Spring Lake girls come up clutch at Coopersville

Tribune Staff • Feb 18, 2017 at 12:47 AM

The Spring Lake girls basketball team showed some grit and determination Friday night at Coopersville High School.

The Lakers, who played the majority of the game without senior point guard Reiko Johnson, who was limited with a nagging lower-body injury, had to answer several rallies by the host Broncos.

Spring Lake ended the game on a 14-4 run to come out of Coopersville with a 46-41 road win.

Sophomore forward Jenna Core scored 15 points to lead the Lakers (12-6, 8-2 O-K Blue); while fellow sophomore Madeline Zenas added 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks; and junior wing Linsey Paggeot chipped in with 11 points.

“One of our keys was to start fast, and that didn’t work,” said Spring Lake head coach Cavin Mohrhardt to WGHN after the game. “We knew that we could it, but we just started a little sluggish. They (Coopersville) were hitting open shots. We went man-to-man after that, and the kids responded with some solid defense in the second half.”

Despite being limited due to injury, Johnson finished with seven assists and two points, and was instrumental in running the offense during key stretches of the game.

“Reiko had some tendonitis in her ankle, and she wasn’t 100 percent out there,” Mohrhardt added. “We worked at practice on Thursday with her not playing at point, because we weren’t sure if she would even be able to go. I’m glad we did, because Madelyn Nelson and Linsey Paggeot really stepped up for us on offense. On defense, Emily Batts did an excellent job of setting the tempo with our man-to-man pressure.

“Reiko did a nice job of getting her teammates the ball in position to score, and she is more confident in some of the younger players now, and it shows. Our two sophomore bigs (Core and Zenas) are going to be phonemes as they continue to get more and more experience. They work really hard at practice, too. As a coach, you know when kids get it. They are like sponges, and they soak up every word and are very coachable.”

The Lakers host Comstock Park on Tuesday, followed by their season-finale against Grand Rapids West Catholic next Friday.

Freshmen: Coopersville defeated Spring Lake, 28-27. Madalyn Lisman scored 11 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead the Lakers, while Mia McDermott had nine points and two assists.

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