The Eagles made their free throws down the stretch, ending the Trojans’ season in the Class B district semifinal, 34-24.
“We knew coming in they were a good team with a good record, and we had to give everything,” said Trojans’ senior Bre Burns after the loss. “We vowed to leave everything on the court, and I think we did that.”
The squads traded baskets to open things up, but then Oakridge (19-2) scored on the next three straight possessions, including two 3-pointers, to make it 10-2.
The Eagles seemed to always find a way to sweep in between the gaps of the Trojans’ 2-3 defense for rebounds, giving Oakridge multiple chances to score.
Fruitport’s rebounding struggles may be partially attributed to the health of senior Francesca Cerniglia, who acts as the back middle portion of the zone. The senior rebound-hound still managed to grab seven boards on the night to break the schools’ single-season record, but her minutes were limited due to a bad ankle.
Fruitport was down 15-4 at the end of the first quarter.
“We never totally recovered from that,” said coach Bob German, whose squad finished a fine season at 13-8. “I never felt we were out of it. We can put the ball in the basket, we aren’t just consistent.”
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