By RANDY GREGORY
The girl’s basketball team from Rockford has strung together an impressive streak against every team not named Grand Haven over the last several weeks. Since starting the campaign with a 4-3 mark after seven contests, the Rams ended the regular season by going 11-2 over their final thirteen games. The only defeats over that span came at the hands of an undefeated and defending state champion team from Grand Haven. The Rams kept up their stellar play by claiming a pair of OK Red contests this past week that left them alone in second place at 8-2 in conference play and 15-5 overall.
The Rams had to wait a day longer then they thought (thanks to another burst of foul weather) to face off with a solid Grandville team on Wednesday, February 20th at home. And in a contest very similar to their first meeting at Grandville this year (58-57 Rockford win) the Rams came out on top 46-43 with a scrappy comeback in the fourth quarter.
The Rams found themselves behind by six points after one quarter (10-4) and eight points at the half (20-12). The comeback started in the third quarter when Rockford outscored the Bulldogs 11-8 to draw within 28-23. The final eight minutes were all Rockford however as the Rams outpointed Grandville 23-15 to claim the triumph and secure the number two spot in the OK Red.
Sara Karamol led Rockford with 13 points while Mary Gipson and Logan McCane added nine and seven respectively.
“It was a hard-fought, scrappy game for both teams,” Rockford coach Jessica Yonkers said. “Grandville is a very good team and we are very evenly matched. We were just fortunate enough to make a few more plays in the end.”
Friday’s contest with West Ottawa could not have been more dissimilar from the Grandville game. Rockford jumped out to a quick 13-2 lead over the Panthers before building the lead to 35-19 at the half and coasting to the 53-42 win. Balance was the order of the day for the Rams in the scoring column. Tiffany DeVries poured in 12 points to lead Rockford and Andrea Straw was the only other Ram in double figures with 11. But Karamol and Gipson were just short with nine points apiece and McCane chipped in with eight.
Rockford will begin play in the Class A Michigan High School Athletic Association district at Forest Hills Northern on Monday, February 25th (too late for press). And it will begin with probably the marquee game of the entire district. Their opponent will be the champions of the OK White Forest Hills Central. The Rangers record stands at an impressive 16-4 and the two squads met in just the second game of the regular season at Forest Hills Central. The Rams picked up the “W” the first time around with a 60-53 victory.