NORTON SHORES — Heading into a new season after losing four starters from last year’s squad, the Fruitport boys basketball team was surrounded by a lot of question marks.
The young Trojans provided some answers on Friday with a balanced, controlled effort at Western Michigan Christian that led to a 58-41 season-opening victory.
“My message to those guys was I think this year’s team, we’ll win games with a balanced effort,” said Fruitport coach Steve Erny. “I think the scorebook is probably going to show it was pretty balanced.
“I really like the makeup of this crew as far as their attitudes and effort and the unselfishness. I hope that continues to show.”
Five Trojans scored at least eight points, with three in double figures.
Freshman Hudson Hazekamp led the team with 12 points, followed by Grade Anspach and Ryan Bosch with 11 each. DayDay Williams added nine points and Kyle Burke chipped in eight.
“We’ve obviously got great players like DayDay that defenses are going to hone in on,” said Burke, who is a senior. “But just being able to pass the ball and have faith in the next player to score, it’s awesome.”
Fruitport also leaned on its depth on Friday. With several starters in early foul trouble, the subs stepped in off the bench to play significant minutes. All 10 Trojans who suited up logged court time in the game.
“We were in foul trouble for a lot of the game and some of our best players had to sit the bench,” Erny said. “Everyone stepped up. Even though we have a little bit lighter numbers as far as the full roster goes, I’m very pleased with those guys that did come off the bench.”
Leading the effort off the bench was Hazekamp, who made three three-point shots, including one at the buzzer ending the first half, along with a driving layup and a free throw.
“Hudson is going to be a really good player for Fruitport,” Erny said. “His first basket was a nice drive. He showed he’s not just a standing shooter, but he’s got game. He’s got a high basketball IQ.”
Fruitport started out hot, using an early 9-0 run to race out to an 11-2 lead. The Trojans led 18-12 at the end of the first frame, then outscored WMC 13-6 in the second quarter to take a 31-18 lead at halftime.
Hazekamp had eight points at the break, followed by Williams with seven and Burke with five.
Anspach put up a big third quarter, scoring nine of the team’s 18 points as Fruitport extended the lead to 49-31 entering the fourth. The Trojans slowed the game down in the final quarter to close out the victory.
In addition to his scoring, Anspach grabbed 10 rebounds and had three steals for the Trojans. Bosch grabbed eight rebounds and Nathan Carlisle scored five points and grabbed seven rebounds.