By Greg Gielczyk

LUDINGTON — Ludington girls basketball team won its seventh straight game with a rugged 38-33 victory over Western Michigan Christian at home Friday night in a Lakes 8 matchup.

It was a defensive slugfest from the opening tip, with neither team able to establish control until the Orioles were able to pull away in the fourth quarter.

“We battled,” Orioles head coach Warren Stowe said. “The girls did a great job trying to contain Madi (Wiersema) and Kyla (Wiersema).

“The girls did a great job pressuring WMC’s guards, making it hard for them to get into stuff where Kyla and Madi had the ball in scoring position.”

Ludington emerged from the first quarter with a narrow 9-8 lead, and then outscored the Warriors, 9-6 in the second quarter to stretch its lead out to four points, 18-14 at the half.

The Warriors came out in the third quarter and turned the tables on the Orioles, outscoring them, 13-5 and for an eight-point turnaround for a four-point lead, 27-23 going into the fourth quarter.

Undaunted by that sudden turn of events, and unwilling to surrender to the Warriors, the Orioles rallied for a 15-6 advantage in the final period to prevail.

“Keelyn Laird and RyAnn Rohrer were warriors,” said Stowe. “They played great at both ends of the court. The whole team was prepared, and executed. I thought we emptied our cup, (and) left it all on the court.”

Laird and Rohrer each scored 12 points to lead the Orioles. Annie Kline added six. Abi Bandstra and Rylee Stone had three apiece, and Karli Mesyar two.

Pacing the Warriors was Ashle Folkema with 14 points. Madison Wiersema and Kyla Wiersema each scored five.

The Orioles lifted their record to 10-4 overall and hold first place in the conference at 5-1. Ludington is next scheduled to play at Manistee on Friday, Feb. 4.

Western Michigan Christian dropped to 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the conference for second place. Next action for the Warriors is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 1 at home against Grandville Calvin Christian.

Check out photos from the Oriole’s win shot by John Morin.