Patenge's winning shot caps emotional win
By Ken DeLaat
Fremont 45 Reed City 44
There were only two blemishes on the record of the Reed City team coming into Friday’s game. After sweeping past the early part of their schedule with a 9 game winning streak that took them from November to mid January the Coyotes dropped two in a row, both at home and both to teams they are currently looking up at in the Gold standings.
They responded by putting a pounding on an undermanned Newaygo team and knocking off Silver contender Morley Stanwood before heading into Packerland hoping to find a way back into the Gold race.
Just two notches in the right column.
Now there are three.
Fremont put on an inspiring performance of grit and determination as they battled back from an early deficit against a quality team to hold home court with a dramatic win.
The Coyotes possess many weapons and they had them out in force Friday. Kamryn Myers and Taylor Harrison are among the best backcourt combos in the league and Emily Libey can bust it up underneath. Then there’s sharpshooter Alanna Nelson who can can it from anywhere if given the opportunity.
True to form the visitors started out strong with Nelson and Harrison connecting for three pointers early and a pair of trips to the line helped RC to a 9-2 lead. Fremont scored twice from the field and twice from the line to pull within one but the Coyotes stretched the lead back to 5. With seconds to play Sydney Noordyk grabbed a loose ball, stepped behind the arc and nailed a triple to end the quarter with the Pack trailing by just a pair 15-13.
The second quarter started with Natalie Jamieson cutting through to the hoop for the tie. Myers and Liby answered before Chloe Shriver laced one form distance. Free throws put the lead back to 4. Paige VandenBerg hit both ends of a one and one and Calla Miller dropped in a pair from the stripe as well but it looked like the visitors would have the halftime lead when Alyssa Olds popped one in and her team got the ball back on a turnover but Riley Sweet dove in and caused a jump ball that gave possession to Fremont and Noordyk laced a pass to VandenBerg for the tying bucket.
The officiating seemed to allow for a very physical game so players were bumping and banging throughout the first half and intermission did nothing to cool things down.
Myers split from the line to start the scoring but when Swet fired a triple to give the Pack their first lead the crowd,particularly the student section, fired up considerably. Anna Patenge split a pair then Myers ripped another three. Shriver sent a perfect dish to VandenBerg who was fouled and converted then got the ball in her hands again after a stop banked one into the nets from beyond the arc.
Myers responded with another triple and Jamieson answered with what appeared to be some version of a skyhook as she pivoted across the lane and flipped in in the hole for two.
The Coyotes came on like gangbusters and with less than a minute left finally regained the lead when Myers their go-to player came out of a time out to make it 44-43 with a shot from the wing.
Undaunted the Packers came down and worked a play but the shot missed.
Patenge, who had been a force on the glass all night, pulled down her 14th rebound of the game and put it through the cylinder sending the lead back into Packer hands where it remained through the tense final seconds. Seconds that included a steal by Noordyk,an injury to one of the Coyote players, a missed free throw and a failed RC desperation shot culminating in a victory celebration for a game Fremont squad.
The ever-improving VandenBerg led a balanced scoring sheet with 10 points but there were many heroes on the floor Friday. Patenge was a workhorse in the paint, Miller and Sweet were instrumental in breaking the Coyote press time and again, Noordyk and Shriver seemed to be everywhere on the court and Jamieson could be found wherever there was a loose ball or clutch shot to be made.
Including that highlight-worthy skyhook.
Fremont (8-7, 4-5) will face Big Rapids (14-1, 8-1) on the road Friday.