Local Sports Journal

Spring Lake needed a win against first-place Howard City Tri-County to even up the Lakes 8 girls basketball conference race. A second-half run tipped the scales in the Lakers’ favor for a 44-29 win at home on Friday.

Reiko Johnson was the real deal for Spring Lake and helped reverse a 17-16 halftime deficit. The freshman point-guard scored 10 of her 16 points in the second half and finished with three assists and five rebounds.

Spring Lake faced a tough Tri-County team in the first half as the Vikings were able to get a second chance opportunities on offense.

“The first half was so tough,” said Spring Lake coach Rich Hyde. “We were pretty jacked up and we knew what was at stake. They did too.”

But the Lakers took their first lead of the second half with three minutes to play in the third quarter. Johnson scored six points and had an assist to spark a 10-2 Spring Lake run.

Howard City Tri-County struggled to find the basket after the Lakers’ third quarter run. The Vikings were nearly held scoreless in the fourth quarter but found a pair of late 3-pointers.

Kelsee Zuidema played strong in the post for Spring Lake as she had 16 rebounds, seven offensive. She finished with eight points all in the second half.

“Once Kelsee and Reiko got going, we got them (Tri-County) on their heals and it worked in our favor,” said Hyde. “When you can hold a high powered offense like Tri-County to one and done, you get real excited.”

Courtney Kyser scored eight points and pulled down eight rebounds and Remi French had nine rebounds and three blocks.

The Lakers presence beneath the basket came through with 20 offensive rebounds.

Alexis Firovich hit three 3-pointer and lead Tri-County with 10 points.