Rams Girls win Clash of Champions at Calvin
Calvin University’s Van Noord Arena played host to one of the best regular season girls games of the season Saturday night, live on MSR. As the 2023 D1 state champion (Rockford) and 2023 D2 state champ (Lansing Catholic) met, with each looking for bragging rights and momentum in their respective state title defenses.
Rockford had a 33-game win streak broken vs. East Kentwood, but they certainly have now fully gotten back on track as they will look to track down another O-K Red crown and another state championship in the 2nd half of the season – starting with picking up the big win at Calvin Saturday.
Rockford opened up as large of a lead as 10 before Lansing Catholic was able to grit their way all the way back to eventually lead with four minutes remaining. The teams would trade baskets over the following minutes before Rockford was able to go to a trapping zone defensively and led by junior Anna Wypych (23 points) were able take a two-score advantage and outlast the L.C. trap to kill the clock before locking the game up with several key free throws for a 55-48 win.
Lansing Catholic’s senior guard Anna Richards had 18 points and collected her milestone 1000th career point during the contest, despite the loss.
Border War Shakeup
The annual Wes Leonard ‘Never Forgotten’ game between rivals Grandville and Hudsonville moved to the new Hudsonville Field house this year and saw a thrilling night of action. The Boys game provided a massive chance for Hudsonville to keep pace one game back of unbeaten (in conference) Rockford, while Grandville looked to move the win streak to three-straight and knot the Eagles with two losses in the Red.
The resulting game was a back-and-forth clash through the first three quarters, until Grandville was able to secure a precarious hold of the game down the stretch, as after a few traded buckets and swapped turnovers, Grandville was able to put a period on the game and pick up the massive road win 52-48, after a grinding and hard-fought second half.
Grandville junior G/F Colin Heyboer had the best game of his season, putting up 22 points, while Cam Regnerus had a 13-point triple-double effort in the win. Breyland McPhaul had 15 to lead Hudsonville.
The girls game also provided a ton of intrigue, as the Grandville girls were nearly able to come off with the first win in years over the Eagles, ultimately falling just a single point shy 59-58. An equally surprising and impressive score in the amount of scoring between two teams that have been more defensive-oriented in 2024.
The Grandville boys will be next in action Tuesday on MSR, as they go on the road to take on one of the area’s absolute best (& former stomping grounds of Grandville coach Desmond Young), Grand Rapids Christian.
OT in Byron Center
The Bulldogs of Byron Center came into Friday 6-5 on the season and having an up-and-down season, as the ‘Dawgs boys have been seeking some momentum in the incredibly difficult O-K White conference.
BC traveled to Forest Hills Northern to take on Coach Joe Soules and the Huskies, who sat with the same 6-5 mark coming into the evening. What followed was one of the best games of the night in a very important clash for each team’s conference and playoff positioning. It would take overtime in the end, as Byron Center would pull out a two-score win in the extra period, 63-59.
Rams Rule Wildcats (X2)
The Rockford Boys entered their ‘Mental Health Awareness Night’ battle against Jenison unbeaten and on top of the O-K Red all alone, and that possible hold on the division only was strengthened Friday with Grandville adding a second loss to Hudsonville’s resume and making it a true four-horse race.
The game was surprisingly close early, as Jension was able to even hold a lead late in a tough-to-score first half. But, the Rams turned on the jets in the second half, as their offense exploded for an 80-51 win. The Rams ‘super sophomores’ led the way as Dylan Gross exploded again with 17 points and Jake Bascom came away with 14 – after he led the team in scoring Tuesday.
Along with their big contest Saturday vs. Lansing Catholic, the Lady Rams were able to dominate reigning district champion Jenison, 58-22.
Broncos and Falcons Split
After their loss last Friday in a thriller vs. UC the Coopersville boys looked for wing number two in-a-row Friday after taking down Fruitport in their Tuesday battle. It was West Catholic hosting the Broncos basketball program, and Coopersville was able to pick up another hard-fought win to stay half-a-game behind Unity Christian, 58-45. Gabe VanSickle had 16 to lead the Broncos, all scorers were led by W.C’s Jeremiah Jones – who had 26.
The West Catholic girls were able to stay hot and defended their home floor, as they picked up a 66-32 win over the Broncos, to get to 11-2 on the season
Non-MSR Game Highlights
- Covenant Christian took down Hamilton 76-73 on Saturday behind 30 points from Ben Elzinga. Justin McIlwain nearly matched him with 28 points in defeat.
- Fruitport Calvary Christian star Bradley Richards posted a 41-point outing in a 82-64 win over Muskegon Catholic Central.
- Martin’s girls basketball team defeated Black River 60-40 behind a career-high 17 points from Macy Thorne.
- Mona Shores defeated Zeeland East 55-36. Khaleeya Cook led the Sailor ladies with 18 points.
- North Muskegon trailed 15-4 after the first quarter of play, but rallied to defeat Fremont 53-39. The Norsemen improve to a perfect 13-0 on the season.
- Northview boys defeated #4 ranked North Farmington 57-51. Brady Swartz led the ‘Cats with 25 points, while Cam Ryans (14) and EJ Ryans (12) were also in double figures.
- Ottawa Hills defeated conference foe Forest Hills Eastern behind 33 points from Craig Hureskin. Rashawn Rogers added 23 for the victors.
- Whitehall rallied from a third-quarter deficit to defeat the Montague girls 37-35. Addilyn Peterson led Montague with 10 points in the loss.
- Wyoming Lee bested Potter’s House in an Alliance League battle on Friday. Marc Whitfield has become the latest scoring star for the Legends, as he dropped 30 points.