HART — Hart's seemingly smooth road to at least a share of the West Michigan Conference title hit a speed bump Tuesday in the form of the Whitehall Vikings.

The Pirates got off to a slow start against Whitehall and it cost them the victory in a 52-43 loss that knocked Hart into a tie with Montague in the league at 10-2. (Hart is 15-3 overall.)

Hart didn't do a lot of scoring early in the game, which normally wouldn't have been an issue for the Pirates with their lockdown defense. But the Vikings brought their hot hands north and hit some big early three-pointers, grabbing a 23-12 lead at halftime. Coach Travis Rosema ruefully pointed out that that first-half output matched Whitehall's entire game total in the teams' first meeting, an easy Hart win.

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