The Fruitport boys basketball team kicked off their postseason with a bang, winning their first playoff game since 2005 with a 57-46 defeat of Whitehall (9-11).
The Trojans jumped out to a 29-15 lead by halftime and stayed in control down the stretch to complete the victory.
The win improves Fruitport to 4-16 overall. They advance to take on Orchard View (13-7) in the district semifinals Wednesday at Orchard View at 6 p.m.
WMC falls to Ravenna
The Western Michigan Christian boys basketball team’s season came to an end Monday night in the opening round of the district tournament as the Warriors fell to Ravenna (15-6) by a score of 59-58.
The game was close throughout, sitting tied 12-12 after the first quarter before the Bulldogs pulled ahead for a 26-22 lead at halftime.
The four-point deficit held through the third as Ravenna took a 41-37 lead into the final frame. There, the Warriors would rally to tie the game 51-51 with 2:42 left to play and take the lead 53-51 with 2:15 left in the pre-district matchup.
Back-to-back 3-pointers for Ravenna’s Calvin Schullo put his team back in the lead with less than a minute to play. WMC’s Kellen Mitchell answered with a score from underneath the basket to bring the deficit back to one-point, 56-55, with 35 seconds to play.
The Warriors would foul and Ravenna connected on both of their free-throw attempts to put their lead back to three before being sent back to the line on the ensuing possession. Josh Cox would hit one shot to push the lead to four with one possession remaining.
Mitchell sank a 3-pointer as the buzzer sounded, bringing the game to its final tally.
“Tonight was a back-and-forth game,” said WMC head coach Kurt Gruppen. “It is always tough to lose your last game. I was extremely proud of the way we fought throughout the game and competed. Our senior group will be missed, and I am thankful for their dedication to the program over the last several years.”
Mitchell led with 21 points, followed by Hayden Hubers with 12, Owen Varnado with 11 and Brant Zeerip with 10.
Schullo led Ravenna with 22 points.
The Bulldogs advance to play North Muskegon (19-1) on Wednesday in the district semifinal.
The loss ends WMC’s 2019 campaign at 9-12 overall.
Sparta rallies past Spring Lake
The Spring Lake girls basketball team had a commanding lead in their Monday-night matchup with Sparta before going ice cold in the second half to fall to the Spartans, 56-41.
A quick start to the game left the Lakers leading 31-26 at halftime. Sparta found their scoring mojo after the break, pouring in 21 of their 30 second-half points in the third quarter. Spring Lake, meanwhile, mustered just 10 points through the final two quarters, succumbing to the comeback.
Madeline Zenas led the Spring Lake scoring with 12 points, while Jenna Core added 11 and Phoebe Saunders scored 10.
The loss drops the Lakers to 9-9 overall and 4-8 in O-K Blue Conference play. Meanwhile, Sparta improves to 12-7 overall and 7-5 in league play.
Spring Lake returns to action today for a non-conference matchup against Ottawa Hills. They will celebrate the senior girls’ last game at home with Teacher Appreciation Night at Spring Lake High School at 7 p.m.
Fruitport hockey wins playoff opener
The Kenowa Hills, Fruitport, Fremont co-op hockey team took home a playoff victory Monday night with an 8-2 victory over Northview in the opening round of the regional tournament.
Fruitport senior Brendan Deneen led the offense with three assists.
The win advances the Knights (8-18) to play Rockford (16-6-2) on Thursday in the regional semifinals at Griff’s Ice House in Grand Rapids at 8 p.m.