Both the Wayland and Martin girls’ terrific basketball seasons came to an end Monday in the semifinal round of the Division 2 and Division 4 tournaments, respectively.
Wayland was defeated by a Newaygo team that entered the contest with a heady 19-1 record overall by a 51 to 35 count. The Lady Wildcats who finished the season with a 12-3 record and conference, district and regional championships, were led by 6-2 senior pivot Stephanie Ainsworth with 19 points.
The Lions pulled away in the late going after the ‘Cats battled them to a single-digit difference most of the way
Martin struggled early against Fowler, trailing 20-6 at the end of the first quarter and 32-12 the half. The final tally was 62-26, the worst defeat the Lady Clippers have suffered in a long time.
“We didn’t play our best basketball tonight.,” said coach Ben Schipper. “With as good as we have been playing lately, we were hoping to put together a better effort, but just weren’t able to execute.
“Fowler is an incredible team. We knew they were great at getting to the rim and were aggressive on defense, but they overwhelmed us tonight. Our offense just could not get into the attack mode we needed against their switching defense.
“Defensively, we were hoping to take away their three-point threats and rotate to protect the rim on the backside, then scramble out if needed. Unfortunately their guards got to the rim much more than we hoped and their shooters were lights out hitting 10 threes. Congratulations to them on an outstanding effort.”
Freshman Makala Goddard led the Lady Clipperrs with 14 of their 26 points, hitting four threes.
“It was great to see her shoot confidently and fill it up on the big stage as a freshman! She has a bright future ahead of her.,” the coach said.
“I’m so proud of our girls for an amazing season! Our improvement was drastic from the first game to the end of the season,” Schipper added. “Our seniors, Bri and Natalie.will be greatly missed as they brought a great level of passion and commitment to our team. The successes that came with this season were so rewarding after all these girls have gone through. After having last season taken from us right before hosting the regional finals, to not knowing if each practice would be our last this season, they have dealt with so much adversity and handled it with grace and understanding.
“We were doing four player workouts on the playground over the summer, our girls committed to doing workout videos on YouTube during our pause from November to January, they put in the work and always without any complaining. They just wanted to play and to give it their all. We have big shoes to fill going into next year, but I’m excited about the future of our program.”
Martin concluded its season with a 12-6 record overall.