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Ludington edges Hart in much-anticipated girls basketball district semifinal

Orioles (17-7) advance to Friday’s district final vs. Reed City; Pirates close with 17-6 record.

Photos by LexieBeth Nienhuis for CatchMark

In a much-anticipated matchup fitting for a district final, Ludington’s girls basketball team made a few more plays than Hart en route to a 42-37 victory in a Division 2 district semifinal Wednesday at Big Rapids High School.

The Orioles and Pirates combined for 33 wins on the season entering the showdown.

Ludington (17-7) advances to Friday’s 7 p.m. district championship game against Reed City (13-10), which defeated host Big Rapids, 39-29, in the other semifinal Wednesday.

Hart, which advanced to the Division 3 state semifinals at the Breslin Center last year, closes its season with a 17-6 record after bumping up to Division 2 this season.

“The girls gave everything they had and kept the game within striking distance,” Hart coach Travis Rosema said. “However, Ludington always found a way to answer and made free throws to close out the game.  

“This was a tough loss as we ended our season much sooner than anyone wanted to. Overall, we still had a very successful season. We finished with 17 wins (ninth Hart team to reach this mark) and our third straight conference title.”

Hart went unbeaten in the West Michigan Conference Rivers Division with a 12-0 record. Meanwhile, Ludington was 10-2 in the WMC Lakes with both losses coming to champion Fremont, which also advanced to a Division 2 district final.

In Wednesday’s Ludington-Hart matchup, the Orioles claimed a narrow 7-6 lead after one quarter and extended it a little more by halftime, 18-14.

Hart closed the gap to 27-26 through three quarters. The Pirates went ahead 26-25 with under 30 seconds left in the third before the Orioles found an open cutter to regain the lead.

Ludington closed it out in the fourth with a 15-11 scoring advantage.

Peyton Welch and Madelyn Kenyon led Ludington with 13 points apiece, while Jordyn Anderson chipped in six points. Elianna Jeruzal and Emma McKinley added four points apiece for the Orioles.

For Hart, Addi Hovey finished with 20 points and six rebounds. Abby Hicks had eight points and seven rebounds for the Pirates, while Kelsey Copenhaver added five points and Rilynn Porter four assists.

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

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