SL girls can't prevent late Broncos' stampede

Poor free throw shooting, turnovers sends Lakers to 0-3 start
Nate Thompson
Dec 8, 2012


After Brittany Beeler swiped away a careless dribble near mid-court, drove the other way and converted a layup with a Coopersville player in hot pursuit midway through the third quarter, it appeared that Spring Lake’s varsity girls basketball team was well on their way to their first victory of the season.

Apparently, the Broncos still hadn’t hit their stride.

Unbeaten Coopersville erased a 26-23 deficit by closing the third quarter on a 12-1 run, ruining the Lakers’ hopes of a win on their home court and sending them to 0-3.

Spring Lake closed to within six points on a pair of occasions in the fourth quarter, but could creep no closer in the 45-38 final.

“That two-minute flurry they had (in the third quarter), that hurt us,” said Spring Lake coach Rich Hyde. “We were in race-horse mode there. We controlled the tempo the entire time like we planned, but we got a little out of control during that stretch. We did not have quite the same legs that we had earlier and we didn’t get a hand up on their shooters. They made us pay.”

Coopersville sank back-to-back uncontested 3-pointers to kick-start their third-quarter rally, and then received a tough bank shot from freshman guard Sammi McCarthy, as she absorbed some contact from Lakers’ center Kelsee Zuidema, but still had enough strength to power up the shot off the board and through.

“They present a lot of mismatches,” Hyde said. “They all can handle the ball and they all can shoot. I told the girls that we really didn’t need to game plan, because everyone needs to do the same thing (defensively).”

Coopersville’s balanced scoring — which was a strength in its opening two victories — again played a major role on Friday. The Broncos had six players score five or more points, and were led by junior forward Quiana Cornelius’ eight.

Spring Lake started slow with turnovers and rushed shots and fell behind after one quarter, 13-6.

The Lakers fought back, however, with superb play from their post attack. Senior 5-foot-11 forward Megan VanDeWeg had career highs of 13 points and nine rebounds, while Zuidema, a sophomore, added nine points and 14 rebounds — eight coming on the offensive end.

Spring Lake outrebounded the smaller Broncos by a substantial 39-24 margin.

“Megan had a phenomenal game for us,” Hyde said. “It was great for her. She got some offensive putbacks and really did a good job of sealing off her girl and getting good position after we reversed the ball.”

Spring Lake took its first lead of the second half at 22-20 on a nice backdoor cut and layup by Jewel Wiersma. But the senior forward later tweaked a tailbone injury she’s been nursing and could not return to action in the fourth.

After Coopersville connected on its first 3-pointer of the third to re-take the lead, the Lakers got a jumper from junior Breanna Williams and Beeler’s steal and layup to take their largest lead of the game at 26-23.

But the positive vibes would be short-lived.

Again, Spring Lake struggled throughout the game at the free throw line, connecting on just four of 20 attempts.

“We work on (free throw shooting) every day. I don’t know what else to do,” Hyde said.

Hyde was also disappointed by a second-straight game with an abundance of turnovers, as the Lakers committed 30 against the Broncos.

Still, Hyde saw offensive improvement and glimpses that the light bulb is starting to go off for his squad.

“I think we gained a lot tonight,” he said. “I can see some positive steps. It’s just going to come to us. Right now, it’s chemistry issues. We’ve got a lot of new players learning how to play together. We’re doing the right things, just our hands and feet are not there working together.

“They’re starting to see what we’re asking from them, but once they feel it, I imagine it will be a lot better.”

Beeler and fellow senior guard Molly Miedema each had three assists and three steals, while Williams had a nice night with seven points and three steals.

The Lakers’ quest at their first victory won’t be much easier on Tuesday, as they host a talented and undefeated Shelby squad.




Rich Hyde's success last year can be summed up in three words: "Evie and Jessica". These two outstanding atheletes led Spring Lake to numerous victories without the aid of Hyde's coaching. These standouts led a very solid team of atheletes to a very successful season. Hyde's participation was marginalized by the prowess of Lorimer and Lewakowski.

He finds himself this year in a position where coaching has a significant impact due to the fact that he has an average team with no clear outstanding talent. It is in seasons like this, that a coach makes the difference. Hyde's hubris, which was on full display last year, will be challenged this year with his lack of talent.

As we are seeing to date, Hyde is not the stellar coach that he thinks he is - SL's 0-3 record prove this. His luck last year can be strictly directed to his two standout players. Now that the veneer has been stripped away, we can see just how good a coach Hyde actually is versus the act we saw last year. Will the curtain be pulled back to show that the Great and Powerful Oz is nothing more than smoke and mirrors? Time will tell. We can judge that to this date Hyde has produced nothing more than excuses. It's still early, but the record to date is not real promising for a coach who took credit for the exceptionalism shown by two outstanding basketball players last year and used them to bolster his abilities - when in fact his abilities had nothing to do with the success.

0-3 is not a good omen for Rich Hyde - and maybe we'll see that Oz is nothing more than a shadow of an over-reaching ego.


Veritas_Hubris, I'm not sure if you have a personal vendetta against Coach Hyde, but judging by your comments, there is a sour taste in your mouth about something.

To say that the entire team last year was Evie and Jessica is far from accurate. Yes, I agree that they were definite leaders and the team's success was a direct result of their contributions. However, they were not the "whole" team. Don't get me wrong, I am not discounting Evie or Jessica's talent by any means. I know both of them personally and they are definitely outstanding athletes as well as amazing people.

This year, the team doesn't have a standout, rather a group of young, very athletic, talented girls who are working hard and don't need or appreciate your negativity toward them or their coach. They play a lot of talented teams and are keeping up with each one. Their losses have been in close contests losing by 1, 10 and 7, respectively.

I don't remember anyone, including Coach Hyde, ever referring to him as anything close to the Great and Powerful Oz. He is passionate, hard-working, and knowledgable about the game of basketball and the team he is coaching. And I don't remember him ever taking "credit for the exceptionalism shown by two outstanding basketball players last year and used them to bolster his abilities". He had a great team last year and is entitled to celebrate the team's success. And,to my knowledge, never took personal credit for their success, but instead commented on the team's success.

Besides any numbers, records, or stats, its sad that someone has to personally attack another so that they feel better about themselves. I'm glad you could get your feelings off your chest, and I think I just did the same!

Large Laker

SLmom - I don't see Veritas_Hubris' comment as a negative rapprochement of this years girls varsity team - I think the point is focused on the coach, not the girls. The point is valid that there are no stellar standouts (how many awards did those two girls win?) as there were last year and Mr. Hyde will be forced into the spotlight and his abilities will be tested as the coach driving this team. His coaching and strategy will be the leading factor driving the success or failure this year. There's nothing negative there - facts are friendly.

Yes, Veritas does seem a little negative on Hyde but we can't read into the hearts of people. You on the other hand seem to be a cheerleader for him (daughter on the team, perhaps?) and are overly positive. Everybody has an opinion - the cool thing is that we all can express them.

Leaving the coach out of it - Go Lady Lakers!


Large Laker - No, I do not have a daughter on the team. My kids are college-age and older and Coach Hyde never coached my daughter.

I'm not being a cheerleader by any means, just don't like the negativity. The girls are struggling so far this year and don't need anything else bringing them down.

Go Lady Lakers...for sure!!


Large Laker - exactly my point. Thank you.

SLmom - Let's make some clarifications.

First, nowhere do I say that L&L were the whole team; if you read my comment it states "these standouts led a very solid team of athletes", lets get on the same page if you're going to opine. Second, no one is criticizing this crop of girls....comparing and contrasting the two teams leads to the conclusion that there are clearly no stand outs. It is a scale based on talent...and the scale isn't tipped this year like it was last. Instead of standouts, you have a squad. Nobody is taking anything away from the passion and drive of these girls...its a different team. Again, no negativity - please don't paint something that is not there. Everybody doesn't deserve trophies just because they showed up, however. Sorry, that's just a fact in competitive athletics; comparisons and statistics are part of the game.

Regarding Coach Hyde, my opinion of him is just that - MY opinion. It is based on behavior and actions that he has demonstrated. No slight or bad taste in my mouth - I call it like I see it and like Large Laker points out, we're all entitled. You may not have seen this, and that's fair; I clearly didnt see what you have described. Does that make you right and me wrong? Emotional assumptions ("sour taste in your mouth") are not valid.

He's 0-4 at this stage in the season and clearly in the spotlight now - and that is my point. It will be his coaching, and not his athletes, that define his season this year.

Granted, my Oz comments may have been a little more literative than I intended, but my assertion is still fair.


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