After suffering two losses the week of February 7, and finding out Andrew Klompstra was likely out for the season with an ankle injury, the Cedar Springs boys varsity basketball team needed a better week. On February 15, they traveled to Godwin Heights to take on the OK Silver Champion Wolverines. Godwin entered the game with a 13-2 record and had clinched a share of their league championship.
The Red Hawks kept the game close and trailed 24-21 at the half. In the third quarter, Cedar exploded with a 10-2 run with buckets by Jason Gingrich and Ryan Dines along with two Alec Hanmer 3-pointers and the Red Hawks took a 31-26 lead. Godwin fought back to take the lead. Derek Ash hit four straight free throws to keep the game close with Cedar trailing 38-35.
Kyle Chaney opened the 4th quarter with a 3-pointer from the corner to tie the game at 38. Then after a Wolverine bucket, Derek Ash tied it up again at 40 with a lay up. Godwin responded with a 5-0 run and Cedar could get no closer as the Wolverines came out with a slim 6 point victory 57-51.
Cedar Head Coach Andy Secor talked after the game. “To play a team as good as Godwin that close, on their home floor, showed our team and coaches just how far we have come,” he said. “Our starting three guards (Hanmer, Dines, and Gingrich) did a great job of handling the Godwin press for most of the game. That, along with our solid team defense, gave us a chance to win.”
Hanmer led the Red Hawks with 13 points. Hank Porter had 10 points and led the team with 5 rebounds. Gingrich had 7 points and 7 assists. Ash had 8 points, Dines 5, Tyler Baker 4, Chaney 3, and Trey Reed 1.
On Friday, February 18, the Red Hawks traveled to Forest Hills Northern to take on the Huskies. After the Huskies took a quick 2-0 lead, Tyler Baker tied it up with two free throws. Then 7 points by Alec Hanmer and 5 by Ryan Dines, followed by a Hank Porter 3-pointer, gave the Red Hawks a 16-9 first quarter lead. In a low scoring 2nd quarter, Cedar maintained a 7-point lead with baskets by Hanmer, Porter and Trey Reed and led 22-15 at the half.
Cedar opened the second half with 5 points from Dines and a Derek Ash free throw. Huskies cut the Cedar lead to one point with a relentless pressing and trapping defense. Then Hank Porter drove the lane and made a strong left handed lay up, was fouled, and completed the 3-point play and the Red Hawks led 31-27 after 3 quarters. Tyler Baker made 3 free throws and Ryan Dines hit a driving lay up to build the Red Hawk lead to 9 with 6 minutes to go in the game. After the Huskies cut the lead to 4, a Derek Ash lay up put the Red Hawks up by 6. Then Cedar hit 12 free throws down the stretch as the Huskies were forced to foul. The final score was Cedar Springs 49, Forest Hills Northern 44.
“It was a big win for us,” said Coach Secor “We have now knocked off the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place teams in our conference. It was all about team defense once again, holding them to 15 first half points. Ryan Dines had the best game of his career, making great decisions vs. their multiple defenses and also scoring 15 points. I really thought Tyler Baker and Trey Reed did a lot of little things on both ends of the court that don’t always show up in the stats,” he said.
Dines led the Red Hawks with 15 points and 6 rebounds. Hanmer had 11 points and Porter had 8. Tyler Baker had 6 points and 6 rebounds. Gingrich had 4 points, Ash had 3 and Reed 2.
Secor looked ahead to this week. “Now, a new challenge, 3 league games in one week. Something I have never been a part of. A player’s dream and coach’s nightmare.” The Red Hawks play at Comstock Park on February 22, home against West Catholic the next day, and at Belding on Friday the 25th at 6 p.m.