The Hart girls basketball season came to an end on Thursday afternoon with a 57-26 Division 3 semifinal loss to Hemlock at the Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University.
The Pirates were unable to recover from a very slow start. They were outscored 21-1 in the first quarter and 8-6 in the second and trailed 29-7 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Hemlock outscored Hart 14-12 to extend the Pirates’ deficit to 43-19.
Hemlock had another strong quarter in the fourth, outscoring the Pirates 14-7 to make the final score 57-26.
Aspen Boutell led the Pirates with seven points while Kelsey Copenhaver added five points and five rebounds.
Regan Finkbeiner led Hemlock with 24 points in the game while Lauren Borsenik scored 17.
Hart finished the season with a 24-4 record, a West Michigan Conference Rivers Division championship, and Division 3 district and regional championships.
“I think we came out with some nerves,” said Hart Coach Travis Rosema. “We knew what they were going to do but didn’t execute well. They did a good job of dictating the pace.
“It was an amazing season. At the end of the day only one team wins, and I really think we lost to the team that’s going to win the state championship.
“I tried to take it in and enjoy the experience, and I hope the girls will always cherish it, with so many memories made, and the community support we had. Every kid in the elementary school stood outside with signs supporting us as we left this morning. It was amazing.”
Hart fans will be happy to know that the Pirates’ two leading scorers – Addie Hovey and Abby Hicks – will both be back next season, along with several other talented players who played big roles on the team this season.
“Before it was me (as head coach) it was Stacy Hovey, and I think we both did a good job of reaching down and getting the younger kids involved in the youth program, so hopefully our success of the last couple of seasons will continue,” Rosema said.
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