The Western Michigan Christian girls basketball team took sole possession of first place in the Lakes Eight Conference on Friday night with a win over previously undefeated Ludington, 31-23.
The Warriors got off to a slow start, trailing 10-6 at the first break and 15-11 at halftime before tying things up 18-18 heading into the final frame.
In the fourth, Meghan Heiss hit four free throws, Anna Sytsema went 3-of-3 from the line with a bucket from the post and Taylor Folkema nailed a 3-pointer to seal the win.
Folkema led in scoring with 13 points, followed by Heiss with 11 and Sytsema with seven.
“It was a slow cook, simmering, defensive showdown at WMC tonight,” said WMC head coach Jeremy Goorman. “Holding Ludington to 18 points for three quarters was something we never dreamed of doing. They have a deep, talented roster and luckily, we didn’t get in foul trouble.
“I have never been in a game where only three players scored. Meghan Heiss had a great second half with nine points. Down the stretch, she made 4-of-6 free throws. Taylor Folkema added seven steals and four rebounds, while Anna Sytsema got six rebounds. I was so proud of our effort in pulling out a quality win.”
The victory keeps WMC undefeated at 8-0 overall and 4-0 in conference.
Junior varsity: WMC lost to Ludington 45-42. Libby Mast led with 14 points, followed by Maddie Wiersema with 12.
WMC boys drop rally attempt
The Western Michigan Christian boys worked their way back into their Lakes Eight matchup twice Friday night, ending up with a 47-38 loss to Ludington.
The Warriors trailed 7-2 at the first break, 25-14 at halftime and 36-27 heading into the final frame.
A strong rally coming out of halftime closed the gap to just two points, 27-25, with four minutes left in the third quarter before the Orioles pulled away again.
In the final minutes of play, Owen Varnado nabbed a steal and took it for a layup to close the gap to five points, 41-36, but, again, Ludington pulled away.
Varnado led with 10 points and eight rebounds, followed by Brant Zeerip and Brevin Byrne with seven points each.
“Tonight, we struggled to score early in the game,” said WMC head coach Kurt Gruppen. “Give Ludington a lot of credit, they are always a very tough defensive team. We dug ourselves an early hole by allowing that pressure to get to us.
“I was very proud of the way we came back into the game and cut the lead to three points. We just couldn’t get that one last defensive stop we needed to give ourselves a chance.”
Junior varsity: WMC defeated Ludington 59-36. Jaxon Duer and Isaac Parker led with 12 points each. Micah TerHaar added 11 and Sam Liggett added 10.
Freshmen: WMC lost to Ludington 49-44. Jaron Childers led with 12 points. Joe Waller added nine and Isaiah Barco-Moreales added seven.
FCC back to business
The Fruitport Calvary Christian girls basketball team used a dominant third-quarter effort to put away its Alliance League opener Friday night, defeating Wyoming Potter’s House 53-37.
A tight 22-19 lead at halftime didn’t sit well with the Eagles, motivating a 19-7 third-quarter run to overpower their Class C competitors.
Kelsey Richards led the way with 21 points, seven rebounds and four steals, despite a consistent double-team by Potter’s House. Brionna Johnson followed with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Lizzie Cammenga added nine points, six rebounds and six steals. Kristina Warren led the team in assists with six, while Emily Wesner held the Pumas’ All-Area returner Germaine Hounakey to 11 points, eight below her average.
“We knew tonight would be a battle,” FCC head coach Brad Richards said. “They are athletic and fast inner-city kids who really compete. We are really proud of the way the girls came out of the halftime locker room. Assistant coach Jim Warren designed some plays to make them pay for running a box-and-one defense on Kelsey (Richards), and we just pulled away.
“Our girls really bounced back from a tough game this past Tuesday. We just thanked God for no injuries and got back up and fought again tonight.”
The victory makes it 43 straight in conference play dating back to the 2016 season, and raises FCC’s record to 5-2 on the year.
They return to action Tuesday to host Wyoming Tri-Unity Christian.
GH ski team takes top honors
The Grand Haven boys ski team took home a victory at Cannonsburg Thursday night, while the girls placed fourth overall in their first league outing of the season.
Mitchel Bosgraaf led the boys team with a fourth-place overall finish, followed by Jack Hardebeck in ninth, Elliot Vironda in 13th, Ethan Brown in 17th and John Bandstra in 22nd.
Kate Kendall led the girls team with a seventh-place finish, followed by Eden Nykamp in 10th, Sarah Walker in 21st and Macayla Cramer in 39th.
Ryan Tounge took home first-place overall in the boys junior varsity competition, followed by Sam VanderKolk in fifth and J.J. Kelley in sixth. Selma Vestby led the girls JV team in eighth place, ahead of Sophie Martin in 22nd.