Photos by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark
WHITEHALL — Those who have protected our freedoms took the spotlight prior to Thursday night’s Veterans Appreciation Game between rivals Montague and Whitehall in a girls basketball contest.
Montague had additional reasons to be inspired and played like it in a 47-27 victory over host Whitehall in the first of two regular-season matchups between the squads during the 2023-24 season.
In her first Montague-Whitehall game as Wildcats head coach, Jess DeBruin guided her team to the convincing win while also showing her athletic training abilities as she tended to her players. She is also Montague’s athletic trainer.
For Whitehall senior Kendall Osborne, it was the first time facing her former Montague teammates since her transfer across the bridge this school year.
Montague is 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the West Michigan Conference Lakes Division. Whitehall is 0-2 and 0-1, respectively.
Here are more details and notables from the game:
- Both teams got off to a slow start. Montague led 6-2 after the first quarter. After that, the Wildcats got it rolling a bit. They led 16-5 at halftime and increased their scoring output in each subsequent quarter with 14 in the third and 17 in the fourth.
- Montague junior Addison Pranger led all scorers with 16 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. She also had four rebounds.
- Montague junior Amanda Cederquist posted a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Her buzzer-beating layup to end the third quarter gave the Wildcats a 30-10 lead.
- Montague junior Avah Vandermeulen notched seven points.
- Montague junior Braylyn Bultema added six points and eight rebounds. She suffered an apparent knee injury during the game and did not return. The extent of her injury has not yet been confirmed.
- Osborne, who is back after suffering a season-ending knee injury in Montague’s game against Whitehall last year, led the Vikings with 12 points to go with six steals and four rebounds.
- Whitehall senior Lexi Daggett scored nine points, grabbed eight rebounds, and added two steals to go with two blocks.
Photos by Shayla Hardy | CatchMark
- Thursday’s game and corresponding cornhole board raffle was organized as part of the Legacy Project of Whitehall senior Taylor Ottinger and junior Lianne Fagan, who will take up the same project next year. Ottinger and Fagan invested a lot of time organizing the Veterans Appreciation Game in partnership with White Lake VFW Post 3256. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the raffle will be given to veterans organizations — 75 percent to the White Lake VFW and 25 percent to Mission 22 Veterans Group.
- The Veterans Appreciation Game fell on the 82nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack.
- Prior to the varsity game, Whitehall players and staff escorted veterans onto the court during a presentation. The following veterans were recognized: Josh Anderson (U.S. Navy), Larry Bacon (U.S. Navy), Rick Blankstrom (U.S. Army), Gerald Brandenberg (U.S. Air Force), Jim Daggett (U.S. Army), Garth Dalson (U.S. Army), Gerald Doran (U.S. Army), Leo Fagan (U.S. Marine Corps), Thomas George (U.S. Air Force), David Guitterez (U.S. Army), Matthew LeaTrea (U.S. Army), Gerald McGoran (U.S. Army), Kirk Mikkelson (U.S. Air Force), David Osborne (U.S. Navy), Heidi Temple (U.S. Army), and Nikki Vanbeukering Wentworth (U.S. Army).
Taylor Ottinger, Lianne Fagan, and Emily MacArthur discuss Legacy Project and more on the CatchMark SportsNet Podcast.
CLICK HERE to watch.
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