Wayland cruises past Godwin Heights to claim district title
GRAND RAPIDS—Sometimes you can practice until you drop and still not match your opponent’s strength. This was the case in the Class B girls’ basketball district final between Wayland Union and Godwin Heights in the South Christian gym on Friday, March 6.
The Wildcats walked off the court with a decisive 75-32 win, plus the district title.
Godwin coach Cassie Chan said her team practiced to play tough defense and worked on the pressure they knew was coming from the Wildcats.
She said, “We knew Wayland used a lot of pressure and they can score, so we worked hard on keeping up the defensive pressure on them. But we got out too slow and this hurt because you can’t get off to a slow start to a good team and hope to come back.”
The Wildcat blitz started right from the get-go. Even though Godwin won the tip, Ali Cutler made her first of three first-quarter steals—she had five for the game—and tossed the ball ahead to a racing Presley Hudson who laid it in for two of her game-high 20 points.
Six more Wayland steals by Hope Dollarhide, Sydney Ritz, Hudson, Ali Martus and Caroline Miller helped put the Wildcats in front 27-6 after the first quarter.
With the Wayland starters relegated to the bench for much of the second quarter, there was basically no measurable falloff from the Wildcats on either end of the floor.
“Our bench has been playing well all year,” said Wayland head coach Marty Howard, whose team plays Belding in a regional semifinal at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 10, in Charlotte. “Sydney Ritz has been doing a great job off the bench and when we play like this, we’re hard to defend.”
Ritz did her thing in the second quarter, knocking down six of the team’s 10 points and picking up a steal to take the Wildcats in at the half leading 39-16.
“We play hard and intense,” Howard said, “But it’s our passing that gets everyone’s attention. I’ve had coaches and officials comment on how well we pass the ball and we did a good job of it tonight.”
For full story, pick up a copy of the March 12 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.