Fruitport may have had its heads in the clouds following a season-opening 44-point blowout victory on Tuesday at Ravenna.
The Trojans were quickly sent crashing back down to earth by visiting Reeths-Puffer on Friday.
The Rockets’ matchup zone gave Fruitport all kinds of problems at Fruitport High School, leading to the Trojans connecting on a dreadful 4-of-45 shots from the field and committing 27 turnovers in a humbling 45-17 setback.
“We seemed to be tentative all game. Maybe a little scared,” said Fruitport coach Bob German, whose squad falls to 1-1. “We didn’t handle their pressure that well. That matchup zone gave us problems.
“When we did have some opportunities (to score) we couldn’t finish. The other night, everything went in. But part of it was there was more pressure (tonight) and it was a more physical game.”
Fruitport couldn’t expose the Rockets’ zone because the Trojans’ outside shooting was badly off the mark (1-of-14 from 3-point land), and the team also lacked an inside scoring presence. Returning senior forward Francesca Cerniglia is out until at least next week with a concussion, while starting center Allison Beckwith was strapped to the bench most the evening with foul trouble.
Still, the scrappy Trojans crashed the boards hard throughout the first half and were within striking distance after two quarters at 18-9.
“Even with Allison out, rebounding wise, we felt we did a pretty good job,” German said. “It was a fairly close margin at the half.”
Fruitport looked like it was intent on making it an even more competitive game to start the second half. Point guard Debbie Pekel opened the third quarter with a nice drive and score, starting a 5-0 run that helped the Trojans close to within 18-14.
But any positive momentum heading into the Trojans’ favor at that point came to a screeching halt.
Reeths-Puffer closed the quarter on a 15-0 run, as Fruitport could get nothing to fall, and the Rockets’ quick and physical guards began to take over.
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