What the Trojans failed at, however, was avoiding mental lapses, and as unrelenting as the Orioles’ pressure was, it made Fruitport’s head spin.
The underdog Trojans had upset on their minds after being down just six points at the half, but they couldn’t overcome a total of 35 turnovers, helping the Orioles pull away in the second half in the 52-37 final.
Ludington remains on top of the Lakes Eight Conference standings with a 10-0 record, as well as 14-0 overall. Fruitport falls to 9-6 this season and 6-4 in league games.
“We’ve talked about toughness a lot lately, and I thought we were physical with them tonight,” German said. “But our biggest issue was mentally. We just had too many mental lapses where we’d just give the ball away. A lot of it boils down to confidence in our ability.
“But Ludington, with their pressure, has a tendency to make you hurry. And 35 turnovers, that was our downfall tonight.”
To Fruitport’s credit, they forced the Orioles into 25 turnovers as well. German said the plan was to apply as much pressure as possible on the ball, with a risk at giving up some easy buckets in the paint. The strategy worked throughout the first half, as Fruitport trailed by just six after one quarter, 17-11, then battled back to within one at 20-19, on a short bank shot from senior Mallory Vest.
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