Spring Lake varsity boys’ basketball coach Bill Core can count on one hand the number of wins his Lakers’ teams have enjoyed on Ludington’s home court during his tenure.
He probably wouldn’t need any fingers to count how many times the Lakers have held the Orioles to under 40 points during those fierce battles.
Core can do so now, as the Lakers completely stifled the host Orioles Tuesday evening, winning 53-38, helping Spring Lake increase its lead in the Lakes Eight Conference to two games over Ludington and Fremont.
“I can say we won solely because of our defense,” said Core, whose squad is 11-2 overall and a perfect 7-0 in league action. “We were tied 2-2 and then led the rest of the way.”
Spring Lake not only excelled defensively, but also getting to the free throw line. The Lakers were in the bonus with Ludington’s seventh foul in the first quarter and finished the contest connecting on a stellar 22-of-32 from the free throw line.
Senior forward Austin Johnson led the effort, hitting 11-of-14 from the charity stripe.
“We wanted to be aggressive attacking to the rim and I felt we did that very well,” Core said.
Spring Lake had a comfortable 31-16 lead at the half, thanks to a tough baseline jumper by Johnson to close out the second quarter. He finished with 26 points.
Core was happy with key scoring off the bench, including six points apiece from junior Charlie Warber and sophomore Kyle Zietlow.
The Lakers received five rebounds each from J.P. Batts, Nick Goeglein and Eric Johnson.
“Nick Goeglein and Eric Johnson, their defense in the interior was tremendous,” Core said.
Point guard Adam Clauss also locked up his main target, Ludington guard Trevor Wahr, who entered Tuesday averaging 12 points a game, but was limited to two on Tuesday.
Jacob Schoon led Ludington (11-4 overall) with 11 points.
Tuesday’s game was a stretch of six road games in 11 days for the Lakers. It will continue on Thursday, in a make-up contest at Orchard View.
Freshmen: Spring Lake topped Ludington, 41-28. Drew Johnson led the way with 16 points, while Casey Panyard added 12 points.