Onekama, Bear Lake both fall in Class D girls basketball regionals

Bear Lake senior Yuki Babinec in action during the Lakers’ 52-33 loss to Fruitport Calvary Christian in their Class D regional semifinal at Big Rapids Crossroads Tuesday night.  (Max Harden/Pioneer Sports Network)

Bear Lake senior Yuki Babinec in action during the Lakers’ 52-33 loss to Fruitport Calvary Christian in their Class D regional semifinal at Big Rapids Crossroads Tuesday night. (Max Harden/Pioneer Sports Network)

BIG RAPIDS — The local girls basketball season came to an end Tuesday night, as both local teams still in the state tournament lost in the regional semifinals.

Onekama lost to Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart 64-24 in the first regional semifinal, and Bear Lake fell to Fruitport Calvary Christian 52-33 in the second.

Onekama ran into a buzzsaw in their regional semifinal, ending their season with a 40-point loss to the top-ranked team in the state.

The Portagers fell behind early, as the undefeated Irish (23-0) jumped out to a 19-2 lead in the first quarter, from which Onekama never recovered.

Portagers head coach Jim Armstrong said that much of the slow start was self-inflicted.

“We probably turned the ball over 15 times, and 10 of those we did to ourselves,” Armstrong said. “They (Sacred Heart) were good, but not as good as it looked.”

Onekama rebounded in the second quarter, in which the Irish outscored them only 16-13, but the damage had been done.

Zoe Morley, Ella Acton and Maggie Domres each scored five points for Onekama, who finish their 2017-18 campaign with a record of 12-11, with just five of those losses to Class D schools.

The game was the last for seniors Domres, Morley, Elizabeth Domres and Faith Corey.

Despite ending on a tough loss, Armstrong said that the season was a successful one.

“I’m very pleased with the kids,” he said. “I hate to see my four seniors go, but that happens every year. I think the program is in the right direction, we have good kids coming back and we’re going to start all over again.”

Bear Lake stood toe-to-toe with Fruitport Calvary early in a game that was tied 15-15 after the first quarter, and which the Lakers trailed by a manageable six points at halftime.

But the Eagles (20-3) pulled away in the second half.

“We ran out of gas,” Bear Lake head coach Jeff Harthun said. “Our game plan was pretty much spot on, we just ran out of gas at the end.”

Bear Lake senior Yuki Babinec led the way with 19 points in her last game as a Laker, as it was for fellow seniors Emily Belinsky, Daisy Evans and Erica Blattner. Mariah Beaver had five ponts, and Abby Cross added four in the game.

Fruitport Calvary sophomore phenom Kelsey Richards dominated the proceedings with 31 points in the game, starting with three quick 3-pointers in the first quarter.

But the Lakers regrouped, fought back from a double digit deficit and tied the score before the quarter was over.

“We were there. We hung right with them,” Harthun said. “It was a good game, I’m proud of them.”

Harthun made special mention of the Bear Lake fans, who have followed and supported the team in large numbers.

“We had a huge crowd down there,” he said. “It’s great to see girls athletics get a little prime time.”

The Lakers end their season with a record of 17-6, a West Michigan D League co-championship and a district title.

Harthun said that his program’s road to replicating the success of this season starts well before the next one begins.

“We haven’t had a good summer program in the last couple of years,” he said. “That’s got to happen. They got that taste of success this year, which they needed, and I hope that goes a long way for us.”

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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