Wayland’s Caroline Miller (right) slides battles for a loose ball during her team’s 77-76 win over Catholic Central in double overtime.

Wildcats outlast G.R. Catholic Central in thriller

Jason Wesseldyk

Whenever two of the top-ranked teams in the state square off with each other, you’d expect them to put on quite a show.
The girls’ basketball squads from Wayland and Grand Rapids Catholic Central certainly didn’t disappoint.
Not only were the Wildcats, ranked fifth in Class B, and the third-ranked Cougars unable to settle their differences in regulation, but they were also unable to do so in the first overtime session.
That’s right. The teams took the game to two overtime periods before Wayland emerged with the 77-76 win.
The victory, which kept the Wildcats perfect for the season at 11-0 overall and 3-0 in the OK Gold, helped ease the sting of a pair of close losses to the Cougars last season.
“I think it’s a validation to everything we are trying to do or have done as a program, especially after losing two close ones to them last year,” Wayland coach Marty Howard said of the win. “We certainly have played against some quality opponents this season thus far but to finally win this game is a confidence booster.  
“This is something we can draw from over the remainder of the season when we have moments of struggle and adversity.”
The Wildcats took the lead for good in the second overtime on a basket from Caroline Miller, who took a half-court pass from Presley Hudson.
Hudson finished with a game-best 30 points against a Catholic Central team that entered the game allowing its opponents only 27 points per contest.
“I believe she’s the best player in the state of Michigan and she showed it tonight,” Howard said of Hudson. “She kept telling the girls in the huddle we weren’t going to lose the game and she kept up her end of the bargain. The great thing for us as a team is that she still can get better as can all of her teammates.”
Miller was second in scoring for the Wildcats, going for 17 points.

For full story, pick up a copy of the January 29 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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