Plainwell senior Rebecca Gibson (right) drives around a Harper Creek defender during the Trojans’ loss in the district finals. (Photo by Jason Wesseldyk)

Trojans see end of era with district loss to Harper Creek

By: 
Jason Wesseldyk

When the Plainwell girls’ basketball team dropped its Division 2 district final against Harper Creek by a 43-30 score, it didn’t just mark the end of the Trojans’ season. It also marked the end of an era.
The loss served as the final prep game for four-year varsity players Alivia TerMeer, Rebecca Gibson, Paige Timpe and Kate Farho, who helped Plainwell win 59 games during their tenure.
“It’s hard to see those girls go,” Plainwell coach Tim Rieman said. “They’ve had such a big impact on this program. To average almost 15 wins a year for four years is pretty good. The contributions these girls have made won’t be forgotten any time soon.”
TerMeer finished with 10 points, tying her with junior Vannessa Robinson for the team lead. Gibson added five points.
Senior Alex Gabala and freshman Ellery Troff rounded out the Trojans’ scoring with three and two points, respectively.
The game couldn’t have started much better for Harper Creek, which scored the first 10 points, getting six from Maddie Alexander and four from Abbey Hicks.
Gibson eventually ended the offensive drought for Plainwell thanks to a bucket with 2:15 left in the opening quarter. The Beavers led 12-2 at quarter’s end.
The next two quarters saw the teams match each other point for point, as both scored 10 points in the second period and eight in the third to give Harper Creek the 30-20 lead.
The Trojans narrowed the gap to six at 32-26 following back-to-back 3-pointers from Gibson and TerMeer in the opening minutes of the final frame, but that’s as close as Plainwell would get.
“The girls never quit,” Rieman said. “They battled all the way to the end. We just had to use so much energy to try to fight back from the early hole we dug for ourselves and I think we ran out of gas a little bit at the end.”
Had they won, the Trojans would have claimed back-to-back district championships for the first time in school history following last year’s upset win over Comstock.
“The girls really wanted to make history,” Rieman said. “There are a lot of tears in that locker room right now, because they gave everything they had. We just came up short.”
Alexander led Harper Creek with 18 points, while Hicks had 14.
“We knew (Alexander) was going to be a tough matchup for us,” Rieman said. “I thought we did a better job of containing her a little bit in the second half, but she’s tough.”
 

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