Eaton Rapids wins Class B; 51-38 over S. Christian

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Eaton Rapids was hardly dazzling from the field in Saturday’s Class B title game, but it didn’t matter.

The Greyhounds had Allie Dittmer.

The senior center had 26 points, 13 rebounds and helped Eaton Rapids stay in front and eventually roll to a 51-38 win over Grand Rapids South Christian. It’s the first girls’ basketball championship in school history.

Dittmer gave the Greyhounds (23-5) the lead for good with a pair of baskets in the final minute of the first half, then helped them pad it with several big shots in the second. The biggest came midway through the fourth quarter when she had a layup and two subsequent free throws to kick off a 10-0 run that effectively ended the game.

“I think she’s one of the best post players in the state and I thought she proved it today,” Eaton Rapids coach Willis Whitmyer said of his 6-foot-1 center.

The Greyhounds zone defense goaded South Christian (26-1) into 15-for-46 shooting and 18 turnovers. Those miscues turned into a dozen Eaton Rapids points.

“We got stuck in the corners a couple of times and it got contagious,” South Christian coach James De Bruyn said. “We couldn’t get an open shot.”

The misses were even more frustrating every time Dittmer found space near the basket for one of her six offensive rebounds.

“She ended up with a bucket or we fouled her,” De Bruyn said. “We tried to stop her but she got to the basket too often.”

The teams were even on the offensive glass but the Greyhounds ended the game with a 34-24 overall rebounding advantage and outscored South Christian 22-16 in the paint.

The loss ended South Christian’s bid for an unbeaten season and its first state title since 1988.

Kathryn Mills had 11 points - including a late 3-pointer to put the game out of reach - and Bailey Baker added five assists for Eaton Rapids, which went to intermission with a 19-16 lead and finished the game 15 of 39 from the floor.

Renee Broekhuizen was the lone Sailors player to reach double figures with 13 points. Cassidy Vredevoogd added five blocks.

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