CENTRAL LAKE —
On an emotional night, Central Lake's basketball team didn't disappoint.
A day after the death of former teammate Maris Spaulding, the Trojans earned a 51-30 victory over Ellsworth in a packed home contest.
"This might have been one of the worst days at school and one of the best ways to end the day," Central Lake coach Quinn Barry said. "The players and the students were great. Our community turnout for this game was spectacular. A big reason is the Spaulding family. They're really well respected, and Maris battled all the way."
Spaulding passed away Thursday evening after a months-long battle with leukemia.
Also a star pitcher on the diamond, the school lit luminary bags around the softball field.
The basketball players wore orange "MariStrong" T-shirts.
"Our team was spectacular with how they held it together," Barry said.
Lauren Rogers led the Trojans (2-0) with 19 points, Allie Hines scored 12 and Jaynee Mortenson eight.
Tara Essenberg led Ellsworth (0-2) with 10.
The Trojans return to the court Wednesday at Gaylord St. Mary.
Kingsley 53 TC St. Francis 50
Kenzie Meeker scored 18 points as Kingsley improved to 2-0 with a 53-50 win over St. Francis in the Northwest Conference-Lake Michigan Conference Crossover Challenge.
The game was tied 27-27 at half. Kingsley led by as many as 10 points in the second half.
Autumn Goggin added nine points and Katie Travis and Amanda Youker eight apiece.
Liza Erickson scored 11 points and Bridget Bussell 10 for St. Francis (2-1).
Kingsley travels to Cadillac on Tuesday, while St. Francis hosts the Vikings on Dec. 10.
Elk Rapids 57 Leland 42
Elk Rapids opened up the Northwest Conference-Lake Michigan Conference Crossover Challenge with a 57-42 victory over Leland.
The challenge features a series of eight games between Northwest and Lake Michigan teams in Kingsley — three Friday and five Saturday.
Paige Granger scored 11 points and Celsey Waite and Rachel Hintz 10 each for Elk Rapids. Michelle Costa added eight for the Elks (1-0), who travel Tuesday to Glen Lake.
Leland (0-1) was led by 15 points from Caitlin McKee and 11 points and five assists by Libby Munoz. The Comets host Manistee Catholic on Tuesday.