Unable to keep pace with a high-octane offense and stifling defense from EGR, the Laker girls were defeated, 60-31.
“I told the girls that this is a good barometer of where we are going to be. They aren’t in the (O-K) Blue, so we are seeing something different,” said Spring Lake girls head coach Cavin Mohrhardt of the loss. “All in all, it wasn’t a good loss, but I think we learned some things about ourselves.”
A whirlwind first quarter by the Pioneers left the Lakers baffled. EGR led 27-1 to begin the second period. High-speed transition basketball, deadly shooting accuracy and high-energy defense kept the Lakers without a field goal.
“We were beat by the fast break,” Mohrhardt said. “We were down 20 before we could blink because they got everything over the top on us. That is an easy fix, but I think that had a little to do with fatigue, too.”
The Lakers have played six games over the past two weeks, going 5-1 in that span.
Reiko Johnson led the Lakers in scoring with 12 points, while Madeline Zenas and Jenna Core added strong contributions from their low-post positions.
Their scoring picked up as the contest went on and the Lakers got acclimated to the high-speed play. Over the third and fourth quarters, Spring Lake outscored the Pioneers, 25-14.
“We went into halftime, and I told the girls ‘look, we just need to have a better half. It comes down to the individual, do you want to be here?’” Mohrhardt said.
“It was a better half, but we have to have two good halves, and we didn’t have one at all today.”
The out-of-conference showcase featured multiple teams from the area squaring off throughout the day at East Grand Rapids. The loss drops the Lakers’ overall record to 8-5, but will not affect their conference standing.
East Grand Rapids is a fellow Class B school, and represents the level of competition the Lakers could face in a substantial playoff run. Coach Mohrhardt thinks the game on Saturday will prove useful when they see stiff competition down the road.
“Let’s look at the bright side of things, we saw some things that we haven’t seen in a long time and maybe won’t again. We weren’t mentally ready for anything tonight,” he said. “That is a lesson in itself. All you have to do is look up at the scoreboard to see what happens when you aren’t ready.”
Spring Lake will look to return to their winning ways with another non-conference test against Montague on Tuesday, before taking on O-K Blue leading Grand Rapids Catholic Central on Feb. 7.
SL grapplers pick up win at Super Duals
The Spring Lake wrestling team traveled to Shelby High School on Saturday for the annual Shelby Super Duals.
The Lakers finished 1-4 against some of the top-tier wrestling programs in the West Michigan area, with plenty of individual highlights on the day.
The Lakers lone team win came against Ludington, 39-18.
Senior Josef Hissom recorded an 11-4 decision over Ludington’s Troy Althous in the 189-pound division to lead the Lakers, while Schafer Bailey (112), Josiah Swenor (119), Jamie Holt (125), Alex Smith (135), Caleb Swenor (160) and Hunter Rose (171) all picked up wins as well.
Hissom and Jamie Holt each finished 4-1 on the day, while Dylan Henshaw added a 3-2 performance and Alex Smith picked up two wins.
Laker swim team takes on Hudsonville Invite
The Spring Lake swimming and diving team played the underdog role as they took on the Hudsonville Invitational on Saturday. The Lakers, ranked No. 6 in Division 3, went up against Division 1 powers Rockford, West Ottawa and Zeeland, amongst a plethora of others.
Sophomore standout Cam Peel scored a second-place finish in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 21.94 seconds and a fifth-place finish in the 100 backstroke (56.67). Peel was also a member of the 400 freestyle relay team with freshman Kevin Losee, senior Charlie Slajus and freshman Joey Wachter that finished third with a time of 3 minutes, 18.84 seconds.
Losee also finished fifth in the 200 freestyle (1:48.84) and tied for fourth in the 100 butterfly (54.24 seconds).
Drew Fogel added a fourth-place finish in the 500 freestyle (5:05.37), while Wachter added a fourth-place finish in the 100 backstroke (55.03). The 200 freestyle relay team of Eric Schock, Charlie Slajus, Fogel and Losee finished fifth (1:32.65).
On the diving boards, Casey King led the Lakers with a score of 182.45, good for 12th place out of 26 divers. Gavin DeVries placed 15th with 172.55 points. Right behind in 16th place, scoring 160.3 points was Johnny Meulenbelt, and first-year diver Jaiden Lewis placed 23rd with 113 points.
Most importantly, with the meet scoring as individual dual meets, DeVries, King, and Meulenbelt all qualified for the Division 3 Regional meet, joining teammate Noah Locacsio in the qualifying group.
“We've had divers qualify each year I've been coaching at Spring Lake, but this is the first time that we've had four qualify in one year,” said Spring Lake diving coach Tom Knight.
Haven hockey blanks GR Flames
The Grand Haven/Spring Lake co-op hockey team broke a 3-game losing streak Saturday as they routed the Grand Rapids Flame, 12-0.
The Buccaneers lit the lamp six times in both the first and second periods to mercy the Flames.
Alex Franczek and Austin Fox each recorded hat tricks to lead the Bucs (7-8, 6-3 Tier 3), while Brendan Bectel added one goal and two assists.
The Buccaneers host Grand Rapids West Catholic on Wednesday with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Lakeshore Sports Centre.