For the first time since game two of the season in early December, the Cedar Springs boys’ varsity basketball team is healthy. The team welcomed back Hank Porter last week. Porter had undergone knee surgery and missed almost a month of the season. Porter responded with his best game of the year, scoring 15 points, as Cedar Springs defeated Belding 53-32.
The game didn’t start off well for Cedar Springs as Belding got out to a quick 7-0 lead, scoring 3 field goals and a free throw in the first minute of the game. The Red Hawks got the offense going with a Jason Gingrich jumper followed by a Hank Porter three-pointer. Alec Hanmer hit a put back lay up, then Porter made a free throw to cut the Belding lead to 9-8. Hanmer canned a three-pointer to give Cedar the lead 11-9, but Belding responded with a 4-0 run to retake the lead. Kyle Chaney tied the game with a driving lay-up and the score was 13-13 after one quarter.
“Belding is very physical and really pressures you on defense,” said Cedar head coach Andy Secor. “I think they were very prepared and got off to a great start. I am just happy with how my guys responded.”
A Chaney put back lay up gave the Red Hawks the lead 15-13 early in the second. Belding tied it up again at 15. Then Chaney pulled in an offensive rebound, made a dribble move in the lane and hit a short fade away jumper to give Cedar a lead they would not lose. Then Hank Porter took over, scoring 7 straight points, including a mid-range jumper, a three-pointer, and a put pack lay up. Andrew Klompstra got in to the act with a strong inside move for an “and one” lay up. Klompstra made the free throw to complete the 3-point play and the Red Hawks led 27-20 at halftime.
Cedar extended its lead with an 8-1 run to start the second half. Hanmer hit a couple of free throws and a jump shot, Gingrich hit a jumper, Porter hit a jumper, and the Red Hawks led 35-21. After two Porter free throws, Gingrich scored another field goal. Then Trey Reed grabbed an offensive rebound in traffic, and hit a short jumper over the defense. A Klompstra lay up gave the Red Hawks a commanding 43-25 lead after 3 quarters.
In the fourth quarter, Ryan Dines made 3 free throws, Reed hit a baseline jumper, and Gingrich made 2 free throws to extend the Cedar lead. Then Brandon Slater scored on a nice reverse lay up and Tyler Hinton made a free throw and Cedar Springs had a 53-32 victory.
“It was a much-needed win.” said coach Secor. “We responded well from some early adversity and played 3 of our best quarters of the year.” The Red Hawk defense held Belding to only 32 points and held their star post player, Gil Corder, to only 8 points. “We really hang our hat on half-court defense, and our defense was great,” said Coach Secor. The Red Hawks have held their opponents to an average of only 40 points per game this season.
Porter shot 5-7 from the floor on the way to his game high 15 points. Hanmer scored 9 points, had 5 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Gingrich had 8 points and 4 assists. Chaney had 6 points and a game high 7 rebounds. Klompstra had 5 points and 6 rebounds. Trey Reed had 4 points, Dines 3, Slater 2 and Hinton 1 point.
The Red Hawks improve their record to 4-7 and 2-4 in the OK Blue. Comstock Park is threatening to run away with another league title with a 6-0 record, but all the other conference teams are either 3-3 or 2-4, so the Red Hawks are very much in the hunt for second place. Cedar Springs travels to Sparta Friday for another big rivalry game against the Spartans. Game time is 6 p.m. Then on Tuesday, February 8, they travel to Howard City to take on the Tri-County Vikings at 7 p.m.