By Randy Gregory,

Michigan Sports Radio.

Photo courtesy of Miles Postema

The girls’ basketball team from Rockford entered this past week with a one-game lead over East Kentwood at the top of the OK Red standings. A single win in th e final two games guaranteed at least a share of the conference title. But the Rams were definitively not in the sharing mood as they first blasted a top-ten team from Holland West Ottawa at home on Tuesday, February 20 by the score of 70-54. They followed that up by crushing Jenison in their final regular season game on Friday,¬†February 23 by the score of 67-26.


The West Ottawa contest featured Miss Basketball candidate Gabby Reynolds for the Panthers against a Ram team that features a gauntlet of talented players across the board. For the second time this season Rockford built a huge early lead, fueled by a 20-9 Ram edge in the second quarter. They then coasted to the 70-54 triumph and claimed at least a share of the conference crown.


Grace Lyons became the all-time leader in points for Rockford a few weeks back and followed that up by setting the team mark for career steals the next week. Lyons has fed into the Ram system of taking advantage of her opportunities as this season has progressed. As a result, her scoring was somewhat tempered through the balance of the season. But the senior broke out in a big way this week while showcasing what she is capable of by pouring in 21 points against the Panthers. She was supported by junior Anna Wypych with 17 points and sophomore Sienna Wolfe with 13.


The Jenison game was over almost as soon as it tipped off. The Rams were hitting on all cylinders and jumped out to a 23-11 lead after the first quarter and stretched that to a 46-16 lead at the halftime break. That enabled Rockford to get huge swatches of playing time for the entire roster as they rolled to the 67-26 win. Lyons really stepped on the gas in this bout as she poured in 25 points to pace the Ram attack. That scoring burst enabled Lyons to become the first Ram female to break the 1,000-point barrier. The three-week stretch of career accomplishments for Lyons has just continued to pick up steam and the Rams are hoping that they can ride that momentum to another lengthy tourney run as they look to defend their state championship from last season. Wolfe and Wypych again made strong contributions with 13 points apiece.


The results left the Rams with a sterling overall record of 21-1 and 13-1 in conference play. They now have a one-week respite as they prepare to host a district tournament beginning on Monday, March 4. As the top seed the Rams drew a bye in the first round and will play the winner of the Muskegon versus Muskegon Reeths-Puffer contest on Wednesday, March 6 at 7:00 P.M.


“We are taking this week to prepare,” said Rockford Coach Brad Wilson. “Grace has had an unbelieveable career and we really hope to add to that next week as we begin tournament play.”