By Dave Hart
Local Sports Journal
FRUITPORT – The Fruitport Trojans girls basketball team needed more than Iyanna Brown to pick up a victory on Monday night.
Brown, a standout sophomore, returned to the court after a one-game absence due to a concussion. She led her team in scoring but was clearly not at the top of her game.
But her teammates were there to pick up the slack when it mattered.
Emily Winicki scored six points in the final minutes of the game while Delaney Bennett added four to help Fruitport gut out a 37-26 non-conference win over Western Michigan Christian.
The victory gives the Trojans a 3-2 overall record. The Warriors dropped to 2-3.
“I liked that a couple of the other girls stepped it up,” said Fruitport Coach Bob German. “I like the girls picking up their games and realizing they can do something out there and not rely on Iyanna (Brown).”
Brown still played a key role, leading the Trojans with 11 points, eight rebounds and six steals.
“She is a gamer and she wants to play,” German said. “She took some shots yesterday after missing practice last week and tonight was the first action she was involved in since Tuesday.”
Rebounding was a key to the victory for the Trojans, particularly on the offensive end. Two of their last three buckets in the game came after offensive rebounds, helping to seal the win.
Alyssa Veihl led Fruitport with 10 rebounds. Winicki totaled 10 points in the winning effort.
The Warriors opened the game with a Lindsey Johnson three-pointer to gain their only lead of the night. The Trojans closed the first quarter on a 6-1 run and led 6-4 after the first quarter.
The Trojans led 15-10 at the half. Both teams scored 11 third quarter points and Fruitport was on top 26-21 at the third buzzer.
The Warriors cut the deficit to four points early in the fourth quarter, but the Trojans pulled away by closing the game on an 11-4 run, sparked by Winicki and Bennett’s combined 10 points.
Johnson led the Warriors with nine points and five rebounds while Harlie Hubers added five points.
Alyssa Wright had five steals to lead the Warriors defensively.
“I am very proud of the girls’ effort tonight,” said Western Michigan Christian Coach Glenn Karsten. “We just have to be smarter with the basketball.”