Pack Nabs Share of Crown; Bayle Hits 1000; Cards Nip Tigers: Warriors Win While Panthers, Devils Don’t
Fremont 43 Chip Hills 16
It had been a long time since the Packers finished a season in first place. Long before their current players were born and since it was well into the last century (1980) more than likely longer than some of their parents even knew each other. The streak spread across four conferences from the Seaway and WWAC to the Lakes 8 and finally the CSAA -Gold. There were years they came close but each time the title eluded their grasp
Not this year.
Outside of splitting their contests with co-champion Big Rapids, the Packer girls team swept through the conference schedule to earn a share of the CSAA Gold crown and capped the regular season off with a convincing win over the Warriors Friday night.
The Packers were able to celebrate Senior Night in style, as they built an early lead and continued to increase that lead through the first three quarters. It was 12-3 after one quarter, and 24-5 at the half. Fremont extended that lead to 37-13 after three quarters.
Coach Zerlaut: “ I am extremely proud of this group of girls. They have shown a great will and passion to succeed all season. I am very happy for them that they were to be able to leave their mark with a conference championship.
“They have played with the pressure to win for the past three weeks. We fully expected Big Rapids to keep winning, and knew that we couldn’t afford to make any mistakes.
“Now we turn our attention to District play. There are no guarantees beyond the next game. We will give our best effort to keep things rolling.”
Calla Miller led the Packers in scoring with 13 points. Paige Vandenberg had 9 points and 9 rebounds, while Natalie Jamieson scored 8 points and pulled down 6 rebounds. The win put the Packers overall regular season record at 15-5, 13-1 in the CSAA Gold conference.
Fremont hosts district play beginning Monday They will face Newaygo in the second game following the Comstock Park/Tri County 6pm opener.
Big Rapids 41 Grant 35
The Tigers came close to handing the title to Fremont but the Cards withstood a fourth quarter run by the hosts to secure the win and a share of the CSaAA Gold title.
The teams got off to a slow start and scoring was a premium as they hit the locker rooms with BR holding a 16-6 lead.
Coach Paulsen:”We had our chances late. We cut the lead to 4 but it seemed everytime we got within striking distance we would miss an open shot or turn it over. We just could not get out of our own way.
“I know our record would not indicate it, but we are playing our best basketball right now. We need to finish some easy plays and be ready to make jumpers.”
Kirstyn Throop led the Tigers with 11 points and Kassidy Doornbos hit for 10.
Grant (5-9, 5-15) will take to the court for tournament play on Wednesday when they face the winner of Monday’s Newaygo/Fremont clash. The game is at Fremont and is scheduled for 7:30pm or after the conclusion of the 6pm game.
Morley Stanwood 52 Hesperia 28
The ‘Hawks won the regular season finale for both teams by racing past the Panthers in the second quarter with a 19-2 run to balloon their 8 point lead to a 39-14 advantage at the break.
Meanwhile with another year left to pull on the Panther jersey Emily Bayle hit the 1000 point mark for Hesperia part of the 25 points poured in to go with a dominant performance on the glass that saw her haul down 22 boards.
Hesperia (4-6, 8-12) will travel to Kent City on Wednesday to take on the winner of Monday’s Kent City/Ravenna game. Gametime 7:30pm or after the 6pm game.
Kent City 68 Holton 12
The Eagles tuned up for the tournament and finished the conference season undefeated with the win over the Red Devils. KC had all the offense they needed in a first quarter that ended with the Eagles holding a 30-5 edge.
Gianna Reed and Madi Bosset each scored 3 points for the Devs.
Kent City was led by Jenna Harrison who fired in 21 points, Kenzie Bowers who hit for 15 and Mikayla Loew who finished with 8.
Things won’t get any easier for Holton (1-9, 5-15) as they take on Morley Stanwood (17-3) in the opener of the Kent City District Monday at 6pm.
WMC 52 Manistee 31
The Warriors secured second place in the Lakes 8 with a convincing win over Manistee.
WMC ran off to a 19-7 lead after one and doubled up their hosts by halftime 44-22.
Taylor Folkema paced the Warriors with 24 points 6 boards and 6 steals while Kyla Wiersema knocked down a dozen points and Greta Vanderheide hit for 9.
The win ends the regular season for the Warriors (8-2, 14-6) who will host Fennville in the opening game of the WMC District Monday at 7pm.
White Cloud 62 Lakeview 20
Olivia Bowman popped in 16 points to lead the Cloud to their regular season finale win over the Wildcats. Bowman aslo grabbed 4 resbounds and dished out a quartet of assists. Carsyn Scarlavai snared 6 steals on defense to go with her 9 points, Cassie Watson took down 10 boards and added 6 points and Alexis Straight handed out 5 assists and hit for 7 points.
Coach Brown: "Dominant performance from start to finish. Everybody played, everybody scored. Great confidence builder before district play next week."
White Cloud (6-4, 13-7) will begin post season play Wednesday when they face the winner of Monday's Holton/Morley contest
Kent City/Holton photos by Sue Harrison