The Trojans burst out of the gates with three 3-pointers to take an 11-8 lead after the first quarter of play. However, turnovers and defensive breakdowns propelled the Rockets to a 48-20 run the rest of the way to soar out of Fruitport High School with a 56-31 win.
“It was a battle between two teams that are fighting to add a little bit of life to their season,” said Fruitport coach Adam Anspach. “There’s always a little added emotion to these games, too.
“We had a quick start to the game, and knocked down three 3-pointers right off the bat. That gave us some energy, but the turnovers just killed us tonight. We had twice as many turnovers as them, and I know on at least five of ours, we just telegraphed the pass and through it right to the other team. So, we need to clean that up and be more aware of when guys are actually open and know when to try and force a play and when not to.”
Junior Cameron Oleen scored 10 points to lead the Trojans (0-11, 0-6 O-K Black), while fellow junior Aric Stewart added eight points and freshman point guard Marcelo Conklin chipped in with five.
Despite the game getting away from them late, the Trojans continued to play hard and cheer each other on from the bench.
“We’ve had several compliments from other coaches and parents that applaud us for how hard we continue to play even when the scoreboard gets away from us,” Anspach added. “Right now, that’s what we are hanging our hats on. We want to go out every night and play as hard as we can and be as tough as we can when we are out there on the court. “
With the team out of conference title contention, Anspach believes his young squad’s hard work and effort will pay off down the road.
“The effort is there, we’re never going to give up or back down, but we do need to improve on our basketball IQs,” he added. “That’s something that comes with experience, and we have to earn that the hard way this year. We don’t have anything to lose at this point, we’ll just continue to keep working hard at practice and push through and see what happens.”
The Trojans will look to add a digit to their win column Tuesday as they host Comstock Park (3-7).
Fruitport girls fall to Reeths-Puffer
In the nightcap, the Fruitport girls basketball team fell behind 13-5 to Reeths-Puffer and were never able to recover, falling to the Rockets, 55-32.
Iyana Brown scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds to lead the Trojans (3-8, 2-4 O-K Black), while Katie Veihl added six points and seven rebounds and Kailey Carmean chipped in with six points.
The Trojans host Muskegon Catholic Central (5-7) on Tuesday.