Bear Lake opens season strong with win over Marion

BEAR LAKE — A little season-opening rust is to be expected, even for the defending West Michigan D League and district champions.

And while Bear Lake coach Jeff Harthun saw some room for improvement, the final score simply reflected a victory.

The Lakers comfortably secured a 44-28 league win over Marion on Thursday night to start their season on the right foot.

“Overall we’ll take this,” Harthun said. “1-0 in the league is a good place to start. I told the girls to be happy with the win tonight but we’ll be right back to work tomorrow. Away we go, we’re off and running.”

Bear Lake (1-0, 1-0 WMD) clamped down on the Eagles early, holding them scoreless in the first quarter and taking a 9-0 lead into the second.

The teams played relatively even in that frame, trading buckets until the Lakers entered halftime with a 20-9 advantage.

“It’s the first game, so I expected to see some mistakes,” Harthun said, “and we missed a lot of layups tonight. The girls know that, though, and they know we’ve got to have those easy ones.”

Bear Lake’s lead was never really threatened in the second half as the Lakers went up 36-17 by the end of the third and, despite being outscored in the fourth, remained in control.

Every Laker in the lineup scored Thursday night as Hayley May led the team with 11 points to go with four rebounds. Abby Cross netted nine with a team-high six boards and two steals while Cosima Holler added eight points, four rebounds and four steals; Mariah McLouth scored four; Shaely Waller and Kaitlynn Omar each had three points; and Olivia Hejl, Alyssa Eisenlohr and Julie Schmidt scored two apiece.

“I was really happy to see everybody get into the scoring column, and that’s hopefully the type of thing we can expect all year,” Harthun said. “When we bring someone off the bench, we’re not going to miss a beat. I’ve got seven seniors, so I expect a lot out of these girls.”

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