Packers hold off late Cardinal run for the win
Fremont 57 Big Rapids 43
With a pair of high powered offenses averaging around 80 points a game poised to meet in an early conference showdown it looked to be a high scoring affair.
Instead it was a knock down in your face defensive battle royale as an emotional game unfolded in front of a packed Packer house and the hosts sent their fans home happy with a big early season win.
The first quarter told of what was to come as the teams fought to an 8-6 Packer lead after one courtesy of 5 points by Joshua Zerfas , a triple by Chris Kennedy and some rugged defensive play.
In the second, a pair of 3 pointers from Kennedy and Carter Moon gave the hosts an 8 point lead but Demarcus Lee hit from distance and Jamal Strickland canned a couple baskets and the Cards were within a point. Tristan Campbell split a pair at the line and Lee followed with a game tying shot followed by a 3 by Keendy and and answer from Sam Alley and the score stayed tied before Moon sent the teams to break with a basket to give Fremont a 22-20 edge at the half.
That lead would hold up until the final period as the Pack fought off a couple of runs by the Cardinals to stay ahead through three. With Fremont up by as much as 8 points the BR team battled back with some inside play by D.J. GreenBay that pulled the visitors within 4 but Braiden McDonald, scoreless in the first half hit a basket and completed the 3 point play with a free throw following a foul that didn’t sit lightly on the Cardinal bench as the coaching staff well demonstrated in their reaction to the referees. BR's Alley and Jaxx Miller exchanged buckets and the teams entered the final quarter with Fremont up 37-32.
Lee and Alley busted out in the 4th with 6 quick points that tied the game but Zerfas cam through with a pair of hoops, Kennedy converted a pair from the charity stripe and Zrfas pounded in another before Ally stopped the Cardinal bleeding with a basket. Kennedy and McDonald each found their way to the foul line and each went 2-2 to push the lead to ten with 2 minutes on the clock
From there the Packers were in control and BR was forced to foul as time wound down.
Coach Zerfas: “On paper this one looked like it was going to be a track meet. It was slow early as shots were not falling for either side. We talked at halftime to stay the course and try to bump it to 7 after 3 quarters and that's what we did. Big Rapids came out strong in the 4th but we regrouped and wore them down.”
Kennedy led a balanced attack with 16 points. McDonald had 11 points and 12 rebounds while Joshua Zerfas finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists.
Carter Moon had a great all-around game with 10 points, 9 rebounds, 5 steals and 5 assists and played everywhere from the guard to big throughout the game.
Fremont is now 5-0, overall and 2-0 in the Gold. Big Rapids falls to 2-1 and 1-1 in conference play. The Packers stretch their two season regular season winning streak to 22 with the victory.