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Historic season for Fremont girls basketball team comes to end in regional loss to Spring Lake

This time, large early deficit too much for Packers to overcome in 58-29 defeat against Spring Lake.

This time, Fremont’s girls basketball team could not recover from a slow start.

Fremont’s historic season ended in a 58-29 loss to Spring Lake in a Division 2 regional semifinal Monday night at Sparta High School.

The Packers, who won both conference and district titles in the same season for the first time since 1978, close with a 20-5 record.

Spring Lake (18-6) advances to Wednesday’s 7 p.m. regional final against OK Blue Conference foe Grand Rapids West Catholic (24-1), which defeated OK Blue opponent Hudsonville Unity Christian in the other regional semifinal, 44-31.

“We got off to our normal slow start and we were down 15-2 after the first quarter, but against a really good Spring Lake team, we were not able to come back and make it competitive,” said Fremont coach Peter Zerfas, who was in his first season coaching the Packers girls after his tenure with the boys program.

“We made a few short runs, and outscored them 9-7 in the third quarter to bring the score to 38-21, but we were just out of gas and could not get it any closer. Bottom line is, Spring Lake earned the win and was better than us.”

Fremont coach Peter Zerfas (Courtney Jimison | CatchMark)

Freshman Taylor DeKuiper paced Fremont with nine points, while senior Jessica Bennett scored seven and junior Mia Clemence added six.

For Spring Lake, Alexa Carter set the tone with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Ella Wrona had 12 points, while Ella Andree scored 11. Mia Theune added seven points for the Lakers.

Fremont finished 12-0 in the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division for the program’s first outright league title since 1978. The Packers beat Ludington, which is still alive in the Division 2 state tournament, in two close WMC Lakes games.

Last Friday, Fremont fell into an early hole against Grant in the Division 2 district finals at Newaygo, but the Packers were able to rebound and won, 49-40, for the program’s first district title since 2009.

Fremont was unable to mount a rally against Spring Lake, which also beat the Packers, 54-32, in the season opener at Fremont.

“It doesn’t diminish from the historic season our girls had, though. We finished overall at 20-5, the most wins in 46 years and second most in program history. We went undefeated in league at 12-0, also the first outright conference championship in 46 years, and we won districts for the first time since 2009,” Zerfas said.

“Tonight wasn’t our night, but our girls have a lot to be proud of. I would like to recognize the outstanding contribution of our seniors, who without such great effort and leadership, we would not have been successful. Thank you Jessica Bennett, Katie Ackerman, Olivia Hansen, and Elise Pfeiffer — you will be missed.”

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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