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Whitehall rallies past Oakridge with defense, rebounding in girls district opener

Vikings (10-13) advance to Wednesday’s district semifinals to face top-seeded Spring Lake (15-6).

Photos by Harper Leon for CatchMark

Regular-season results mean nothing when state tournament time rolls around.

Whitehall’s girls basketball team swept Oakridge during West Michigan Conference Lakes Division play by margins of 12 and nine points.

Whitehall had to dig deep against Oakridge in a Division 2 district opener Monday night at Fruitport, but the Vikings found a way to a 36-33 victory.

Whitehall used a 12-2 fourth-quarter run to wipe out a deficit and earn a matchup against district top seed Spring Lake in the semifinals. Whitehall (10-13) and Spring Lake (15-6) will square off at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at Fruitport.

Oakridge closes its season with a 7-15 record.

Poor free-throw shooting (8-for-28) nearly cost Whitehall the game, but the Vikings found other ways to get the job done, such as with their defense and rebounding.

“(We) did enough in the end to get the win,” said Whitehall coach Brian Milliron, whose squad defeated Oakridge in the regular season, 43-31 and 53-44. “Big offensive rebounds from Kendall Osborne and a free throw from Lexi (Daggett) down the stretch sealed the win.

“Kendall did a great job handling the ball and getting the Vikings into the offense, and Lexi did well attacked the basket, which were keys.”

Osborne led Whitehall with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists, and three steals. Daggett had 10 points and seven rebounds for the Vikings, while Clare Westerlund produced 10 points, five rebounds, and two steals.

Allie VanAntwerp added five points, eight rebounds, and two steals. Lucy Zamojcin had four points and two steals.

Whitehall led Oakridge 15-14 at halftime, thanks to a deep, buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Westerlund.

The score was tied at 23 through three quarters.

“Lucy Zamojcin was in early foul trouble before ultimately fouling out, but other girls steped up, including Allie VanAntwerp, Clare Westerlund, Lianne Fagan, and Taylor Ottinger to help get the win,” Milliron said.

Oakridge senior standout Anna Lundquist posted another double-double in her final game as an Eagle. She finished with 20 points, 15 rebounds, and five steals.

Sophomore Cambria Guenthardt added four points for the Eagles.

“It was a hard-fought game all the way to the finish,” Oakridge coach Saxon Smith said. “Proud of the effort the girls put forward.”

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

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