Lady Cats crush Sturgis: Trojan boys edge Three Rivers in thriller
THREE RIVERS — Three Rivers left no doubt as to whom the better girls basketball team was in Friday’s Wolverine Conference South Divisional contest at the Purple Palace.
Jason Bingaman’s Division 2 No. 4-ranked Lady Falcons were in control from start to finish in their 62-13 win over the Lady Trojans.
Three Rivers was led on the night by junior forward Kali Heivilin with 19 points, six rebounds and six steals. Senior point guard Hadley Miller added 16 points, six boards, three assists and eight steals for the Lady Cats. Alivia Knapp had eight points and a pair of assists. Natalie Barnes kicked in six points and four boards for the winners, while Illy Taylor added four points and four rebounds. Freshman Gabby Charvat ended the night with four rebounds, seven steals and two assists for Three Rivers. Macy Ivins had three steals and Janiece Pope scored two points. Rylie Kelly scored three points.
“We started out tonight in a little different, in a 2-2-1. We want to be able to show teams some different looks in future games. Our girls played very unselfishly tonight,” Bingaman said.
“We have two key games coming up next week against Plainwell on Monday and Gull Lake on Tuesday. We know that in order to be successful and later in the season that we need to make our shots on the offensive end have multiple people contribute at both ends of the floor.”
Three Rivers, now 8-0 overall and 4-0 in divisional games, used its suffocating full-court pressure to jump out to a commanding 25-3 lead after the first quarter.
Sturgis has its problem early on from the floor. Andy Hatt’s Lady Trojans went the entire first period without a field goal, getting its only points in the period off a pair of free throws by Shelby Bennett and one from Rylie Wanameker.
Three Rivers extended its margin to 46-8 entering halftime with a 19-5 surge in the second quarter.
A 10-3 spurt by the Lady Cats during the third quarter put the hosts up by a commanding 56-11 advantage entering the fourth quarter.
Three Rivers finished the game shooting 27-of-73 from the floor, including 3-of-14 from three-point range, and made 5-of-7 free-throw attempts.
Three Rivers outrebounded Sturgis 30-15.
Sturgis, which made just 4-of-27 field-goal attempts, and 4-of-6 free throws.
Bennett led Sturgis in scoring with seven points.
Sturgis 62, Three Rivers 56
Everyone expected a battle when the boys’ teams took the floor and the host Wildcats and Trojans didn’t disappoint. Anyone.
Three Rivers jumped out to an early 11-4 advantage following a putback by freshman forward Andrew Brown.
But Sturgis quickly found its offensive rhythm behind junior sharpshooter Thomas Kurowski.
Kurowski, a three-year starter for Sturgis, scored five consecutive points and Weston Stevens hit a short jumper to knot the score up at 15-15 by the end of the period.
Isaiah Moore’s pair of free throws gave Three Rives is only lead of the second quarter, 17-15, with 7:38 left n the half.
The 6-4 Kurowski put the Trojans on his back during the period, scoring eight of his team’s points, including a thunderous breakaway dunk, to put Sturgis in front 28-25.
Sturgis’ first four baskets of the third quarter came from behind the three-point arc, including two from Kurowski. Brady Webb and Stevens added one triple each to help extend the Trojans’ lead to 10, 40-30.
But a 8-0 Wildcats’ run, including back-to-back buckets from Brown off a pair of Trojan turnovers, helped the hosts close the gap to six, 40-36.
Consecutive baskets by senior center Oakley Withers helped Three Rivers pull within four, 42-38 entering the fourth quarter.
The 6-3 Moore scored six of his team’s first 10 points of the final period, including a key putback with 4:50 left that evened the contest up at 48-48.
With Moore having the hot hand the Wildcats wanted to get the ball inside to the Wildcat junior down the stretch.
Three Rivers was not successful doing that, instead opting for a shot from out on the perimeter.
But a putback underneath by Moore with 1:48 left the Wildcats down by just three, 57-54.
Sturgis. However, got a key bucket from Webb and three key free throws in the final 25 seconds from Treyton Wallick t seal up the win.