By Jacob Arvidson
“To be able to clinch a conference championship tonight, to be able to have every player score and for everybody to get a lot of minutes, is like a coach’s dream,” said Spring Lake head coach Bill Core.
“It’s the fans’ dream, the parents’ dream, the players’ dream, that everybody got a lot of minutes and got to play in a conference championship final.”
This is the Lakers’ third conference championship in the last four years. Last year, the Lakers lost their chance at the title when they lost to Muskegon Catholic on a last-second shot in the last game of the season.
The Lakers (14-4 overall, 9-0 in Lakes) have a 40-3 record in the last four years of conference play.
This is Spring Lake’s final year in the Lakes 8 Conference before it makes the move to the O-K Blue. Core was happy to leave the Lakes 8 on top.
“We’re going to the O-K Blue as everybody knows, so it’s kind of nice to win the last one,” he said.
Now that they’ve secured the conference title, Spring Lake’s sights turn toward the district tournament. Core said he anticipates a tough run with three other 14-win teams in Whitehall, Coopersville and Oakridge sharing the bracket.
“I think it’s one of the toughest districts around,” Core said.
Laker senior post player Keegan George will play a big role if Spring Lake makes a deep run in the postseason. Against Orchard View, George scored his 974th career point.
“He’s narrowing in on 1,000 points for his career,” Core said. “I thought he did a good job getting us started tonight.”
The Lakers jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the first quarter and didn’t look back.
George finished the game with 19 points to lead Spring Lake, but Core noticed how hard his other big men were working as well.
“Sam Johnson and Griffin Lorimer did a great job of running the floor,” he said.
Johnson finished with 14 points, while Lorimer had eight points and 10 rebounds. Cameron Ball also added 11 points for the Lakers.
Edriese Jenkins led Orchard View with 12 points while Dev’ron Williams contributed 11.