Back in 2004, Orchard View spoiled Spring Lake’s 19-1 regular season with a shocking upset in the first round of the district tournament.
On Wednesday, the Lakers were wary of another Cardinals’ upset, but utilized a strong inside game to hold off the upstart Cards in a 58-46 victory. The win pushes the Lakers (12-9) into Friday’s Class B district championship game against Muskegon Heights (16-6), which scored a 70-48 victory over the host Vikings of Whitehall on Wednesday.
Core said that playing a team for the third time is never easy.
“We’ve been stung by that before, particularly by them,” Core said. “The thing is, we know them, and what happens is, you think, ‘We beat them twice, so why change anything?’
“And they say, ‘We lost to them twice, so we’ve got to change things.’”
The Cardinals did mix things up, dropping their typical zone defense in favor of a man-to-man look. The Cardinals also called up freshman Blake Andrews from the junior varsity team, and the flashy 5-foot-10 point guard provided his team with a spark, scoring a team-high 12 points.
But the Cardinals couldn’t content with the Lakers’ play in the post.
Junior Austin Johnson got to the rim at will and scored a game-high 21 points. Fellow junior Eric Johnson punished the Cardinals down low, collecting several offensive rebounds and scoring 15 points.
Even sophomore Nick Goeglein got into the mix. He scored two buckets in a key 7-0 Lakers’ run that put Spring Lake on top for good early in the second quarter.
To see more photos from the game, click here.