The varsity boys basketball team has been on a hot streak that has turned their season around. At one point, the Red Hawks were 3-6 overall and 1-2 in the conference. What happened next was back-to-back OK Blue road wins at Belding and West Catholic (a game where Cedar trailed 17-2), and a home win over Tri County. The Red Hawks then turned their attention to their rival from Sparta. The Spartans were ranked as high as #8 in Class “B” by some polls, were in first place in the OK Blue, and had defeated Cedar Springs by 24 points in their first meeting. Behind great team defense and Trey Reed’s two free throws with 4.6 seconds left in overtime, Cedar Springs prevailed, 33-31.
“That win was one of the most satisfying wins in my 14 years in this program,” noted Coach Secor. “I knew what it meant to our guys and how hard they have worked to play in and win a game like that. Throw in that it was against that team down the road and for first place, that just made it even better.” The win moved the varsity record to 7-6, and 4-2 in the OK Blue.
The win forced a three-way tie at the time between Cedar Springs, Comstock Park, and Sparta. Last Thursday, the Red Hawks traveled to Comstock Park to play the three-time defending league champions. Cedar Springs trailed by two at the half, but controlled much of the second half, leading by as much as six points with under a minute to go. However, a deep 3-pointer by Ryan Schall tied the game with 12 seconds left and the Panthers scored 15 points in overtime on their way to a 53-46 win. Cedar Springs was led by Jason Gingrich’s 15 points, and Trey Reed’s 13 points and 6 rebounds. Ryan Dines led the Red Hawks with 4 assists and great defense on Schall.
Coach Secor said, “It was a heartbreaking loss. We were just one play or one different coaching decision away from a huge road win. After that kind of game, you go back through and think of the 100 different things you could’ve done as a coach, and that is exactly what I will do. It just goes to show you the emotional roller coaster a basketball season is. Forty-eight hours earlier, we were on the highest of highs after the Sparta win, now we are trying to deal with this tough loss. However, we are right in the mix of the league race with two difficult road challenges this week.”
Cedar Springs is now tied for 2nd place in the OK Blue at 7-7 overall and 4-3 in conference. The Red Hawks travel on the road this week for their final two road games at Coopersville and Forest Hills Northern.