Defense leads Greenville district title game


By Bruce Bentley • Last Updated 9:53 am on Thursday, February 28, 2013

Greenville’s Leah Somerfield goes up for a basket during Wednesday’s Class A district semifinal at Forest Hills Northern. Somerfield scored 11 points in the 43-24 win over the host Huskies.

GRAND RAPIDS — For the second time in as many meetings, the Greenville Yellow Jackets held the Forest Hills Northern Huskies scoreless in the third quarter.

This time, though, the Yellow Jackets would not allow a fourth quarter victory rally.

Kae Page’s 15 points and solid defensive play led the Yellow Jackets to a 43-24 Class A District No. 7 semifinal win over host Northern on Wednesday night.

“The kids came and they just played,” Greenville coach Eric Nichols said. “When they just play and not worry about things, we are a pretty good team.”

Greenville (18-4) split the regular season series between the O-K Bronze rival, but lost the last meeting in early February 31-29. The Yellow Jackets held the Huskies (9-12) scoreless in the third quarter in that game, but still lost by two points.

Senior Kae Page drained four first half three-pointers, including three in the second quarter as the Yellow Jackets outscored the Huskies 19-9 to take a 30-16 halftime lead.

Greenville led 11-7 after the first quarter.

“That’s Kae. That’s what Kae does and it is no surprise to any of us,” Nichols said. “That is the beauty of this team.  They know their roles, they play their roles and they have accepted their roles.”

The third quarter started slowly for both teams, but it was the Huskies that could not find the basket the entire eight minutes.

Leah Somerfield scored early in the quarter, but Greenville waited until the final two minutes to score another five points in the quarter for a 38-16 advantage after three quarters.

“We talked about that (holding FHN scoreless for a second time). We just didn’t think they could shoot,” Nichols said. “They (FHN) started pressing, mentally started pressing and got a little bit tight. We made our second run late in the third. Defensively, we just stayed solid.”

Greenville senior Kae Page looks to make a pass during Wednesday’s game. Page scored a game-high 15 points.

With the game out of reach, the fourth quarter was time for the reserves to get some minutes.

Page finished the a game-high 15 points, while Somerfield added 11 points.

Hannah Sprague led the Huskies with five points.

Northview (11-10) upset Forest Hills Central (17-5) with a 28-25 overtime win in the other semifinal on Wednesday. That sets up a district final between two O-K Bronze teams Friday night at 7 p.m. at Forest Hills Northern.

“We’ve got Northview. We’ve played them twice, but without their best player,” Nichols said. “We will not take them lightly, we know what is in front of us and we will have fun.”

The Yellow Jackets are just one win away from reaching its second goal of a district title. Greenville already won the O-K Bronze championship.

“We set team goals at the beginning of the year and that was one of them,” Nichols said. “The kids have stayed focused on goals. I think without vision you don’t know where you are going. These kids have vision.”

Friday’s winner will face the winner of the Zeeland East district in the regional semifinals on Tuesday at Northview.

GREENVILLE 43, FH NORTHERN 24

Greenville    11    19    8    5    —    43
FH Northern    7    9    0    8    —    24

GREENVILLE (18-4) — Sorsen 0 1-3 1, Baker 1 2-4 4, O’Brien 1 0-0 2, O’Herron 0 2-2 2, Bernth 1 0-1 2, Page 5 0-0 15, Howe 3 0-0 6, Somerfield 4 3-6 11. Totals: 15 8-16 43. Three-point goals: Page 5. Total fouls: 19. Fouled out: None.
FH NORTHERN (9-12) — Kolster 0 1-2 1, Quinn 0 4-6 4, Kozal 1 1-5 3, Curcuru 1 0-4 3, Sprague 2 0-0 5, Vredeveld 1 1-2 3, Hamilton 1 1-3 3, Hodges 1 0-0 2. Totals: 7 8-22 24. Three-point goals: Curcuru, Sprague. Total fouls: 17. Fouled out: None.

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