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Lady Chargers finish season on winning note


CTA girls basketballSeniors Ashley Witherspoon and Evie Ramirez led the CTA Lady Chargers in scoring in a 23-21 win over West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, in the championship game of the WMAES Invitational Tournament Friday night.

The Lady Chargers ended their season with three consecutive wins. For seniors Trisha Davies, Danielle Davies, Ashley Witherspoon, Evie Ramirez, and Heather Harris it was a thrilling way to close out their high school careers.  The win marked the first time the young CTA girls basketball program, in its second year, brought home a trophy.

The Lady Chargers had defeated Lakeshore Baptist Academy on Tuesday by the same score to earn a spot in Friday’s championship game.  Grace VanEnk led CTA in that game with 9 points. Dani George contributed 6 points and had a game high 15 rebounds.  The Lady Chargers were down by 8 at the half but had a strong second half to secure the win.

“This was a growing year for our young program,” said Coach Robin Greene.  “Our girls have worked hard to improve this year.  The three wins to close out the season topped with a tournament championship will give us encouragement to work harder between now and the start of next season.”

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Red Hawks defeat West Catholic and Belding


Hank Porter goes up for two against West Catholic.

After starting the OK Blue conference season with a disappointing 1-4 record, the Cedar Springs boy’s varsity basketball team needed motivation. “We set a goal about halfway through the year to finish in the top half of the conference, and we needed to win 3 of our last 4 league games to do it,” said Coach Andy Secor. With a victory over Forest Hills Northern two weeks ago and a loss to Comstock Park last Tuesday, the Red Hawks needed to win their last two league games to achieve their goal.

Last Wednesday the Red Hawks hosted West Catholic in a blizzard make up game. In the first half, the lead changed 6 times as the teams traded punches. The Red Hawks took a 4-point lead with 3:50 to go in the half on Tyler Covell’s second 3-pointer of the game. Then West Catholic took over and led 21-18 at halftime. The Falcons led 31-27 after 3 quarters, and extended their lead to 9 points early in the 4th. Then, with things looking bleak for the Red Hawks, senior Alec Hanmer took charge. Hanmer scored 12 points in the final 5:27 of the game. Hanmer hit two 3-pointers to keep the game close. Then with 4:01 to go and Cedar still trailing 40-33, Hanmer drove the lane and hit a short jumper, was fouled and made his free throw to cut the Falcon lead to 4. A Hank Porter 3-pointer cut the Falcon lead to one point. Then Hanmer hit another 3-pointer to give Cedar a 42-40 lead with 1:30 left. The Red Hawks got the defensive stop they needed and West Catholic was forced to foul.  Free Throws by Ryan Dines and Hank Porter iced the game for the Red Hawks. The final score was Cedar Springs 44, West Catholic 40.

“I’m not sure I’ve ever been part of a game where we finished on an 11-0 run to win by four points.” said Coach Secor. “It was one of those games where it would’ve been easy for us to mail it in, down 9 in the 2nd half and really struggling offensively. Alec Hanmer’s 9 consecutive points in the fourth quarter really got us going,” he said.

Hanmer finished with a game high 20 points along with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 blocked shots. Porter had 9 points and Covell finished with 6. Ryan Dines had 4 points and a game high 6 assists, including 4 assists during the fourth quarter comeback. Jason Gingrich and Derek Ash rounded out the scoring for Cedar with 3 and 2 points, respectively.

The Red Hawks traveled to Belding last Friday for their final league game of the year. Cedar started the game red hot hitting 6 of their first 7 shot attempts and jumping out to a 13-0 lead. During that span Jason Gingrich and Hank Porter each scored 4 points while Alec Hanmer had 5. The Red Hawks led 13-4 after 1 quarter. Derek Ash and Hanmer scored on lay ups to start the second quarter. Then Kyle Chaney hit a baseline jumper and Ryan Dines hit a pull up jumper and the Red Hawks led by 11 with 2:07 left in the half. Then the wheels came off for Cedar as Belding went on an 8-0 run to end the half with the Red Hawks leading by only three 22-19.

A three pointer by Hanmer and a lay up by Ash built the Red Hawk lead back to 8 in the first 2 minutes of the second half. Ryan Dines also scored 6 points in the quarter and Cedar Springs had a 12 point lead after 3 quarters. Jason Gingrich made 7 of 8 free throws down the stretch and the Red Hawks hung on for a 55-47 victory. “We played 4 of the best minutes of the year out of the gate, jumping to a 13-0 lead” said Coach Secor. “Our mental toughness and poise was tested in the 2nd half by a couple runs by Belding. Playing at Belding is never easy and Coach Babbitt gets his teams to play very hard.  In the end, we made some key plays on offense and enough free throws to get by.” he said.

Alec Hanmer and Jason Gingrich led Cedar Springs with 13 points each. Ryan Dines had 11 points and led the team with 4 assists. Derek Ash had 9 points and Hank Porter had 4. Kyle Chaney and Trey Reed had 2 points each. Tyler Baker had 1 point and led Cedar with 6 rebounds. The 2 victories gave Cedar a 3rd place finish in the OK Blue Conference. The Red Hawks final regular season game is Thursday, March 3rd at Cedar Springs High School as they take on the Unity Christian Crusaders. Before the game the Red Hawks will honor their six Seniors who will be playing in their final home game. The Freshmen game begins at 4 PM, followed by the JV at 5:30 and the Varsity at 7.

The Red Hawks begin state tournament play in the district tournament at Grand Haven High School on Wednesday, March 9th at 6 PM as they take on the winner of the Mona Shores vs Muskegon game.

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Lady Red Hawks lose at districts


The Cedar Springs Lady Red Hawks Varsity Basketball team faced a tough opponent in the Grand Haven Buccaneers (20-0) Monday evening, in the first round of Class A District 6 games. The OK-Red team is rated number 1 in Class A in the state, and they proved it Monday evening, limiting the Red Hawks to only 15 points the entire game, while they scored 40. However, the Red Hawks played tough defense in the second and third quarters, and held the Bucs to only 6 points in each of those time periods.

“They don’t like to play defense as much, and we saw them grow impatient having to do so for longer stretches,” said Asst. Coach Chad Wight. “They play a scrappy 2/3 zone, but we forced them to go man-to-man, and to press the ball on the inbounds. It’s rare that they do that, so we were being effective.”

Leading scorer for the Red Hawks was Tiffany Karger with 6, Molly Holtrop had 4, Hannah Wight had 2, and Rachael Ludtke, Nicole Shevock, and Chaya Coxon also contributed one.

“We dug ourselves a hole with our second half scoring (scoreless in the 3rd). When our leading scorer has 6 points, we obviously weren’t productive enough on both ends of the floor. We also could have used more points from the Free throw line,” noted Wight.
That loss means that the Lday Red Hawks are done for the season. Great job!

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Lady Red Hawks finish third in conference


varsity girls

Tiffany Karger sealing the defense for Rachael Ludtke

The last home game of the 2011 season for the Cedar Springs Girls Varsity basketball team was a slow-paced, low scoring game but it went well for the Red Hawks. Cedar led 7-0 at the end of the first quarter, 12-10 after the second, 21-12 at the end of the third. The Red Hawks scored five more points in the fourth, and they Panthers came up with 8, but it wasn’t enough and the Red Hawks won 26-20.

All three seniors Meghan Andres, Lindsey Kline, and Maddie Bueche started the game. Leading scorer was Molly Holtrop with 7 points, followed by Tiffany Karger and Rachael Ludtke, who both put up 6, Hannah Wight with 3, and Chaya Coxon and Amber Milligan who each chipped in 2.

On Wednesday, February 25, the Red Hawks traveled to West Catholic to face the Falcons in a makeup game. The Red Hawks were behind from the outset, trailing behind 10-4 at the end of the first quarter, and 29-14 at half. They upped their game in the third, scoring 15 points and allowing only 7 for the Falcons, and ended the third behind by only 6 points. But West Catholic came on strong in the fourth, scoring 17 points and holding the Red Hawks to 7. Final score was West Catholic 53, Cedar Springs 36.

Leading scorer for the Red Hawks was Tiffany Karger with 11, followed by Molly Holtrop with 7, Chaya Coxon with 6 and Rachael Ludtke with 5.  Nicolve Shevock, Brittany Todd, Amber Milligan and Lindsey Klein also scored.

The Red Hawks finished their last game of league play with a win on Friday, February 25, against Belding, putting them in 3rd place in the OK Blue Conference.

In their last meeting with Belding on January 28, they fell to the Redskins 49-34, so the Hawks came with a score to settle. The game was exciting through to the end, with four lead changes and being tied twice. Cedar came out strong and maintained the lead and finished the 1st quarter 14-8. Belding was no way backing down and out scored Cedar 14-11 in the 2nd quarter and closed the gap, with the Hawks still in the lead 25-22 at the end of the half. The Redskins came out after the break and outscored the Hawks 13-9, and finished the 3rd quarter ahead of the Hawks 35-34. Cedar came back strong in the 4th quarter and regained the lead, by out scoring Belding 18-9 and finished the game Cedar Springs 52-Belding 44.

“Belding’s guard Kelsey Pollack, who is going to play next year at Calvin, was a threat the entire game,” remarked Cedar Springs assistant coach Chad Wight. “She had 19 and was pesty defensively. But our girls faced the adversity well and played a solid game.”

Leading scorer was Rachael Ludtke with a double double 13 points and 13 rebounds; followed by Molly Holtrop with 11 points; Tiffany Karger 9 points and 9 rebounds; Hannah Wight with 7 points and 5 rebounds; Chaya Coxon with 6 points and 3 rebounds; Brittany Todd with 4 points and 1 rebound; Amber Milligan with 2 points; and Maddie Bueche with 1 rebound.

“It was great that we were hitting our shots,” said Wight. “We were shooting with more confidence, and the girls were sharing the ball for open looks. That was really the key to our win.”

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Red Hawks end solid week with victory


Senior Alec Hanmer goes up for 2.

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.

Senior Tyler Baker scored 6 points and grabbed 6 rebounds for the Red Hawks.

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.

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Freshmen girls roll over Sparta


Mary Monterusso goes up for the jumper and Nikki Matzke goes for the rebound.

The Cedar Springs Girls freshmen basketball team won its second straight game with an easy 43-16 win at Sparta last Thursday. The Red Hawks got out to a quick lead and never looked back.
Mary Monterusso led Cedar with 10 points, including two 3-pointers. Monterusso also grabbed 4 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. Jessica Kriekaard had 8 points and 4 steals. Allison Hamilton had 6 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals and 4 blocked shots in a solid defensive performance.
Nikki Matzke scored 6 points and pulled down 4 rebounds for the Red Hawks. Alysha Chaney had 4 points and 4 steals. Mikenzie Francis played a great defensive game, grabbing 7 steals to go with her 4 points and 3 assists.
The Red Hawks welcomed back Kate Miller, who had missed several games due to illness. Kate had 3 points and 3 rebounds and played solid defense. Bre Burns scored 2 points and grabbed a rebound for Cedar Springs, while Taylor Baker had 3 rebounds and 2 steals. Sayge Wight had a solid all around game with 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Ally Rohacz also saw plenty of action for Cedar Springs in the win.
The victory improves the Red Hawk record to 7-4, and 4-2 in the OK Blue Conference. The next game for the freshmen girls is at home on Thursday, February 10 at 4 p.m. against Coopersville. Then the Red Hawks travel to West Ottawa High School on February 15 at 4 p.m. to take on the Panthers.

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Freshmen girls defeat Comstock Park


Last Thursday the Cedar Springs High School freshmen girls basketball team traveled to Comstock Park to take on the Panthers.  Cedar dominated the game from the start and got out to a 19-3 halftime lead. The Red Hawks cruised in the second half and secured a 39-22 victory.
Allison Hamilton led the Cedar Springs with 17 points and 18 rebounds. She also recorded 6 steals in the game. Hamilton has an incredible 38 rebounds in the last 2 games. Mary Monterusso had 10 points and shot 2-4 from behind the arc. Alysha Chaney scored 5 points and Jessica Kriekaard had 3. Sayge Wight had 2 points and Nikki Matzke had 2. Point guard Mikenzie Francis led Cedar with 4 assists. Taylor Baker pulled down 4 rebounds. Bre Burns and Alli Rohacz had 1 rebound each.
The victory improves the Red Hawk record to 6-4, and 3-2 in the OK Blue Conference. The next game for Cedar Springs is Thursday, February 3rd at 5:30 pm at Sparta High School.

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CTA basketball downs Grand River Prep


Chargers start New Year with a defensive statement

The boy’s varsity team from Creative Technologies Academy executed a near-perfect defensive game as they held the Grand River Prep team to just 6 points in last Thursday’s competition. CTA Chargers went on to post a 39-6 victory over the Titans.
A big reason for the successful night was the 43 combined offensive and defensive rebounds, as well as getting a total of 30 steals. Freshman Bailey Witherspoon was responsible for pulling down six of those rebounds, as well as getting three steals—the majority of which came all in the 4th quarter. Junior Cole Chilcote also helped the Chargers by getting his hands on a remarkable 11 steals.
When asked about Thursday’s performance, head coach Aaron Kenemer responded, “I was most impressed by the poise that came from our bench play. This has been a group that has been working on developing confidence, and they showed that [Thursday].” The Chargers were not only confident but unselfish, often making the extra pass to an open cutting teammate. This helped allow nearly every Charger make it into the scoring book, as 12 of the 13 players helped contribute to the total 39 points.
The CTA boys face a newly developing rival Grattan Academy next week Tuesday for the first time this season. They finish the week with a game at Lakeshore Baptist for a second meeting this year, and hope for another victory for the sweep.

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Lady Red Hawks slip by Spartans


The Cedar Springs Lady Red Hawks Varsity Basketball team chalked up another win last week when they took on the Sparta Spartans at home, on Friday, December 17.

The Red Hawks took charge early, and finished out the first quarter with a 15-6 lead. The Spartans were not just going to lay down, however, and came back with a quick 10 points in the second quarter, and limited the Red Hawks to 5, ending the half at 20-16 Red Hawks. Play in the third was much the same, with the Red Hawks scoring only six points and the Spartans pumping out another 10 points to tie it up. The third quarter ended 26-26.  Cedar commanded the lead again the fourth quarter and outscored the Spartans 13-5, finishing the game with a 39-31 win.

Leading scorer on the night was Red Hawk junior Rachael Ludtke with 14 points, and the Spartans’ Karen Bacon had 13.

Also contributing for the Red Hawks was Tiffany Karger with 9 points, Hannah Wight with 6, Molly Holtrop with 5, Brittany Todd with 3, and Chaya Coxon with 2. Ludtke went 8 for 8 on free throws and snagged 9 rebounds. Wight and Coxon had three steals each.

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Tough week for JV girls


On December 14 , the Cedar Springs JV girls basketball team hosted West Catholic. The girls played a strong first half with the score close at halftime and the Red Hawks were leading 19–16. The game remained close in the second half, with West Catholic taking the lead in the fourth quarter. With just seconds left in the game, Jeanette Sukstas hit a 3-pointer but the Red Hawk girls fell to West Catholic 33-34. Sommer VanDyke lead the scoring while Tamar Clark, Molly Caniff, Allie Veltkamp and Jeanette Sukstas contributed to the Red Hawks total points.
The JV girls hosted Sparta on December 16. The Red Hawk girls played a tough first half and went into the locker room behind Sparta 17 -22. The girls came back slow in the third quarter and only scored 5 points in the second half and fell to Sparta 22 -40. The girls had balanced scoring with Sommer VanDyke, Allie Veltkamp, Tamar Clark, Jeanette Sukstas, Abby VanDusen and Shaelyn Fasel scoring for the Red Hawks. Mercedes Gonzales, Amber Freiberg, Sirena Johnson, Shelby Towers, Delaney Holtrop and Molly Caniff also saw playing time for the Red Hawks.
The Cedar Spring JV Red Hawks will travel to Kenowa Hills on January 3.

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