It was a 32-minute effort for the Lakers, who trailed 8-7 after the first quarter before taking a 20-13 lead into halftime.
The third quarter was all Cougars. The Lakers scored just two points in the period, allowing Catholic Central to storm back for a 27-22 lead heading into the final frame.
There, Spring Lake hit a few clutch shots to pull back even before Jenna Core took the lead at the free throw line. From there, it was all about defense as the Cougars made desperate attempt after attempt to find the bucket.
The game featured physical play all over the floor, as both teams employed crushing full-court pressure in transition and commanded respect in the paint. The Lakers handled it well, holding their poise through the final buzzer.
“It was a good game all around,” said Spring Lake head coach Cavin Mohrhardt. “We played the entire game and never gave up. We were down, put the pressure on and were able to bring it back. In the end, we didn’t panic.
“The third quarter was a blur. We came out and scored the first two points and then just couldn’t put our shots in. We had the looks, we just couldn’t finish them. Part of that is a credit to Catholic’s pressure. We got a little panicky.
“The end was so fast-paced. We executed the offense we needed to take the lead back and after that, it was all defense. We didn’t panic. That is something that has come a long way for us. We executed just like we drew it up in the huddle.”
Abbi Perkins led with 12 points ahead of Jenna Core with 11, Madeline Zenas with six, Jennifer Judge with three and Phoebe Saunders with one.
The win improves Spring Lake to 9-8 overall and 4-7 in conference play. They are scheduled to return to action Monday for a make-up game at Sparta, marking the end of their conference season. They will conclude their regular season with a home matchup against Ottawa Hills on Tuesday and a road meeting with Caledonia on Thursday.