Panthers fall in OT; Tigers, Vikes post wins
Newaygo 51 Big Rapids 32
If you’re a basketball fan particularly if you have followed the local girls game over the years you need to come out and see this current Lion squad. It is without a doubt one of the most entertaining shows around these days. This gritty and talented group of young women have forged a defensive alliance aimed at energizing their quick strike offense and creating a buzz of excitement when they take to the floor.
On Friday they put that defense on display as they blanketed the Cardinals, helped force many of the 35 BR turnovers, and ran away with a 19 point win.
Coach Nate Thomasma :
"Really happy with the defensive effort tonight for us. It was a good team win.
"Overall, pretty happy with the game tonight. I think both teams were a little sluggish coming off of Christmas Break but both played a hard, clean game.”
In the first quarter with the Cards in front 5-4, Jaxi Long hit a shot to give the hosts the lead. Jaylee Long then tapped the ball away from the defender and while hitting the floor swiped the ball to sister Jaxi who nocked one in while getting fouled. After she converted, Sophie Frisbie caused a turnover on the press leading to a Jessica Sanchez basket and the quarter ended with the Lions up a half dozen .
An 11 point halftime lead exploded after intermission. Lily Ruehmeier zipped a pass to Frisbie for a bucket, a favor Frisbie returned soon after when she rifled a cross court to Ruehmeier for two. Ruehmeier drew a charging foul, one of her two on the night, and the Lions responded with an 11-0 run to ice the contest.
One could safely bet they are no treat to go up against the way they swarm at the ball and possess the quickness to feast on mistakes. It’s the part of their game that makes them fun to watch.
The Lions are still pretty young as a team and it’s a long season and teams are going to have off nights on occasion, but win or lose the teams taking the floor against this group are going to know they were in a game.
Jaxi Long led all scorers with 19 points while pulling in 10 rebounds, Ruehmeier knocked down 9 points and Frisbie dished out 7 assists.
Jaylee Long seemed to be everywhere on the court as she filled the boxscore with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while putting on a defensive clinic.
Mckenna Rose led the Cardinals with 12 points.
Newaygo improves to 4-1 overall (2-1 in conference)
Big Rapids drops to 2-4 overall (0-3 in conference).
Central Montcalm 69 Fremont 39
The Hornets put their high octane offense on display as they blasted out to a 19-3 lead after one then expanded the gap to two dozen (37-13) by intermission.
Libby Ledford fired in a quintet of triples for CM and led all scorers with 20 points.
Paige Vandenberg paced the Packer scoring dropping in 11 points while Natalie Jamieson hit for 8.
Fremont is now 4-3 overall with a 2-1 conference record while the Hornets remain undefeated at 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in league play.
Tri County 44 Reed City 37
The Vikings remained undefeated in conference play and ties atop the standings with Central Montcalm at 3-0 with a 4-1 overall mark.
Grant 49 Chippewa Hills 44
The Tigers moved to 2-1 in conference play and 2-4 overall with the home win over the Warriors.
Haley Mercer had 13 points for visiting CH and Taylor Neeb added 10.
Lakeview 58 Hesperia 56 (OT)
The Panthers fell in overtime to the Wildcats.
Hesperia drops to 1-2 in the Silver and 4-2 overall while Lakeview moves to 3-3 on the season and matches the Panther league mark at 1-2.
Photo gallery of Lions vs Cardinals by Alexis Mercer