Story by Mike Gesler
Photos by Catalpa Photography
Fremont 53 Belding 16
The Packers of Fremont opened their Class B District 60 playoffs tonight against the Black Knights of Belding from the OK Silver conference. Belding came in with an 0-8 conference record, and 1-16 overall. Even though Belding seemed like an easy step to the next round, Fremont still needed to focus on the task at hand, and not allow themselves to be caught daydreaming of their next game.
During the opening minutes, it seemed that neither team could find the rim. Fremont pressured Belding from the start, and their fast hands created plenty of turnovers, but they just could not get the ball through the hoop. Belding had plenty of looks as well, and they too could not zero in on the hoop. The first points wouldn’t come until two and half minutes into the first quarter as Fremont’s sophomore, Natalie Jamieson, finally hit for two. Jamieson would find the net again a minute and a half later, and then once more after another minute and a half. Belding wouldn’t get on the board until a minute fifty-three left on the clock. Even then it was a single point off a foul by Sydney Noordyk. With the score at 6-1 with a minute and a half left on the clock, it appeared that fans might be in for a low scoring game. But that’s when the Packers finally settled in, and put six more on the board before the buzzer sounded.
The Packers picked up the second quarter right where they left off. Their constant pressure and quick hands stifled Belding. It would be three minutes into the quarter before the Black Nights finally found the net, and this would be the only field goal they would score in the first half. “We made a simple adjustment on defense, and got some steals and got some layups off that so the girls did a good job with that. We talked about that between quarters, and they made the adjustment,” shared Fremont’s Coach Krim. As both teams headed to their respective locker room for the half, Fremont had extended their lead by twenty with the halftime score of 25-5.
If fan’s thought the first half started slow, then the second half by comparison was going nowhere. Belding regrouped, and amped up their pressure on Fremont. Yet, Fremont’s pressure on Belding continued to suffocate Belding’s shooters. It took four minutes and thirty-five seconds before Belding’s senior, Erin Rich, would finally put the ball through the net. Fremont wouldn’t find the hoop until there was two and half minutes left on the clock. But just like the first quarter, once Fremont shook off whatever was plaguing their shooters, they settled in and hit their shots. By this point it would have taken a miracle for the Black Knights to manage a comeback as the Packers cruised through the fourth towards an easy victory scoring 53 to Belding’s 16.
“I thought Fremont came out and pressured us early, and we let that pressure get to us. We never really got going. Started off slow, and couldn’t recover from that. Unfortunately it wasn’t our day,” stated Belding’s Coach Cegelis.
“Anytime in a District game you win and advance, that’s a real positive. You want to survive this time of the year so we’re really pleased about that. It was a nice game for us because we got to work on a lot of things that we needed to work on, and the girls came out and performed,” Coach Krim added.
Sophomore Paige VandenBerg led the scoring tonight for Fremont with 10 points. Natalie Jamieson put up eight, and Anna Patenge, Katie Nicholas, Bre Harris, Chloe Shriver, and Sydney Noordyk each shot six. Fremont moves on to play Sparta this Wednesday in Fremont starting at 6:00 pm.