PETOSKEY - The Big Rapids Cardinals could not protect a slim 3-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter, as a scoring barrage by the Houghton Gremlins sent them to the State Quarterfinals with a 41-27 victory on Thursday evening.
The Cardinals played stellar defense, holding the Gremlins to just 20 points through three quarters of play, but Houghton out-scored Big Rapids 21-4 in the decisive fourth quarter to earn the regional title.
Danica Ryynanen led the charge for Houghton, scoring all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter.
Big Rapids was led by Kelsie Gorczewicz with 11 points.
The Cardinals end their season with a 23-3 overall record.
Houghton advances to face Frankenmuth in a Division 2 State Quarterfinal at Big Rapids High School on Tuesday night.