CEDAR SPRINGS — The Greenville Yellow Jackets girls basketball team is just one win away from its first district title since 1983.
On Wednesday, the Yellow Jackets held off a feisty Lowell Red Arrows team for a 68-58 win at Cedar Springs. They will face Forest Hills Central on Friday at Cedar Springs for the Class A district title.
“I thought we really played well. They made a run, but they are a solid team and had a nice season,” Greenville coach Eric Nichols said. “I thought our first half was the best half we put together all year. I like that. We are playing well at the end of the season and putting good stretches together.”
Lowell (10-12) trailed by just three (15-12) late in the first quarter, but the Yellow Jackets closed out with three straight baskets for a 22-12 first quarter advantage.
In the second quarter, the Red Arrows got back to within five points, before the Yellow Jackets, again, hit some shots and extended their lead to 41-27 at halftime.
“We made a couple of personal adjustments,” Nichols said. “Anytime we put Paige (Hallock) in the middle of the floor, she is a tough matchup. I thought she really played well tonight. We attacked the basket.”
Hallock finished with a game-high 21 points — 10 in the first half and 11 in the second half.
The Red Arrows outscored the Yellow Jackets 12-11 in the third quarter, but still trailed 52-39 with eight minutes remaining.
It took a while, but the Red Arrows made it a game late with back-to-back baskets to pull within 60-54 with just 1:47 left in the game.
“Second half we kind of settled for some three’s. If a couple of them go it’s going to be a blowout,” Nichols said. “We have to be willing to kind of die with that a little bit. They (Lowell) hit a couple of three’s to get back in it.”
As they have all season long, the Yellow Jackets finished strong from the free throw line. Hallock hit five free throws down the stretch, while Nikota Howe had one to finish the game on an 8-4 run.
“We had some good spurts and that is what these kids have done all year,” Nichols said. “They don’t panic and they play within themselves.”
Landon Kemp added 17 points, while Leah Somerfield finished with 14 points for Greenville. Howe led the Yellow Jackets with nine rebounds, Somerfield grabbed six rebounds. Hallock led with six steals.
Greenville (19-2) now turns its attention to the Rangers, which handed the Yellow Jackets one of their two losses. Central clipped the Yellow Jackets late for a 43-42 win on Jan. 13
“They got us at the end and beat us by one,” Nichols said of Central. “They are O-K White co-champions and we will have our hands full. I like how we are playing, though.”
Forest Hills Central is 14-8.
Friday’s winner advances to the Grand Haven regional on Tuesday.
GREENVILLE 68, LOWELL 58
Greenville 22 19 11 16 — 68
Lowell 12 15 12 19 — 58
GREENVILLE (19-2) — Moody 3 0-0 8, Sorsen 1 0-0 2, Bell 1 1-2 3, Kemp 8 1-1 17, Howe 0 3-4 3, Somerfield 5 3-6 14, Hallock 6 9-13 21. Totals: 24 17-26 68. Three-point goals: Moody 2, Somerfield. Total fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.
LOWELL (10-12) — Coxon 2 1-1 5, Holzhueter 5 1-2 15, McQueen 1 2-4 5, S. Oesch 1 0-0 2, Steed 6 2-2 14, Montgomery 6 2-2 15, Frederickson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 22 8-11 58. Three-point goals: Holzhueter 4, McQueen, Montgomery. Total fouls: 20. Fouled out: McQueen, Frederickson.