SPRINGPORT — For the second time this season, Grandville Calvin Christian’s girls basketball team upset a team ranked seventh in the state in the Associated Press Class C girls basketball poll.
This time it was Carson City-Crystal, who lost 37-35 on a putback of a missed shot with 10 seconds left to play.
Squires guard Sylvia Davidson missed a three-point shot but Emily VanVliet got the offensive rebound and put it back in for the game-winner.
“I thought they (Calvin Christian) limited us to just one shot,” Eagles coach Larry Farmer said. “I thought our rebounding the ball offensively and defensively was not very good. We took too many perimeter shots. We gave them too many opportunities when we had the lead with perimeter jump shots.”
CC-Crystal (20-3) got out to a 10-7 lead after one quarter led by a pair of three-pointers from Mikayla Duflo.
Neither team was able to score much in the second quarter, as each team had three field goals and the Eagles led 16-14 at halftime.
“I said everything that’s going on, we’re winning,” Farmer said. “In the end that’s what you’re trying to do. We tried to make adjustments defensively and we encouraged them that they (CC-Crystal) could do it and to believe in themselves, but they only believe that when you win.”
The Eagles were able to get a big lead in the third quarter when they jumped out on a 10-3 run over the first 3:26 of the third quarter. That seven-point differential ended up being what CC-Crystal led by after three quarters.
“Hailey Geister came out and gave us a boost offensively,” Farmer said. “We were able to hit some early shots. We were still one shot and done, but we were able to hit some of those shots early.”
Geister scored eight of the Eagles’ 15 points in the frame to give her team a 31-24 lead.
But from then on, the made baskets “dried up,” Farmer said. CC-Crystal made only a field goal from Duflo and two free throws from Geister in the final quarter.
The Squires tied the game at 35 on a three from Hilary Curry with 2:35 left in the game, then no one scored until VanVliet’s putback.
“They (Calvin Christian) played great,” Farmer said. “They rebounded well and got the ball inside.”
In fact, the inside game hurt the Eagles badly, Farmer noted.
“Our height really hurt us in this game,” he said. “It was one of the few games where we haven’t been able to overcome where they (Calvin Christian) had three starters taller than our tallest player.”
Curry led Calvin Christian with 15 points and VanVliet added 12. Geister led the Eagles with 14 points and Duflo canned 11 for 25 of the 35 Eagle points.
“Sometimes God’s not on your side,” Farmer noted. “When they (Calvin Christian) hit four bank shots, that’s basketball. They hit four bank shots, we missed some open looks. There’s your game.”
While CC-Crystal looks toward the spring season, the Squires will face Delton Kellogg in the regional final after they beat Muskegon West Michigan Christian 47-37.
The other time Calvin Christian beat a No. 7 team was Feb. 12 when they beat then-No. 7 in Class C Kent City.