Fremont 35 Newaygo 30
It was a defensive battle from the get-go. Fremont showed their hand early on when they looked to neutralize the Lion scoring attack by putting Calla Miller on Jaylee Long and Chloe Shriver on Jaxi Long. The teams reached the end of the first with the visitors holding a 6-5 lead and not because the shots weren’t falling but because the respective defenses slapped on by both teams made even getting a shot off difficult to say the least.
It was halfway through the opening period when Kendall Mathis ripped the nets from distance to stake the hosts to a 3-0 lead. Paige Vandenberg took a pair of passes from Haley Zerlaut and Miller to put the Pack up 4-3 then Goodin and Vandenberg traded shots to end the quarter.
Mathis opened the 2nd quarter scoring with a bank shot from the wing then rifled a pass to Jaxi Long who converted. After a stop Jaylee Long got into the books with a pull up jumper and Newaygo held a 5 point edge. With a minute and a half remaining Vandenberg got the Packers on the board with a long 2 then a minute later Miller drained a triple and the teams went to break with the Lions up 15-11.
The Lions kept the lead throughout the third with Jaxi Long connecting twice, Goodin hitting for 2 and Lily Ruuehmeier scoring while Fremont got buckets from Vandenberg, Natalie Jamieson and Miller and the teams entered the 4th with Newygo holding a 23-18 advantage.
Jamieson opened the 4th with a score courtesy of a Miller pass then stole the ball and went full court to pull the Pack to within a point. Bennett split from the line to tie the game but Jaxi Long drove in for a pair and was answered by another drive to the hoop by Miller. Jaylee Long got to the stripe and went 2-2 and once again Miller answered for the tie. With 2 ½ minutes left Goodin fouled out and Miller converted both free throws. Those shots from the charity stripe gave Fremont the lead they would hold to the end as a technical foul with a minute and a half left forced Newaygo into fouling and the Packers hit enough of them to secure the win. Coupled with the Big Rapids win over Central Montcalm the victory kept the two teams tied for the conference top spot.
Coach Thomasma: "Give Fremont all the credit. They made some shots at the end of the game to get the win. Extremely proud of my girls. They battled and played hard all night."
Miller finished with 11 points while dishing out a quartet of dimes and Jamieson scored 9. Vandenberg worked the glass with 10 boards to go with her 10 points.
Jaxi Long finished with 9 points and 6 rebounds while Goodin tallied 6 points and added 6 boards
The win improves the Packers' overall record to 12-5, 10-1 in the conference. They travel to Grant for another league matchup with the Tigers on Friday.
Newaygo (6-5, 11-6) heads to Tri County to take on the Vikings.
Fremont 71 Newaygo 60
The Packers kept pace with their conference co-leaders with a hard fought win over the Lions in Newaygo.
The hosts got off to a good start taking it into the paint and battling to a 22-18 lead. The second quarter saw the Packer defense take hold yielding just 5 points while scoring 17 and the teams hit intermission with the visitors in front 35-27.
The second half saw Fremont able to hold off any Newaygo runs to keep the lead hovering around 10 points and come away with a much needed win.
Coach Zerfas: “We definitely have to clean a few things up defensively and rebounding, but it's always good to get a win at Newaygo.”
Coach Barrette: “ We played with good energy, but were unable to finish enough plays. When we didn’t finish or made a mistake Fremont took advantage.”
Braiden McDonald went wild on the offensive end pouring in 36 points while hauling down 10 rebounds Tristan Campbell also took down 10 boards to go with his 10 points and Martin Curiel cam off the bench to fire in 9 points.Chris Kennedy had 7 points, Carter Moon had 5 points and Joshua Zerfas had 4 points and 8 assists.
Ashton Stephens knocked down a dozen points and snared an equal amount of boards for the Lions, Wyatt Mortenson finished with 15points and Carlos Magana dropped in 14 points.
A huge game looms ahead for the Packers (9-2, 13-4) when they visit co-leader Grant on Friday. Newaygo (3-8, 4-11) visits Tri County.