Godwin Heights’ defense wears down Spring Lake, Wolverines cruise to 78-56 Class B quarterfinal victory
Rockford – Wyoming Godwin Heights’ defense was a little flat at the start of the Class B quarterfinal Tuesday at Rockford High School.
The Wolverines let Spring Lake dribble through and pass over their full-court press, allowing the Lakers to race out to an early lead just minutes into the game.
Instead of getting frustrated, Godwin Heights just picked up the defensive tempo, helping the Wolverines go on an 11-3 run in the final three minutes of the first quarter to take a four-point lead after eight minutes.
It was a lead that Godwin Heights (24-1) would not relinquish as the Wolverines beat Spring Lake 78-56 and move to Friday night’s semifinal at the Breslin Center, where they will play Milan, a 69-60 winner over Otsego in its semifinal.
"Being in the quarterfinals, everyone is intense," said first-year Godwin Heights coach Tyler Whittemore. "Spring Lake came out to get us, and a lot of credit goes out to them. They handled our press early, but we stayed in what we wanted to do, being in the right places, and we executed after that."
The better defense turned into better offense, and everybody was getting into the action.
Senior guard Delaney Blaylock picked up the Wolverines early, scoring five of his team-high 17 points in the first quarter.
Then junior guard Leon Redd took over, scoring six of his 13 points in that pivotal 11-3 run at the end of the first quarter that allowed Godwin to take control.
The Wolverines pushed their lead to nine at the break and 14 points after three quarters.
"It got away from us quick," said Spring Lake coach Bill Core. "Obviously we were trying to get some calls, but they let them play that aggressive at this level and they wore us down. They put a lot of tough pressure on you for aa long time, and I couldn’t be more proud of our guys, but Godwin did a good job of wearing us down."
The Lakers were game, but just out-manned as far as speed a pressure go.
Nathan Batts and Zach Montgomery led Spring Lake (18-8) in scoring with 14 and 13 points, respectively.
Now Godwin Heights heads back to the semifinals. Two years ago the Wolverines lost to Detroit Community in the semifinals.
Last year the Wolverines lost to Benton Harbor in the quarterfinals.
"Being in the program since I was in elementary school, and now coaching, I am very excited," Whittemore said. "The guys always play hard and pay attention to detail. They do what they are asked and play hard."