By Andrew Johnson

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP – The Reeths-Puffer girls’ basketball team has yet to play the kind of game it’s capable of, according to Coach Brandon Barry.

So the Rockets should be pretty good when they do.

Barry was not particularly impressed with his team’s performance Tuesday, but it still led to a 53-40 victory over a good Ludington squad in non-conference action.

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Reeths-Puffer guard No. 22 Lauren Ross goes baseline on the drive. Photo/Joe Lane

Guard Elysia Mattos paced the Rockets with 22 points and seven steals. Brooke Larabee added 11 points while Delaney Bolles nearly had a double-double with nine points and 13 rebounds.

Reeths-Puffer improved to 3-1 on the season.

“I’m still trying to process it, to be honest with you,” Barry said. “We were good in spots, shared the ball, played good defense at times, and then totally went away from what we do. It’s just one of those things where we haven’t found our consistency yet.”

The Rockets showed a lot defensively, forcing many of Ludington’s 25 turnovers, leading to quite a few transition buckets.

“That’s a really good team,” Ludington Coach Matt Millspaugh said about Reeths-Puffer. “Both teams played tough defense, but we made too many unforced errors. But otherwise I was pleased with our game overall, but we shouldn’t have had that many turnovers. They weren’t pressing us that hard.”

Barry said his team played too fast at times, turning the ball over 18 times and adding to the general sloppiness of the contest.

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Delaney Bolles goes up for two points in the Rocket win. Photo/Joe Lane

“I’d like to think it’s our defense, because I like to think we can turn people over,” Barry said. “But I think Matt would say the same thing that I would – that they played too fast at times and we played too fast at times.”

Both teams came out shooting well in the first quarter. Mattos and Delaney Bolles combined for 10 of the Rockets’ 14 points that gave them a 14-12 edge after one quarter.

Reeths-Puffer’s defense was at its best in the second quarter, holding the Orioles to four points. The Rockets led 24-16 at halftime.

Ludington opened the third quarter with a 7-0 run and pulled to within one point, 24-23. But the Rockets finished the quarter with a 14-5 run to take a 38-28 lead at the third buzzer.

“That’s basketball,” Millspaugh said. “You try and make some runs, but we got too far down at halftime. We came out in the third quarter and played tough, but we allowed them to get back up to ten points again.”

Reeths-Puffer made 9 of 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

Ludington was led by senior Jenna Keson with 15 points while teammate Ali Plamondon added 11 points.