Varsity boys’ basketball scores OT win over Rockford

Senior+Jack+Van+Wingen+gets+to+the+rim+for+two+of+his+10+points+against+Rockford.++++%0APhoto%3A+Duncan+Mclean%2C+Grand+Haven+Tribune
Senior Jack Van Wingen gets to the rim for two of his 10 points against Rockford.    
Photo: Duncan Mclean, Grand Haven Tribune

Senior Jack Van Wingen gets to the rim for two of his 10 points against Rockford. Photo: Duncan Mclean, Grand Haven Tribune

Senior Jack Van Wingen gets to the rim for two of his 10 points against Rockford. Photo: Duncan Mclean, Grand Haven Tribune

by David Rumptz, Sports

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In an early season clash between the Rams of Rockford and the Lakers of Spring Lake, both teams looked to be in midseason form already in the overtime thriller.

For the second straight year in the budding rivalry, the Lakers defeated the Class A Rams.

Both teams showed early season nerves at the start of the game, as sloppy play led to a 12-9 Spring Lake advantage after the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Lakers struggled breaking the suffocating press the Rams put on, sputtering to just seven points in the quarter.

The turnovers led to easy finishes for the Rams and Rockford held a 21-19 advantage going into the locker room for halftime. By the third quarter, both teams had shaken off the early season nerves and a clean quarter of play gave the Rams a 34-31 lead going into the final quarter, thanks to a deep buzzer beater three pointer.

The final quarter did not disappoint as the two teams traded blows and leads throughout the entire frame. With just five minutes left, the Lakers took a 37-34 lead after a technical foul was called on a frustrated Rockford player and senior Jack Van Wingen knocked down the free throw.

With just one minute left in regulation, the game was in the Lakers’ hands as they held the ball and a two point lead. An untimely turnover due to defensive pressure led to a quick Rockford bucket.

Another turnover gave the Rams the ball, but senior Sam Johnson stepped in and swatted the ball out of the charging Rockford player’s hands.
The Lakers swung the ball around the court, looking to find an open shot until senior Adam Boes found fellow senior Griffin Lorimer open in the corner for the win. Lorimer’s three point attempt fell just right, hitting off the front of the rim, bouncing around, and finally rolling off the side.

This gave the Rams the ball with just 6 seconds left. They raced down the court, only to miss a floater from the free throw line as time expired, forcing the game to overtime.

The two teams traded buckets in overtime as the game appeared it might go into another overtime period.

With just a minute and a half left, a Rams player rolled up on the ankle of key senior Jack Van Wingen in a scary moment for the Lakers, but he walked off the court under his own power.

With forty seconds left on the clock, Griffin Lorimer allowed his varsity experience to take over as he was fouled and sank both free throws to give the Lakers a two point advantage.

Lorimer decided to end the game on the next play as he met a slashing Rockford player at the rim and took the charge, giving the Lakers a 48-46 victory.

Senior leadership carried the Lakers to victory, as Johnson and Lorimer combined for 24 points and 17 rebounds, while fellow senior Van Wingen added 10 points.

Senior captain Samuel Johnson said that beating Rockford means that, “It is always big defeating Class A OK Red team and it was a big win for the team.” Although this was a big win for the Lakers, Johnson turned his focus to the next game, “The biggest game of the season comes Friday against Grand Haven, and we are excited to have a big crowd against them.”

The Lakers take on the Grand Haven Buccaneers at Grand Haven on Friday, December 15, at 7:30 for the Battle of the Bridge.

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