By RANDY GREGORY
The girl’s basketball team from Rockford had teams coming at them from multiple directions last week. But it didn’t matter if they came from the west (Grand Rapids West Catholic) or east (East Kentwood), the Rams emerged victorious in both cases. One could also be forgiven for thinking a remake of a Hitchcock classic (The Birds) was the theme of the week with the moniker of both teams being the Falcons. The threat never really materialized from either opponent however as the Rams rolled to a pair of easy victories. The week began with a 54-38 triumph over the Falcons from West Catholic on Tuesday, February 12th and concluded with the Rams topping the Falcons of East Kentwood 55-41 on the road Friday, February 15th.
In Tuesday’s bout with West Catholic the Rams jumped out to an early lead that grew to 33-18 by halftime. The Rams had a dozen players dent the scoring column led by sophomore Logan McCane with 19. Sara Karamol chipped in with seven points and 11 rebounds.
“We got off to a great start offensively,” said Rockford coach Jessica Yonkers. “We got some really good looks and we were hitting the shots and that enabled us to get out to a pretty good lead early. I was also happy with our pressure defense that enabled us to get several steals and some easy baskets in transition.”
The scene shifted to East Kentwood on Friday, but the result was nearly identical to the Tuesday contest. This time around the Rams again jumped out to a big lead at 12-3 before a late Falcon run reduced the lead to 12-11 after one quarter. But the second period was all Rockford en route to a 20-8 edge over the second eight minutes that made it a 32-19 Ram lead when the two squads went to the locker room for halftime.
“East Kentwood forced us into some turnovers early with aggressive play defensively,” said Yonkers. “There is a little different background here and it is always a tough place to play. But once we adjusted to their pressure and started getting some open looks and hitting them we were able to expand our lead.”
The Falcons made another mini-charge late in the third quarter to draw within 42-35 after the third. They also scored the initial points of the final quarter to make it a 42-37 contest. But the Rams refused to knuckle under to the pressure and nailed ten free throws over the balance of the contest to protect and expand their lead to the eventual 14-point margin.
McCane again led the way with a solid 22-point effort. Included in that total was an 8 for ten showing from the charity stripe.
With the wins, the Rams moved to 13-5 on the season and find themselves alone in second place in the OK Red with a 6-2 record. The regular season concludes with a pair of home contests next week. Grandville will come calling on Tuesday (too late for press) and West Ottawa will provide the opposition on Friday, February 22nd.