Harper Creek basketball teams sweep Sturgis

Jacob Thompson scores two points for the Trojans in the team's loss to Harper Creek at home on Monday.
Jacob Thompson scores two points for the Trojans in the team's loss to Harper Creek at home on Monday.

The Sturgis varsity hoops teams each dropped games to Harper Creek on Monday evening.

The boys hosted Harper Creek, but struggled to score points in the second half. The end result was a 46-38 victory for the visiting Beavers as the Trojans made only five shots in the second half. Three of those shots were 3-pointers, but the Trojans were not able to overcome a deficit acquired early in the third quarter.

“We battled our tails off once again, especially on the defensive end. We had them in the 30s most of the night,” Sturgis coach Keith Kurowski said. “On the offensive end, we missed shots and missed opportunities. We had some good looks, we just didn’t shoot a high enough percentage to get it done.”

Sturgis scored just 13 points in the second half. Even so, the game was not over mathematically until late, when Harper Creek connected for some free throws, took advantage of Sturgis turnovers and did its best to keep the clock moving.

Back in the first quarter, Sturgis built a modest lead. The Trojans got four points each from Grady Miller and Jacob Thompson in the first eight minutes. The SHS defense did its best to keep Harper Creek from getting quality looks at the rim and held them to only three made field goals in the first quarter. Because of this, SHS led 12-7.

But in the second quarter, Harper Creek was able to have its best offensive quarter. The Beavers scored 17 points, getting contributions from five separate players. The Trojans still had a lead at 25-24 with time expiring in the second quarter, but SHS was unable to get a shot off before the clock hit triple zeroes.

Sturgis held that one-point lead at the break and into the third quarter. Then, Harper Creek moved ahead of the Trojans by a bucket and held them away to pick up the win.

“We didn’t make enough winning plays tonight — taking charges, getting deflections and steals, offensive rebounds and throw-aheads to get buckets in transition,” Kurowski said. “They beat us on the boards as well plus shot a higher percentage. Multiple times tonight, they were able to get offensive rebounds while we were one-and-done. They got more cracks at it and that can break a team’s spirit.”

Each team committed 17 turnovers in the game.

In the second half, Sturgis got a single 3-pointer each from Ian Smith, Johnny Morgan and Gibson Cary. Thompson scored the other four points.

For the game, Thompson finished with 13, more than six points below his season average. Miller scored eight points and Smith totaled seven. Morgan and Cary both hit for three points, both Hunter Kosmerick and Gavin PeDue scored two points.

The Lady Trojans traveled to Harper Creek and fell in a close one, 48-42.

“Good game tonight, we just came up short,” Sturgis coach Jeremy Bucklin said. “Girls battled the whole game despite a big size advantage for Harper Creek. We had good looks all night.”

Sturgis finished with three players in double figures for the game.

Kennedy Finnerman led the way with 12 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists. Keyanna O’Tey tossed in 11 points with seven rebounds and three steals while Riley Eicher scored 10 points with four rebounds and two steals.

Emily Schuller scored four points with eight rebounds and four blocks. Rylee Carver scored three points with five rebounds and three assists, Yuri Villafuerte threw in two points with four rebounds, three assists and three steals.Bucklin said his team did a decent job on the defensive end of the floor.

“Defensively we played well, just had a couple of lapses that was the difference in the game,” Bucklin said. “Very proud of the team and the way we continue to battle night in and night out.”

This article originally appeared on Sturgis Journal: Harper Creek basketball teams sweep Sturgis