By Randy Gregory, Michigan Sports Radio
Photo courtesy of Miles Postema
The girls’ basketball team at Rockford moved their record to 17-1 on the season and 9-1 in OK Red play after a pair of road victories this past week. Rockford first made the trek to the Lakeshore to take on a top-five ranked team from Grand Haven on Tuesday, February 6. For the second time this season the Rams jumped out to an early lead and held that for the balance of the contest while posting a huge 48-39 win. They then journeyed to Grandville on Friday, February 9 and claimed a 62-27 triumph over a rebuilding Bulldog squad,
Those results lead up to a highly anticipated showdown with East Kentwood at home on Friday, 16. The Falcons dealt Rockford their only loss of the season earlier this year and are currently tied with the Rams atop the OK Red with a 9-1 record. Not easily overlooked is another game earlier in the week, also at home on Tuesday, February 13, against a talented Hudsonville squad that is 10-6 on the campaign and looking to play the role of a spoiler in conference action. The game on Tuesday tips at 5:30 P.M. and the contest on Friday is slated for a 7:30 start. The games piggyback with a pair of boys’ contests for the Rams that are of equal importance as they also sit atop the league standings. Tip times for those games are swapped and large crowds are expected for all four contests.
The Rams got off to a very slow start in the game with Grandville on Friday as the Bulldogs came out on fire from behind the three-point line. Grandville jumped out to a six-point lead before the game was three minutes old and it appeared as if the Rams were going to be caught in an unexpected struggle on the road. But Rockford quickly righted the ship and eventually built the lead to as large as 40 points before cruising to the 62-27 win. Anna Wypych led the Rams with 20 points as well as going a perfect 7-7 at the foul line. Sienna Wolfe and Grace Lyons added 13 and 11 points respectively. Both Wolfe and Lyons had a trio of three-pointers to lead a devastating perimeter assault for the Rams. Desirae Donley also had a big game off the bench for Rockford with nine points.
“Desirae (Donley) has become a leader for us off the bench in that position,” said Rockford Coach Brad Wilson. “She has earned valuable minutes in the post position and has made the most of them. It is nice to have her versatility available to us if we need her talents.”
The Grand Haven game saw Rockford leap out to a big lead early as they put up 20 points in the opening quarter. They repeatedly beat the Buccaneers to the hoop and seemed to be firmly in control. But after Grand Haven switched to a zone defense the normally reliable perimeter game for Rockford suffered an uncharacteristically poor game from deep and let the Bucs back into the game. But the Rams doggedly held on to the post position for the balance of the game and eventually earned the 48-39 win.
“We just could not buy anything from outside against Grand Haven,” said Wilson. “They dropped back into that zone and we had good looks but we just could not seem to get anything going. But even when they got to within six or seven points late, they made the decision to stay in that zone and we decided to pass the ball around the perimeter and eat up the clock. It was a solid win for us against a very good team at their place.”
Wypych again led Rockford with 17 points. Kate Higgins tossed in eight points and Wolfe added six. Jordan Mateer and Lyons both finished with five points in an unusual contest without multiple players putting up double figures for Rockford.
Lyons also added to her list of career accomplishments for Rockford this week. One week after claiming the career lead in scoring, she added the accolade of becoming the career steals leader for the Rams. It was further testament to the veracity of Lyons’ all around game as a player for the Rams.