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Softball power Holton shows it can compete in girls basketball, too

Red Devils hang with NorthPointe Christian in first half of 45-30 regional loss, finish season with 15-10 record.

For a long time, Holton has been known as a softball power.

This winter, the Red Devils showed they can play some basketball, too.

Holton’s girls basketball season came to an end Monday night in a 45-30 loss to Grand Rapids NorthPointe Christian in the Division 3 regional semifinals at Grand Rapids Covenant Christian. But the Red Devils made some history in their 15-10 season.

NorthPointe Christian (21-4) advances to Wednesday’s 7 p.m. regional final against host Covenant Christian (18-5), which beat Pewamo-Westphalia, 49-31, in the other regional semifinal.

“Our season ended tonight, but as a coach I’m more than proud of what the team was able to accomplish this year,” Holton coach BJ Jordan said. “An absolute great group of girls to be around and coach. Special group of ladies that I will miss.”

Holton’s achievements this season included capturing the second district title in program history, recording the second-most wins in a season in program history, getting off to a 7-1 start to the season which was the best in history, and winning a holiday tournament.

In Monday’s game against NorthPointe, Holton went toe-to-toe throughout the first half. The game was tied at 9 after the first quarter. The Red Devils trailed 21-19 with about 10 seconds left in the half when, what was supposed to be a last-shot scenario turned into a turnover and fast-break layup for the Mustangs.

“We were very happy with where we were at. We battled and played as hard as we could,” Jordan said. “We had some foul trouble for two starters that we worked through in the first half and I was very happy to be sitting where we were going into the locker room.

“Third quarter was a different story. A key starter picked up their fourth foul 30 seconds into the quarter and had to sit until the fourth. This played a factor in the 12-5 quarter. It had us going into the fourth quarter down 11. They switched from a predominantly man defense in the first half to his zone in the second and we were unable to get as many quality looks as we did in the first half.”

Seniors Hayleigh Amey and Emma Bruwer combined to scored 39 of NorthPointe’s 45 points.

Holton knew it would have to stop the duo and the Red Devils thought the game plan was decent. They didn’t allow open looks — most of the damage came from offensive rebounding and putbacks as well as a few deep 3-pointers, which Jordan said he could live with.

“They are phenomenal basketball players,” Jordan said about Amey and Bruwer.

“My girls fought tonight. It definitely wasn’t for a lack of effort. We took really good care of the ball in the first quarter and only had two turnovers; by the end of the game, (Holton had) 22,” Jordan added. “Fatigue and a little bit more pressure on their end seemed to be a real difference-maker in the second half.  

Holton senior Ryann Robins closed her high school basketball career with another double-double, posting 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Senior Abbie Fowler finished with five points, six assists, and five steals for the Red Devils.

Robins broke Holton’s all-time girls scoring record this season. With her 11 rebounds in Monday’s game, Robins holds every rebounding record in Red Devils girls history, including for a game (24), season (309), and career (more than 1,000).

Fowler broke every assist record in Holton girls history for a game (10), season (128), and career (number not available yet, per Jordan).

“And a good chance (Fowler) has a few steal records as well,” Jordan said.

“These two (Robins and Fowler) have been four-year starters and are the main reason we have turned this program around the last few years. They will be missed.”

In this file photo, Holton’s Ryann Robins poses for a portrait during CatchMark SportsNet Girls Basketball Media Day on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, at CatchMark Technologies in Whitehall, Mich. (Kara Raeth | CatchMark)
In this file photo, Holton’s Abbie Fowler poses for a portrait during CatchMark SportsNet Girls Basketball Media Day on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022, at CatchMark Technologies in Whitehall, Mich. (Kara Raeth | CatchMark)

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

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