FRUITPORT – In an old-fashioned slugfest between neighboring rivals where offensive production was at a minimum, Spring Lake found an advantage it needed at the free-throw line. 

The Lakers scored all 11 of their points at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter and held off an upset-minded Fruitport squad that was looking to capture a Division 2 district championship on its home court. 

Instead, the Lakers pulled out a 45-37 victory, giving them their third victory over Fruitport this season and securing Coach Bill Core a seventh district championship in his 21st season as varsity boys coach at Spring Lake. 

The contest was a nail-biter throughout the first half, with Fruitport holding an 8-7 lead after one quarter and the Trojans taking a 20-19 lead into the break. 

Spring Lake pulled ahead in the third, outscoring the Trojans by a 15-11 margin to take a 34-31 lead into the fourth. 

The Lakers’ Zach Schlepp was one of the Lakers with ice water in his veins at the free-throw line, as he sank 11-of-12 and finished with a game-high 18 points. Center Zane Stahl contributed 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocked shots, while Wren Dephouse added seven points. 

Spring Lake, which improves to 14-8 overall, advances to Monday’s regional semifinals at Hudsonville Unity Christian High School, where they will face Grand Rapids Christian. 

Fruitport ends its season with a 15-10 record.

Photos courtesy of LSJ photographer Tim Reilly