MONTAGUE — The Fremont Packers battled through a sluggish start on Monday night and defeated the Newaygo Lions 46-29.

The game was the district opener in Division 2, hosted by Montague.

Newaygo led 9-4 early, but Fremont came back to tie it at 10-all after the first quarter. The Packers took a 20-16 lead at the half.

It was in the third quarter that the Packers made their move with a 15-6 scoring advantage. Jessica Bennett scored eight of her game-high 16 points in that all-important quarter for the Packers. Fremont added to its lead with an 11-7 scoring advantage in the fourth quarter.

“We expected Newaygo to be ready to play,” Fremont coach Wes Zerlaut said. “They jumped out early on us, but we were able to play through some opening-quarter nerves and gain our footing a little. The third quarter was big for us to gain some momentum and confidence as we opened up the lead a bit. However, Newaygo didn’t go away and battled until the end.”

Besides Bennett’s 16 points, Fremont received nine points from Mia Clemence and six from Eliana VandenBerg.

Grace Painter led Newaygo with 10 points and four steals. Barbara Toth added eight points and Naomi Schillman had five.

“It was kind of the story of the year for us,” Newaygo coach Nate Thomasma said. “We played well at times, but just didn’t sustain it throughout the whole game. We had too many second-half turnovers that did us in today night. Fremont deserves credit. They played well tonight.”

Fremont (9-14) will take on host Montague at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the district semifinals.

Newaygo’s season ended at 6-16.