The Belding Redskins came to town on December 15 to take on the Cedar Springs Red Hawks in the first OK Blue boys basketball game of the year. Belding got off to a good start and led 7-5. A pair of Kyle Chaney free throws knotted the score at 7 and started an offensive flurry for the Red Hawks. During the last 2:40 of the first quarter, Jason Gust scored 4 straight points, followed by 5 points from Hank Porter and then 5 points from Seth Coxon to build a 21-12 Cedar lead after one Quarter.
Cedar Springs came out hot in the 2nd quarter with Trey Reed, Ryan Dines, Coxon, Gust and Ryan Harper all scoring to give the Red Hawks a commanding 37-21 lead at the half.
The second half was a slow-moving, hard fought battle with the teams combining for 30 fouls and 42 free throws. Belding managed to cut the Red Hawk lead to 11 points early in the fourth quarter. Then Gust, Coxon, and Porter scored the next 18 Red Hawk points to clinch the 72-54 victory for Cedar Springs.
Coxon led the Red Hawks with 20 Points, Gust had 19, Porter 14, Reed and Harper 5 each, Dines 3, Chaney, Alec Hanmer and Jake Holtrop 2 points each. Coxon also lead Cedar with 7 Rebounds.
“I was very happy with the way we played in the first half.,” said Coach Andy Secor after the Red Hawk victory. “The second half was very sloppy—lots of turnovers and lots of fouls. A lot of that had to do with how aggressive Belding was with their press and getting the ball inside. In all 20 of our games this year the opposing team will be bigger, faster, and stronger than we are. This game was a true test of that. The offense of Seth Coxon and Hank Porter was really important for us,” he said.
On December 18, The Falcons of Grand Rapids West Catholic visited Cedar Springs. The game started off in a frenzy of scoring for both teams. Cedar Springs Senior Jason Gust came out on fire scoring 13 first quarter points to keep the Red Hawks close. West Catholic led after 1 quarter by a score of 26-24. In the 2nd quarter, things calmed down and with Cedar outscoring the Falcons 6-5 and West Catholic leading 31-30 at the half.
Gust came out in the 3rd quarter and scored 9 more points, thrilling the crowd with a deep 3 pointer from 10 feet behind the arc. But during the quarter, the hot shooting Falcons built a 7-point lead. During the 4th quarter, the Red Hawks cut the lead to 5, but could get no closer as West Catholic made their free throws down the stretch. The final score was West Catholic 70, Cedar Springs 63.
Jason Gust led the Red Hawks with 35 points. Hank Porter had 12 points and led team with 7 rebounds. Ryan Harper scored 8 points, Coxon 4, Trey Reed and Tyler Baker had 2 each.
Coach Secor was pleased with his teams’ effort, but disappointed with the loss. “It may sound crazy, but after the first 4 minutes I was pretty happy with how we played,” noted Secor. “Jason was sensational and really kept us in the game single-handedly in the first half. The size and athleticism of West Catholic gave us fits all night long. We saw what their athletes did during football season, and a group of those same kids gave us problems on Friday night. I loved our effort and determination throughout the game. The difference in the game turned out to be how poor we were on defense the first four minutes, free throw shooting, and their offensive rebounding,” he explained. “I thought the crowd was great for the first girls/boys doubleheader and the student section was rocking and rowdy. I just wish we could’ve gotten the W for them.”
Cedar Springs will host a Boys Basketball Holiday Tournament on December 28 and 29. The teams included are Lakeview, Kent City, Fremont, and Cedar Springs. There will be six games each day at the Cedar Springs High School starting at 9 a.m. with the freshmen games. On Monday the 28, Cedar Springs plays Lakeview. The freshmen play at 11 a.m., The Junior Varsity plays at 3 p.m. and the Varsity plays at 8 p.m. On Tuesday, the games will be determined by Monday’s winners. The Red Hawk Varsity will play at either 6 p.m. or 8 p.m. The JV at 1 or 3 p.m., and The Freshmen at 9 or 11 a.m.