MUSKEGON — A poor start doomed the Ludington girls basketball team in Friday night’s 40-37 loss to Western Michigan Christian in a Lakes 8 Activities Conference game in Muskegon.

The Warriors didn’t light up the scoreboard early, either, but made enough shots to take a 6-3 lead after the first eight minutes. Ludington came back to outscore WMC, 13-8 in the second and went into the half with a 16-14 lead.

WMC outscored the Orioles, 12-11 in the third quarter and entered the fourth with a narrow 26-24 lead. WMC outscored Ludington, 14-8 in the final stanza.

“It was a great win tonight,” WMC head coach Jeremy Goorman said. “Against Ludington it’s always close, so we were really satisfied coming out of there with a victory.”

What was the key to the victory for the Warriors.

“Perseverance,” Goorman answered. “Both teams had some offensive issues. It was tough putting the ball in the basket. Ludington did a good job with their zone defense, and kept us out of the paint.

“I think Kyla Wiersma gave us a huge lift. She got some huge steals at the end of the game when we needed the ball back. She had two steals with under two minutes left.

“We still have a problem with turnovers. We had 25 turnovers. But, we got big scores when we needed them from Kyla. You can’t score unless you shoot it, and we haven’t been shooting the ball very many times. We have to increase that.”

Wiersma finished the night as the game’s leading scorer with 27 points. Libby Mast tossed in eight, Ashley Folkema three and Maddie Wiersma two.

RyAnn Rohrer was Ludington’s leading scorer with 11 points. Emma McKinley and Olivia Lynn put in seven apiece, Keelyn Laird added five, Karli Meysar three and Rylee Stone two.

WMC improved to 1-1 overall with its first legaue win, and hosts Manistee next Friday. The Orioles fell to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference. They host Manistee next Friday.