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Broncos edge Red Hawks in OK blue battle

Sophomore Hank Porter lays it up and in.

Sophomore Hank Porter lays it up and in.

After the tough 56-53 loss to Coopersville last Friday, Coach Andy Secor knows his team’s 4-5 record could be a lot better. “Our last 3 losses are by a combined 6 points. It is very frustrating for our coaches and players to continue to lose these close games,” he said.

The Red Hawks entered Friday’s game as winners of 3 of their last 4 games, but the close losses have hit the team hard. Those close games included a 2-point loss to Sparta and a 1-point loss to Fremont, along with Friday’s 3-point loss to the Broncos. Cedar held a lead of 6 or more points in the second half of each of those games.

Secor continued, “The bottom line is that we are playing hard enough, we are defending well enough, we are not turning the ball over, but we are not executing offensively. Shooting 30 percent from the floor, like we did in this game, is not going to win many games.“

Hank Porter shoots a pull up jumper

Hank Porter shoots a pull up jumper

Coopersville controlled the game early and led 18-11 after one quarter of play, but Cedar battled back in the second quarter. Sharpshooter Jason Gust opened the second with a pair of 3-pointers. Then a pair of Tyler Baker free throws, a pair of Gust free throws, a bucket by Trey Reed and a free throw by Ryan Dines tied the game 24-24 at the half.

Ryan Harper opened the 3rd quarter with 6 straight points for the Red Hawks. Then Gust hit a jumper and Branden Atkins hit a 3-pointer. After 3 free throws by Gust and Baker, Cedar Springs led 38-37 going in to the final quarter.

The Red Hawks opened up a 6-point lead early in the 4th on a Dines driving lay-up and a Gust jumper, followed by a Gust 3-pointer. Coopersville responded with a 10-0 run as the Red Hawk shooting went cold. Cedar Springs cut the Bronco lead down to 1 on a Hank Porter lay-up with 1 minute to go. Then, after two Bronco free throws, Gust’s desperation 3-point attempt to tie the game at the buzzer was off the mark.

Trey Reed with a baseline jumper

Trey Reed with a baseline jumper

Gust, despite playing on a painful injured ankle, led the Red Hawks with 22 points in a gutsy performance. Harper was next with 9 points, and Dines and Atkins had 6 each. Reed had 4 points, Baker and Porter had 3 points each.

Coach Secor talked about the challenging upcoming schedule for the Red Hawks. “We start a 5-game road stretch where we will be underdogs in each game, so I am hoping we can improve offensively and be competitive during this very difficult stretch of our schedule,“ he remarked.

Cedar Springs travels to Forest Hills Northern on the 26th, then to Comstock Park on the 29th, and then will visit Belding on February 2.

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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