The last time the West Ottawa girls basketball team won a conference championship was the year coach Jenna Plewes was born.
The Panthers, who clinched the O-K Red title last week, put the icing on the cake with a 53-34 win over four-time defending league champion Grand Haven, to finish undefeated in the conference.
For West Ottawa junior Mikayla Martinie, there was more icing on the cake. She had 15 points and nine rebounds on her 17th birthday.
"It is a big deal for us," Martinie said. "We have been waiting for such a long time since the senior class was in eighth grade. We knew this was going to be a special group. I am so happy right now.
West Ottawa finished the regular season 16-3 and 10-0 in the OK Red. The Panthers, who are on a 13-game win streak, will host Holland in the Class A district opener at 7 p.m. Monday.
Molly Borgman scored 17 points and had eight rebounds. Julie Brown had 10 points and seven assists.
"It really couldn't have gone worse for us," Grand Haven coach Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer said. "You look up and it's 9-0. You just want a restart. It made us change our mindsets and we weren't patient."
Grand Haven (15-5, 6-4 OK Red), the defending state champions, finally connected when Mallory Beswick hit a 3 with 2:28 to go in the first quarter.
But Martinie answered with a 3 to put the Panthers up 12-3 after the first quarter.
The Buccaneers now turn their attention to next week’s Class A district tournament at Reeths-Puffer. Grand Haven takes on Grand Rapids Union on Monday at 7:30 p.m.
- The Holland Sentinel