Spring Lake girls right the ship at Allendale

Tribune Staff • Jan 13, 2018 at 12:31 AM

ALLENDALE — Last-second heartbreak has become an unwelcome mantra for the Spring Lake girls basketball team this season. Heading into Friday’s road matchup with Allendale, the Lakers carried a three-game losing streak with all three losses coming by less than four points.

Their 50-23 victory over the Falcons served as an exorcism Friday with no late-game antics to be found. The Lakers led 12-0 after the first quarter, 26-6 at halftime and 37-8 heading into the final frame.

The lopsided opening quarter could have been even worse for the Falcons, as the Lakers got off to a rough shooting start, finishing 4-for-16 from the field over the first eight minutes as everything from three-point attempts to offensive put backs finding more iron than nylon.

Wise words from head coach Cavin Mohrhardt made the difference, as Spring Lake opened the second period with a dominating 14-1 run led primarily by the dominant post play of Madeline Zenas, Jenna Core and Abbi Perkins.

Zenas scored eight of her team-high 14 points to kick off the second quarter. Both her and Core finished with double-doubles on the day as Zenas pulled down 10 rebounds and Core scored 12 points to go with 11 rebounds, while Perkins finished with four points and six rebounds.

With 2:10 left in the first half, Allendale hit their first field goal of the game, finally nailing a midrange jumper to push the score to 26-3. Two trips to the free-throw line for the Falcons doubled their point total coming into halftime, cutting the Laker lead to 26-6.

With three minutes left in the third quarter, Mohrhardt went to his bench with Spring Lake leading 33-6. The change motivated Linsey Paggeot, who nailed a three-ball for her first field goal of the evening before finding a spot on the bench.

The starters got one more shot to pad their stat lines as they kicked off the fourth quarter and took advantage. Madelyn Nelson scored two quick buckets, while Phoebe Saunders put together a few crisp assists featuring her deft ball-handling skill to Zenas and Paggeot.

Spring Lake’s lead ballooned to 48-10 before the reserves took over. Without the imposing presence of Zenas and Core, the Falcons made a run to finish off the game, bringing it to its final score of 50-23.

Following the post players on the score sheet was Paggeot with seven points and Saunders with five to go with a number of assists.

The victory improves Spring Lake to 3-6 overall and serves as their first O-K Blue Conference win of the season, moving to 1-2 in the conference.

Up next, the Lakers return home to host Coopersville on Tuesday. The Broncos sit at 2-0 in conference play with a 59-13 win over Allendale and a 57-44 victory over West Catholic. Tip off is slated for 7 p.m. at Spring Lake high school.

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