By Craig Beilfuss
FRUITPORT—Despite allowing the visiting Hart Pirates to can 14 3-pointers on Monday evening, the Fruitport Calvary Christian Eagles got by Hart in a non-conference battle 72-66.
“Hart plays well together with their new lineup and made 14 three pointers,” said Calvary Christian coach Brad Richards.
“I’m pleased with the guys for finding a way to win in spite of that and also us missing 17 free throws and getting in foul trouble, we’ll take the win,” Richards said.
Calvary Christian with a balanced scoring attack was led by Bradley Richards who hit for a team high 20 points. He was joined in double figures by Ethan Cammenga and Jacob May who each tossed in 15 points respectively.
The Pirates jumped out of the gate fast as they hit four 3-point shots in the opening eight minutes, led by Wyatt Dean who hit three long distance shots and scored 11 of the Pirates points leading them to a 16-14 lead.
The Eagles had five players find the scoring column in the first quarter.
The Eagles turned up the offensive tempo in the second stanza outscoring Hart 24-14, despite 6’5” Calvary Christian freshmen Bradley Richards picking up his third foul midway through the quarter.
Hart led 20-18 before the Eagles went on an 8-0 run giving them a 26-20 lead, a lead they would never give up. Richards hit two baskets and Ethan Cammenga and Luke Assaad each hit baskets in the run. Calvary Christian went into the halftime break with 38-30 lead.
The Eagles increased that lead during the opening minutes of the third quarter to 45-32.
Dean opened the second half up with a basket for Hart before Calvary Christian went on a 7-0 spurt. Richards made two baskets and Nick Swanson converted on a conventional three point play with a basket and a free throw.
The Eagles increased there lead to 56-45 entering the fourth quarter with a third quarter scoring advantage of 18-15 over Hart.
Jacob May scored eight points for the Eagles in the final eight minutes and the Eagles hit seven free throws down the stretch to secure the win. The Pirates managed to hit four 3-point shots to stay within striking distance as they held a 19-16 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter.
Richards led the Eagles with a team high 13 rebounds, followed by Cammenga and Raj Grewel who each hauled down 10 boards. May dished out six assists.
Dean led the Hart offense with a game high 22 points while dishing out five assists. He was joined in double figures by Caleb Bitely who added 16 points, (going 4-of-8 from 3-point land) and Kohen Porter chipped in with 10 points and had four assists. Bitely had a team high nine rebounds and seven steals.
Calvary Christian improves to 12-5 overall and remains 4-3 in the Alliance League. The Eagles will travel to Hesperia tonight (Tuesday, February 22) to take on the Panthers.
Hart saw its record drop to 5-11 overall and they are 2-10 in the West Michigan Conference. The Pirates will be back in action tonight (Tuesday, February 22) when they host Grand Rapids West Michigan Aviation Academy.