Lions End Season With Loss To Coopersville
By Alexis Mercer
Desire to win. It was the one thing that permeated every move on the court by the Newaygo Lions from minute 1 to the final second of minute 32 during the District Final game against Coopersville.
It did not matter that Coopersville was taller, more experienced, or the favorite to win. It did not matter to the girls that the Broncos' roster was filled with six seniors and four juniors to the Lions' 2 seniors, 4 juniors, 4 sophomores and 2 freshmen.
Without cockiness or running their mouths, without stepping outside their abilities, the underdog Lions took to the court on Friday night as a team ready to give it their all.
And that they did.
The shots just didn't fall like Newaygo needed them to in order to overcome the size and experience differences. Partially because of the Broncos' smothering of any Lion who dared touch the ball on offense. Coopersville offered zero breathing room; no space to even think about an open look. Somehow, despite this consistently stifling defense possession after possession, the Lady Lions stayed in the game for two and a half quarters.
At that point, Coopersville seniors took control of the game. Cara Vankempen turned on her smooth, dominant offensive skills and that was enough to end the Lions' season.
The final score was Coopersville 45, Newaygo 29.
"We really played our guts out tonight but we just couldn't get the ball in the hoop. A big reason for that was because of Coopersville," said Lions Head Coach Nate Thomasma. "I thought they played well defensively and made life difficult for us. We really couldn't get any runs going on the offensive end. Couldn't be more proud of my team though. They worked hard like always. It just wasn't our night."
Jaylee Long led Newaygo with 14 points and 6 rebounds. Jaxi Long had 9 points. Emmerson Goodin had 8 rebounds.
Cara Vankempen led the Broncos with 21 points.