By Noah Genson

FREMONT – Last Friday, the Orchard View Cardinals captured their first district title in over 24 years.

That was a great reward for a basketball program that’s clearly on the rise.

But winning districts means moving on to regionals, where the competition is always at least a little tougher. And sometimes the competition is like Grand Rapids Catholic Central, a legitimate state power.

Orchard View found out just how good GR Catholic was on Tuesday, falling 75-42 in the first round of the Division 2 regional tournament at Fremont High School.

GR Catholic, last year’s state runner-up, advances to Thursday’s regional final against the winner of Tuesday’s Coopersville/South Haven game.

Ke’ontae Barnes pulls back to set up a play for Orchard View. Photo/Jason Goorman

Orchard View finished the season with a 15-8 record.

“I thought we prepared as good as we could have for today,” said Orchard View coach Nick Bronsema. “When you come into a game like this you got to give it your all and let the chips fall where they may, and they just didn’t fall the right way for us.”

Davion Lane got the Cardinals off to a strong start with two quick buckets to give the OV a quick 4-2 lead. But the Cougars started to click midway through the first, ending the quarter on a 12-0 run and leading 14-4 at the first buzzer.

The hot shooting continued for the Cougars in the second quarter, which they started on a 22-10 run. The Cardinals inched back before the half, ending the quarter on a 6-2 run, but still trailed 38-20 at the break.

Orchard View opened the third quarter on a 10-5 run over the first two minutes and cut the Cougar lead to 13 points.

But once again the Cougars counterpunched hard, ending the quarter with a 17-5 burst and leading 58-34 after three.

East Kentwood outscored OV 17-8 in the fourth.

Austin Braun had 20 points and Devon Boyd scored 17 for the Cougars.

Ke’ontae Barnes led the Cardinals with 11 points while Dayton Rose and Lane tallied 10 points apiece.

Even though the season ended with a painful loss. Bronsema still views it as a huge success.

“When we came into the year we had two goals – win 15 games and win a district title – and we did both,” the coach said. “So while we would have loved to move on, I couldn’t have been happier with the success of this team.”