FRUITPORT — The Fruitport girls basketball team knew it had its hands full heading into a Division 2 district title game against a very good Spring Lake team Friday night.

The Lakers beat the Trojans in both of their regular season matchups, and the Trojans would need to play a “pretty perfect” game to pull off an upset, according to head coach Brian Packard.

It wasn’t meant to be for the Trojans. Spring Lake raced out to an early lead and cruised to a 55-17 win, ending Fruitport’s season.

“We knew that we had to play a pretty perfect game to beat them,” Packard said. “We knew we had to be kind of flawless.”

Fruitport’s Ashton Olson. Photo/Jeremy Clark

“We give Spring Lake all the credit, they’re a good team, well coached. They play hard, play the right way.”

With Friday’s loss, the Trojans finish the season 7-18. They started 5-1 before ending a 16-game losing streak, brought on by a tough O-K Blue conference schedule.

Fruitport rebounded to win a pair of district games this week before falling to the Lakers, who are now18-6.

The game marked the end of the careers of six important seniors. Ashton Olson, Jorja Blackmer, Rhiannon Raleigh, Grace Sweet, Riley Kettel and Aris Ogden helped set a new standard and lay a foundation for the program, Packard said.

Fruitport’s Rhiannon Raleigh. Photo/Jeremy Clark

“Our seniors just lead,” the coach said. “They talk to the girls all day, they talk to the underclassmen and coach them up. They’re engaged, they’re at our youth league every single Saturday from seven in the morning to one in the afternoon, just pouring into the youth girls.

“If I had to pick six girls to have my first two years of coaching with, I wouldn’t have picked any other girls. They’ve been awesome for us. I’m proud of them.”

Although Friday’s loss was hard, particularly for the seniors, Packard said he’s excited for the future.

“This is just the beginning,” Packard said. “It stinks to lose, but we know what’s ahead for us.”

Fruitport’s Jorja Blackmer. Photo/Jeremy Clark

Olson led Fruitport with seven points, followed by Raleigh with four and Blackmer and Ava Powell with two each.

Ella Andree led the Lakers with 24 points and Ella Wrona added 12.

Spring Lake now advances to the regional semifinals on Tuesday to face Fremont (20-4). The Lakers topped Fremont 54-32 in the season opener for both teams back in early December.eddie