Lions could overcome. For every net Newaygo hit, the Vikings would hit two. And by the time the final buzzer sounded, Tri County stood victorious with a final score of 58-40.
“I thought it was pretty even,” stated Newaygo’s Coach Thomasma. “We gambled a lot at the end. The score obviously I don’t think wasn’t indicative of how close it was. The free throw line hurts us; we didn’t make it, and they did. And the three point line, they made some and we didn’t. I’m disappointed that we lost, but not obviously disappointed in their effort or anything like that. It was a good year for them, and it was enjoyable coming to practice every day. They were a good group to be around. We just came up short. Credit Tri County.”
“I just told the girls in the locker room it could have been the seniors last game tonight if it weren’t for our young kids stepping up. I thought Jessica Thompson and Alicia Bowen were outstanding. Grace Miller got her eleven points. It just was an overall good night to pull that out. I thought we played through a lot of adversity and frustration tonight, and we managed to stretch the lead there in the second half.” Coach Overbeek shared.
Three Vikings were in double digits tonight. Junior Jessica Thompson led with 17, followed by freshman Alicia Bowen and Grace Miller each with eleven. Taylor Reed added four, Dayoni Mahlich added 3, and Julia Bice, Errin Kamp, Mackalia Sprik, Emma Sickelsteel, and Emma Overbeek each had two. Tri County will face Grant in the second round on Wednesday in Fremont beginning at 7:30 pm.
For Newaygo, freshman Jaylee Long led with 16 points, followed by Alexis Brocker with nine. Also adding to Newaygo’s effort was Sophia Frisbie (6), Lillian Ruehmeier (5), Madison Bush (3), and Daniella duChemin (1).
Packers Run Past Knights
Story by Mike Gesler
Photos by Catalpa Photography
Fremont 53 Belding 16
The Packers of Fremont opened their Class B District 60 playoffs tonight against the Black Knights of Belding from the OK Silver conference. Belding came in with an 0-8 conference record, and 1-16 overall. Even though Belding seemed like an easy step to the next round, Fremont still needed to focus on the task at hand, and not allow themselves to be caught daydreaming of their next game.
During the opening minutes, it seemed that neither team could find the rim. Fremont pressured Belding from the start, and their fast hands created plenty of turnovers, but they just could not get the ball through the hoop. Belding had plenty of looks as well, and they too could not zero in on the hoop. The first points wouldn’t come until two and half minutes into the first quarter as Fremont’s sophomore, Natalie Jamieson, finally hit for two. Jamieson would find the net again a minute and a half later, and then once more after another minute and a half. Belding wouldn’t get on the board until a minute fifty-three left on the clock. Even then it was a single point off a foul by Sydney Noordyk. With the score at 6-1 with a minute and a half left on the clock, it appeared that fans might be in for a low scoring game. But that’s when the Packers finally settled in, and put six more on the board before the buzzer sounded.
The Packers picked up the second quarter right where they left off. Their constant pressure and quick hands stifled Belding. It would be three minutes into the quarter before the Black Nights finally found the net, and this would be the only field goal they would score in the first half. “We made a simple adjustment on defense, and got some steals and got some layups off that so the girls did a good job with that. We talked about that between quarters, and they made the adjustment,” shared Fremont’s Coach Krim. As both teams headed to their respective locker room for the half, Fremont had extended their lead by twenty with the halftime score of 25-5.
If fan’s thought the first half started slow, then the second half by comparison was going nowhere. Belding regrouped, and amped up their pressure on Fremont. Yet, Fremont’s pressure on Belding continued to suffocate Belding’s shooters. It took four minutes and thirty-five seconds before Belding’s senior, Erin Rich, would finally put the ball through the net. Fremont wouldn’t find the hoop until there was two and half minutes left on the clock. But just like the first quarter, once Fremont shook off whatever was plaguing their shooters, they settled in and hit their shots. By this point it would have taken a miracle for the Black Knights to manage a comeback as the Packers cruised through the fourth towards an easy victory scoring 53 to Belding’s 16.
“I thought Fremont came out and pressured us early, and we let that pressure get to us. We never really got going. Started off slow, and couldn’t recover from that. Unfortunately it wasn’t our day,” stated Belding’s Coach Cegelis.
“Anytime in a District game you win and advance, that’s a real positive. You want to survive this time of the year so we’re really pleased about that. It was a nice game for us because we got to work on a lot of things that we needed to work on, and the girls came out and performed,” Coach Krim added.
Sophomore Paige VandenBerg led the scoring tonight for Fremont with 10 points. Natalie Jamieson put up eight, and Anna Patenge, Katie Nicholas, Bre Harris, Chloe Shriver, and Sydney Noordyk each shot six. Fremont moves on to play Sparta this Wednesday in Fremont starting at 6:00 pm.
Girls take to the court Monday to begin District play.
By Ken DeLaat
The Second Season is upon us and District action begins for area schools Monday evening.
This is the old one and done season where hundreds of schools play until they los and the four who don’t are the state champs.
The last team from these parts to reach that pinnacle? The 1985 Newaygo Lions won their second title in a row repeating their 1984 success and in 1982 White Cloud got to the finals and fell to Carrollton.
Two teams not in our local B Districts? Central Montcalm who is one of two undefeated teams in Class B and Big rapids who have lost twice…. both the the Hornets. The Cardinals will face Alma from the rugged Tri Valley league and should they win they will face….
The other undefeated team in B? The Kingsley Stags who possess an offensive juggernaut averaging over 70 points a game and will likely be a regional opponent for whoever comes out of the Big Rapids District
The regionals for our local B teams will be played in Grant involving District Champs from Fremont, Comstock Park, Godwin Heights and Orchard View.
The regular season began in late November and teams have grinded through a lengthy season.
But nobody’s tired because now is when the fun really starts.
Fremont is hosting the Districts and will open the tourney at 6pm when they face Belding.
The Black Knights have won but a single game all season, average 30 points per outing and have scored over 40 just 3 times, losing two of those.
When Packer Coach John Krim thinks about what might have been he is likely reflecting on the injuries to Bre Harris and Brianna Noordyk that altered the direction of the team and forced others to step up. When Harris went down during the loss at Reed City the Packers won their next game againsts a still winless and totally overmatched OV squad then dropped 2 in a row to the league leaders by not producing any offense. After those 2 games the offense readjusted and ran off a pair of wins.the second with the help of the newly eligible Noordyk sisters Brianna and Sydney.. In just her second game Brianna Noordyk went down in a tough loss to Tri County and the team promptly lost their next two before once again righting the ship on offense and winning a pair.They lost both games to Big Rapids and Central Montcalm but so did everyone else and neither team is are in this district.
The win at home against a strong Reed City team was a signature moment, a dramatic one point win that knocked the Coyotes out of title contention.
Riley Sweet and fellow senior Anna Patenge have done well in providing some veteran leadership on the floor. Both can score, Sweet is a skilled ball handler and Patenge can school opponents with her moves underneath, however it has been the emergence of a quintet of newer players who are stirring the drink.
Calla Miller is a gamer. She is focused, makes few mistakes and plays with a level of confidence not often seen in freshmen.
Chloe Shriver is full bore high energy all the time. She is a demon on defense loves to run and possesses a nice passing touch.
Paige VandenBerg has become a force inside with her deceptive quickness and the ability to match up defensively with anyone she gets assigned to.
Natalie Jamieson does so many things away from the ball, can score when needed and has a strong defensive presence.
Sydney Noordyk can flat out play the game. She is deadly accurate with her passes and has superior court vision finding the slimmest of openings and delivering the ball to teammates. And you can’t let her alone because she can score in the paint or beyond the arc.
And now they have Bre Harris back. She is still shaking off the rust but if she gets her sweet shot back and continues to turn steals into layups Fremont will be tough to take down.
The Packers are 9-1 when they score more than 40 and they are facing a Belding team that gives up points by the truckload. But for a major upset the Packers should be moving on to face Sparta on Wednesday.
The second game Monday will pit Tri County against Newaygo beginning at 7:30pm.
The Vikings have hit their stride. They have perhaps the best balanced scoring attack to be found and it seems a different player leads the team in points each game.
Grace Miller has an uncanny ability to get loose and when left alone can punish defenses with a sweet shot from distance or a put back off a rugged rebound, Tricia Slavens and Summer Longstreet can score and are key elements of a tough Viking defense and Emma Overbeek can break the back of opponents with clutch 3 point shooting. Emma Thompson has a lot of paint presence and Taylor Reed and Dayoni Mahlich and the others throw out an arsenal of offensive firepower.
They’ve lost just twice in the last month and a half to Central Montcalm and Big Rapids and like we said, so has everyone else and they’re not in this district. The Vikes are averaging over 50 points a game when they win and after a 3-6 start they have finished by winning 9 of 11.
Newaygo rebounded from an 8 game losing streak to win 3 in a row only to experience a 5 game skid to close the season.
Daisy Hagen and Alexis Brocker have no fear on the court. They play with a reckless abandon and can bang it inside with the best of them. Madi Bush gets some of the toughest assignments on defense and generally holds her own with an ability to put points when needed and Sophia Frisbie has come into her own as a ballhandler this season.
Then there are the two freshmen on the squad. Lillian Ruehmeier has progressed dramatically this season and her confidence level seems to be rising. She has good skills that will translate into continued improvement.
Jaylee Long is the real deal. Defenses key on her immediately these days which has stifled her scoring a bit but once loose she will burn the nets repeatedly and make you pay for attempting to go one on one with her. She can pass, rebound, defend, shoot and inspire with her work ethic.
The Vikings have bested the Lions twice but both times they knew they were in a ballgame right to the closing minute. Their multidimensional offense will prove tough for the Newaygo squad who will need to get good minutes off their bench from Dana duChemin, Mya Berwald et.al. to keep pace.
They will also need to score.
Though having periodic offensive woes the Lions scored over 45 8 times and they will need all those and more perhaps to beat TC.If Long and Ruehmeier get hot and the trio of Bush, Hagen and Brocker seal off the Viking inside game and score when Long gets double and triple teamed it could be the Lions moving on to meet Grant Wednesday.
But the Vikes are playing with a lot of confidence and have learned how to win. Newaygo needs to not let them get away early because they will squeeze a lead into a rout rather quickly.
White Cloud is traveling north Monday for a 7pm matchup with Hart at Mason County Central in Scottville.
The Indians closed out the season with 5 straight wins and 11 of their last 13. Hannah Brown is well past the 1000 point mark she eclipsed a few games ago and with Alexis Strait developing such a strong offensive game teams can no longer focus so much on Brown.. Elexis Plotts has been a stalwart in the paint and Hallie Schultz has a nose for the ball. Layna Yeiter has amped up her game and Olivia Bowman and Haley Foster round out a team that bears little resemblance to the one that started the season.
The Pirates had lost 9 of 10 before finishing with a pair of wins including a 71 point effort against Mason County Eastern. Early in the year the Indians handed Hart a 15 point loss and should be the favorites here but watch out for Pirate standouts Yasmin Colon and Allison Tiles. Colon in particular can score in bunches.
A win puts the Indians in a Wednesday game against Hesperia a team they have beaten twice
Lions Take Down Tigers
By Mike Gesler
Photos By Catalpa Photography and Alexis Mercer
Newaygo 78 Grant 63
“It doesn’t matter the record of these two teams, you know you’re going to get a good game,” said one of the officials to me prior to the start. Neither Grant nor Newaygo were in contention for the CSAA Gold conference championship, but you would have thought both were. That’s the nature this rivalry has become. The last time Grant and Newaygo met was in Grant’s house. The Tiger’s defended their home turf with the win by eight at 73-65. Now it would be Newaygo’s turn to hold home court.
“We let them control tempo early,” stated Newaygo’s Coach Barrette. “We were slow to everything.” Slow may be an understatement. Within seconds, Grant’s Tyler Naffziger put Grant on the board with three. Cooper Heinzman of Newaygo responded with two for the Lions, and then Grant went on a six point run. Naffziger once again hit three for the Tigers as the first quarter buzzer sounded. Of Grant’s 28 first quarter points, 24 of those points were from beyond the arc.
“After that first quarter, we decided that maybe we would have something to do with the tempo of the game. That kids made a couple of adjustments, and slowed down their hot shooting and great shooters, and just came back and played with a lot of confidence,” Coach Barrette shared.
Newaygo senior Morgen Manlick and junior Ryan Brummel each had a quick steal off of sloppy Grant passes to open the second quarter to bring the Lions within six points. Grant righted their ship, and brought their lead back to eleven, but that would be the last time the Tigers enjoyed a comfortable gap. With 2:33 left in the half, the Lions battled back. Within twenty-nine seconds, Newaygo dropped the lead from eight to two. And by the end of the half, Grant limped into the locker room with only a three point margin of 44-41.
“After we started playing well, we knew we were going to win. Pressure really amped up, and you could kind of see early in the third quarter our confidence started to go at the same time that their confidence was down a little bit. We start moving like that, we can beat a lot of teams,” Coach Barrette reflected.
The third quarter was the quarter one has come to expect from these two teams. Newaygo and Grant truly battled it out. Now I don’t know if it was the oppressive heat and humidity inside Newaygo High School’s gym, or the exhaustion of emotion that was left on the court when Grant beat Fremont on Tuesday, but even Grant’s Coach McCorkle knew his team had gone flat. “I don’t know what happened the second half. We had no energy. They made some adjustments. I would have to go back and watch it all, playing kind of a three quarters court zone. I mean we turned it over relentlessly. I don’t know if we ever stopped #24 or
#11 from driving in the paint. I mean they just killed us with dribble penetration. Against a team like this that’s not going to work.”
The short of it is simply this, Newaygo out played their rival from the south. Within two and a half minutes they tied the score. They then managed to keep the Tigers from ever getting more than a six point lead. And with 0.8 seconds left on the third quarter clock, the Lions took the lead for the first time, and never looked back. The fourth quarter solely belonged to the Lions as Newaygo totally took charge of the momentum of the game. After six minutes of play, the Lions extended their lead to fifteen, and spent the final two playing possession. As the final buzzer sounded, the Lions had defended their Pride Lands, and split the rivalry with a final score of 78-63. “Hopefully it was an off night. I don’t know. But they were the better team tonight, and that’s what it is,” Coach McCorkle shared.
Four Newaygo players were in double digits tonight. Junior Conner Swinehart lead in points with 23, followed by senior Jacob Polasek and junior Kade Bhuyan each with 12, and senior Richard Hearth with 10. Also contributing to the Lions victory were Mitchell Karrip (9), Cooper Heinzman (8), and Morgen Manlick (4). The Lions finish at 9-5 in the conference, and are currently 13-6 overall with one non-conference game left in the regular season against Whitehall on Tuesday.
Three Tigers found double digits in their losing efforts. Tyler Naffziger led with 20, followed by sophomore Carter Chase with 14, and freshman Fredrick Hull with 11. Also contributing to the Tiger’s effort was Michael Frey (6), Cole Chase and Patrick Lancestremere with 5, and Conner Vanderwilt (2). Grant finishes 8-6 in the conference, and fall to 9-10 overall with one non-conference game left in Shelby on Thursday.
Both teams will see each other once more this season as they match up again for the opening round of District play on March 5 in Tri County.
Tigers Tame Lions
By Mike Gesler
Photos by Catalpa Photography and Alexis Mercer
Grant 51 Newaygo 40
All season, Grant has been looking to put together a solid four quarters of play. And while they have come close many times, there always seemed to be one quarter that has eluded them. Tonight would be their last effort in the regular season before heading into District play starting next week. The only problem is that they would have to do this against their near north rivals Newaygo. Newaygo, on the other hand, was looking to prevent Grant from taking one in their house. The last time these two teams faced each other was in Grant, and while Newaygo came within one point of tying the game, Grant ultimately prevailed as the victors winning 44-31. “Whenever Newaygo and Grant get together, it’s always a great atmosphere. You know, it’s a fun rivalry. I didn’t expect anything less from the fight from them,” Grant’s Coach Paulsen expressed.
The Tigers came out with junior Cecelia Male firing on all cylinders, and draining a three to open up Grant’s scoring. They continued to build their lead by nine points before Newaygo was able to put points on the board. And even then that point came only after Newaygo senior Madison Bush was fouled by Kylie Patton. The skinny of the first quarter was that Newaygo just could not find the net. Of their five first quarter points, only two were the result of a field goal; the other three resulted from free throws. “I thought we played, outside the first four minutes, we started off, had a bad start, and you can’t do that,” stated Newaygo’s Coach Thomasma.
The second quarter fared much better for Newaygo. The Lady Lions settled in, shook off that first quarter, and the game became much more of what one expects when Grant and Newaygo play each other. Yet, that nine point deficit continued to haunt the Lions as Grant headed into the locker at half with a lead of 28-19.
There was still half a game to play, and the Lady Lions were not about to surrender their Pride Lands. Newaygo freshman Jaylee Long showed Grant that she is just as effective outside the arc as she is inside the arc by netting three points and then quickly adding another two. Just like that, the Lions had cut Grant’s lead down to four. But, that was as close as Grant would let Newaygo get. Junior Jill Arends would hit two followed by another three from Male, and just as quickly the Tigers had their nine point advantage back.
“We competed. We played well in spurts, but you’re not going to beat someone like Grant giving them a nine point lead. We’re not good enough to do that. I thought we competed overall; played hard. I’m happy where we fought and ended. We could have folded there a couple times, and we kept fighting back,” stated Coach Thomasma. All-in-all there just wouldn’t be enough time in the game for Newaygo to keep fighting as Grant finally realized four quarters of solid play. As the buzzer sounded, Grant had taken the Pride Lands by a final score of 51-40.
“Awesome game. We gave them a real good shot, and they took it. They came back, and punched us a couple times. Kudos to our girls. We withstood both having some lineups we don’t normally have out there, and also withstood some of their hot shooting. So I thought it was a great overall job,” shared Coach Paulsen
Celelia Male led the Tigers with 20 points (18 of which were three point shots), followed by sophomore Nichole Whan with 17. Jill Arends added six, and Emerson Cole, Brooklyn Presler, Angela Contreras, and Kylie Patton each had two. The Tigers finish their regular season of play at 4-10 in the CSAA Gold conference, and 6-14 overall. The ladies now head into District play, and will face the winner of Tri County/Newaygo on Wednesday in Tri County.
For the Lions, freshman Lillian Ruehmeier and Jaylee Long each contributed double digits with 14 apiece. Daisy Hagen shot six, as well as Dana duChemin (3), Alexis Brocker (2), and Madison Bush (1). The Lady Lions finish 2-12 in the CSAA Gold conference, and 5-15 overall. They will face Tri County on Monday in District play at Tri County.
Cloud Keeps Rolling 55-42
It has been awhile on that everyone agrees.
The Mohawks have owned the White Cloud girls basketball team for as long as anyone can remember. 10 years? Maybe longer?
At any rate its been a long time as Morley has sent a lengthy series of players including many with the last name Huntje that have dominated the courts in the series between the two schools.
But not this year.
The Indians have built a strong team with a prolific scorer in Hannah Brown and a supporting cast of rebounders defensive stalwarts and role players who have evolved during this season into a force. A team that struggled out of the gate before posting an 11-2 record once the calendar turned to 2018.Those two losses?
One was to a highly rated and deeply talented Kent City team the Silver champs in a runaway.
The other was to the Mohawks, a painful overtime loss on the ;Hawks home court.
And Friday the Cloud girls made certain there would be no overtime.
They held home court, shook off the Morley mastery and did so in fine fashion with a double digit win that thrilled a packed gymnasium and gave them 5 straight wins to close out the regular season
Brown hammered in 25 points grabbed 6 boards, dished out a half dozen dimes and pilfered 3 steals . Alexis Strait fired in 13 points and added 5 rebounds and 3 assists and Elexis Plotts led her team on the glass with 8 boards to go with her 8 points.
The win moved White Cloud into a second place tie with the Mohawks.
“I am so proud of these girls,” said Coach Brown.
With the regular season history (as well as the Mohawk streak) White Cloud (14-6) will focus on their next challenge coming Monday when they travel to Scottville to take on Hart (8-12) in the district opener.
Game time is 7pm.
Vikings Sail Past Packers 48-32
By Ken DeLaat
A rough and rocky regular season came to a close for the Packers Friday night in a loss to the surging Vikings of Tri County.
It was Senior Night and Coach Krim started a fivesome of soon to be graduates with the exception of one. Brianna Noordyk who suffered a season ending injury a month ago in just her second game on the floor for the Packers, stood as her sister and the other four seniors took to the court in early action.
The game started slow with 3 minutes elapsing before Sydney Noordyk laced a pass to Anna Patenge to open the scoring. Taylor Reed answered for the Vikes then Chloe Shriver and Tricia Slavens exchanged scores and Noordyk again found a recipient for a nifty pass inside with Shriver finishing the play.Summer Longstreet tied it again before Bre Harris, on the floor for the first time since breaking a bone in her wrist over two months ago pulled off her signature move stealing the ball at the top of the key and firing down court for a layup that allowed the Pack to finish the first in front 8-7.
Noordyk opened the second by sending another perfect pass to Natalie Jamieson for the score and a 3 point lead.
It would be another 6 minutes and a 14-0 run by the Vikings before Calla Miller stopped the bleeding with a clutch three pointer. During that run TC got a pair of buckets from Longstreet, 2 at the line by Emma Overbeek triples by Grace Miller and Alicia Bowen and a put back by Jessica Thompson. After Emma Sicklesteel made it a 10 point lead the Packers had a chance to answer but could not get a shot off and the teams went to break.
The hosts were held to 8 points in the third while the Vikings balanced scoring attack tallied another 16 to make it an 18 point spread and when Overbeek nailed a triple to open the 4th the game was in hand for the visitors who would be closing their regular season on a 5 game winning streak.
With a minute left on the clock Brianna Noordyk the senior whose season just began when the injury cut short what looked to be a promising year.entered the game. Gingerly heading into three point land she was fed passes off rebounds while the crowd of students called her name in unison and on the fourth try she popped in a triple to put a bit of polish on an interrupted season.
The basket meant nothing to the outcome of the game. Her three points closed out what had become a rout.
But it meant something to her teammates who embraced her after the buzzer beating shot, including her sister who had the biggest smile of all. It meant a lot to the fans who chanted her name from the time she entered until the shot went down when they exploded in cheers as if they’d won. And it meant something to Coach Krim, his staff and certainly to her family.
But most of all it meant something to her. In her brief time as a Packer Ms. Noordyk showed grit determination and a boatload of talent. Since the injury she has been a class act, supporting her team from the bench while aching to be on the court doing what she loves.
Getting out there again and putting her hands on the ball, if only briefly, perhaps allows for the kind of ending she richly deserves.
This was a class move all around by Coaches Krim and Overbeek, the TC and Fremont players and an appreciative crowd.
The teams will move on to the District tournament being held at Fremont beginning Monday at 6pm when the Packers (10-10) take on the Belding (1-15). At 7:30 Tri County (12-8) will go up against Newaygo (5-15).