Five weeks ago, January 15, it took a Herculean effort for Grand Haven to overcome an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter and double overtime to defeat the Rockford girls basketball team. However, Friday, Feb. 19, the Buccaneers defeated the Rams in regulation play 48-36.
Grand Haven’s game plan apparently was to crash the defensive boards, make quick outlet passes to open Bucs, and push the ball up court, scoring easy points inside. The taller Bucs were able to accomplish this on numerous occasions, taking a 13-4 first-quarter lead. The Rams were finding it difficult to hit the open player inside and were finding it equally difficult scoring from outside. Grand Haven took a 22-8 advantage into intermission, holding the Rams to their fewest points all season.
Rockford’s Lady Rams fought back, outscoring the taller Bucs in the third quarter, 11-8, on gritty play from sophomore Kimberly Weston, and seniors Allison Huyser and Katherine Huyser. Grand Haven held Rockford in check offensively by blocking a considerable number of shots during the second half. Unfortunately, the Rams never found their offense and seemed unable to push the ball up court to open players. The difficulty in scoring made it hard for the Rams to transition into their full court pressure, a trademark of their success all season.
Leading the Lady Rams in scoring were Weston (10 points), A. Huyser (9), Caitlyn Patterson (7), K. Huyser (4), Megan Kelley (4), and Halle Peterson (2). Rockford was 7-9 from the charity line, with Grand Haven at 17-24. Rockford had 17 fouls; Grand Haven 11.
After this game, a three-way tie exists atop the OK Red conference: Rockford, Grand Haven and West Ottawa, all with identical 9-3 records. Tuesday, Feb. 23, the Rams host Jenison, then host Muskegon on Friday, Feb. 26.
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