Whitehall guards Janelle Uganski (left) and Morgan Chamberlain surround Spring Lake’s Molly Miedema during Wednesday night’s district semifinal game at Whitehall. The Vikings held senior captain Miedema to seven points, but couldn’t hol
WHITEHALL — The Whitehall Vikings fell short of coach Rachel Kent’s stated goal of reaching the district finals, dropping a 48-37 decision to Spring Lake at home in the semis to end their season.
Whitehall (5-16) surged into a halftime lead by outscoring the Lakers 12-5 in the second quarter, but the Lakers ripped off a 26-11 scoring run in the second half to take control of the contest.
Only four Vikings reached the scorebook Wednesday night, with Jenna Pesch and Emily MacArthur providing an outside-inside scoring punch. Pesch had 15 points, including three triples, and MacArthur had 13 points. MacArthur also contributed nine rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals.
Bailey Seeger scored seven points, while Brandi Balzer grabbed seven rebounds for Whitehall.
Kelsee Zuidema had 14 points for the Lakers, who advanced to Friday’s final against Oakridge, and Jewel Wiersma added 13.
MONTAGUE — Slow starts have bedeviled Montague all season long, and early struggles Monday night kept the Wildcats from extending their season.
Montague fell behind by 12 after a quarter and couldn’t catch up, ultimately falling to the Hart Pirates 44-29 at home in the Wildcats’ district opener.
“We were focused on trying to not have that slow start,” Montague coach Bill Stone said. “But it’s been a broken record for us all year.”
The Wildcats were again shorthanded, as leading scorer Hailey Cockerill missed the game with a concussion she suffered against Whitehall last Friday.
“We missed her terribly, but one game’s not worth her health,” Stone said.
With top defender Madison Aebig having missed half the season with a concussion herself, Montague was behind the eight ball right away.
The Wildcats turned to Katie Rice to start in Cockerill’s place and gave heavy minutes to Kenadee Shugars, who played JV this season. Though neither scored, the pressure of postseason basketball didn’t appear to get to them.
“She was very composed and very under control,” Stone said of Shugars. “She was rattled for just a minute or two, but after that she went on cruise control and did a really nice job for us and had some good minutes.”
Montague chipped away at the early deficit and pulled as close as six when Morgan Shugars hit a driving layup and was fouled to start the third quarter. However, Hart beat back the Wildcats’ run.
“I think they kind of saw we were coming and stepped it up a bit,” Stone said. “Sometimes when you have that surge, it doesn’t leave you with much.”
It was Elyse Taylor who picked up most of the scoring slack in Cockerill’s absence, scoring 13 points. Taylor was solid on the boards and if not for some missed putbacks on the inside, could have scored even more.
“She’s had some great games for us this year, and been very consistent towards the end,” Stone said.
LeAnne Fessler scored five points for Montague, and Morgan Shugars had four.
Landyn Lorenz led Hart with 12 points, while Macayla Greiner added 10.
Despite the disappointment of a 3-16 season, Stone’s affection for his first Wildcats’ squad was obvious postgame.
“The seniors put so much blood, sweat and tears, literally, into this season,” Stone said of his six graduating players. “They played the same kind of game from the first game to the last. Guts, tenacity and never giving up.”
HART (44) Greiner 2 5-6 10, Wilson 2 0-1 5, Lorenz 4 2-4 12, Hertzler 2 0-0 4, Wiegand 2 1-2 5, Herrygers 4 0-0 8. Totals 16 8-13 44.
MONTAGUE (29) Mickelson 0 1-2 1, Kessler 1 0-0 2, M. Shugars 2 0-1 4, Taylor 5 2-5 13, Fessler 2 0-0 5, Harrie 1 0-0 2, Davis 1 0-0 2. Totals 12 3-8 29.
Hart........14 11 11 8 — 44
Montague.... 2 15 5 7 — 29
Three-point goals — Greiner 1, Wilson 1, Lorenz 2, Taylor 1, Fessler 1. Total fouls — Hart 11, Montague 15. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.
R-P runs into Grand Haven buzzsaw
GRAND HAVEN — It’s been a successful season for Reeths-Puffer’s girls basketball team, but it had the misfortune of being paired with the Grand Haven juggernaut in Monday’s pre-district game, a road game, no less.
The Rockets hung tough with the unbeaten, high-scoring Buccaneers for a quarter, but unbeaten Grand Haven was too much in a 64-39 loss that ended R-P’s season.
Reeths-Puffer (12-8) trailed just 22-16 after a quarter, but the Rockets struggled to keep pace with the Buccaneers after that. Grand Haven had at least 12 points in all four quarters.
As it has most of the season, the tandem of Kalisa Williams and Camaryia Williams led Reeths-Puffer. Kalisa scored 19 points, four rebounds and four steals and Camaryia added 10 points and four steals, but the rest of the Rockets could muster just 10 points between them.
Grace Swanson scored five points and Kayla Melton and Hannah Lemieux each managed two.
Taylor Craymer paced the Buccaneers with 19 points, and Hannah Wilkerson scored 13 points for Grand Haven.