Grand Haven Tribune: Fruitport advances to district final

Fruitport advances to district final

Duncan MacLean • Mar 7, 2019 at 12:47 AM

The Fruitport girls basketball team won just three games through the regular season. After an inspired two rounds to begin the postseason, they will play Oakridge for a district title Friday.

A narrow 29-25 victory over Montague on Monday earned the Trojans a date with Orchard View in Wednesday’s semifinals, where they gassed the Cardinals for a 60-18 victory.

Sydney Bol led the way with 19 points, followed by Ellie Fisher with 11, Emily Dirske with 11, Kennah Vermerris with five, Andi Quasebarth with four, Adrienne Schoenmaker, and Gabrielle Sturtevant with three each and Willo Staal, Taylor Burke and Brooklyn Poole with two apiece.

The game began even with both teams nailing 3-pointers to kick off their semifinal matchup. From there, Fruitport put on a 12-1 run to end the first quarter leading 15-4.

Rebounding and transition game got it done for the Trojans in the first, while crisp interior passing greased their offense in the second as they sprinted to a 25-8 halftime lead.

Orchard View kicked off the second half with a 3-pointer, but a devastating press by the Trojans quelled any chance of an uprising. Bol poured in nine points, mostly off steals in transition, while Fisher picked up five to pace a 48-16 lead heading into the final frame.

There, the Trojans continued to push, making sure every player on the roster found the bucket.

The victory improves Fruitport’s record to 5-17 overall and earns them a spot in a district finals game for the first time in over a decade.

“It means everything,” said Fruitport head coach Bob German. “Even the two postseason wins is significant for us. Even when we made the district final all the way back 12 years ago, we only won one game to get there.

“It gives us some energy to pass on to the younger players. The seniors have started every game for me this year. I only have two and they have given me everything they have. They aren’t the most talented basketball players but they play with their entire heart. They will be missed.

The trip to the trophy round is a welcome sight after a long season dealing with the O-K Black Conference and a slew of injuries.

“With the league we are in, the schedule is just brutal, I can’t put it any other way,” German said. “We had four starters coming back. We lost one to an ACL tear during volleyball season, one to a concussion and one to pneumonia. So, it was the middle of January before we even started to get healthy. We are healthy now, and definitely playing better basketball.

“Sometimes you think as a coach, ‘how an I going to keep morale up? How do we get through this?’ Well, the girls just have a good attitude. They roll with the punches and just try to get better.

"It is true what they say that everyone starts over at 0-0. This run has been nice to brighten up a season that has been tough."

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