FRUITPORT — A strong start faded into another tough outing for the Fruitport girls basketball team on Friday night.

Despite leading for most of the first half, the Trojans fell 47-24 to Allendale in an O-K Blue Conference game on their home court.

The Trojans started off well, leading for all but 50 seconds of the first half. Things began to turn midway through the second quarter, however, when Fruitport went scoreless for the last 4:35 of the half and Allendale ended the frame on an 11-2 run to tie the game at 17-17.

The Falcons then outscored Fruitport 30-7 in the second half to cruise to the win.

Fruitport’s Rhiannon Raleigh gets a shot off in a crowd of defenders. Photo/Tyler Lirones

“Our offense was just not there tonight,” Fruitport coach Brian Packard said. “We just didn’t execute our offense like I know we can.

Packard said his defensive focus was on limiting Allendale guard Avery Brose. The sophomore ended with a game-high 22 points, mostly in the second half.

“We knew that they had one girl that if we let her get going, we were in for a long night – and she got going,” Packard said of Brose.

Despite the loss, Fruitport’s fourth in a row, Packard remains optimistic about his team.

Fruitport’s Ashton Olson takes a jump shot. Photo/Tyler Lirones

“We’re close. It’s tangible,” Packard said. “I don’t think we’re as far off as sometimes we feel like we are. We’re a few possessions here and there away from being a good team.”

Part of that optimism has to do with the mindset of the players. Packard said they have high expectations and know they can play better than this recent stretch.

“I’m still excited,” he said. “It’s crazy to think I’m excited after losing by 20, but our girls are disappointed. They know that they’re better than they were tonight. I think that’s a good thing. We’re going to wake up tomorrow and keep moving forward.”

Fruitport led 11-5 after one quarter with five different players scoring in the frame. The lead grew as large as 15-6 in the second quarter before the Falcons rallied to tie the game.

Fruitport’s Izabel Hanson-Wilbur aims for the hoop. Photo/Tyler Lirones

A 15-0 advantage in the third gave Allendale a 32-17 lead heading to the fourth. The Falcons outscored Fruitport 15-7 in the final quarter.

Ashton Olson led Fruitport with seven points, followed by Grace Sweet with five.

Fruitport is now 5-5 on the season, including 0-4 in the O-K Blue. The Trojans will host Grand Rapids West Catholic on Tuesday.eddie