PREP ROUNDUP: Laker boys drop key WMDL game, routed at Baldwin 87-59

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BALDWIN — Bear Lake took a step backwards in the West Michigan D League boys basketball title race with a 87-59 loss at Baldwin Wednesday night.

Kaiden Hejl scored a team-high 34 points and Trey Gilbert had 11 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 8 assists for the Lakers (9-2 overall, 7-1 WMDL), who had defeated the Panthers at home 82-70 in the season opener back on Dec. 7.

The loss was Bear Lake’s first in league play, and made the WMDL title chase a three-horse race, with the Lakers clinging to a one-game lead over Baldwin (7-4, 6-2) and Pentwater (10-3, 6-2) atop the league standings.

Bear Lake head coach Garret Waller said that his team simply did not play well in a game that would have given his team a downhill run to the league title with a win.

“We’re still in first, but that was a team we beat by 12 points the first time, and now we got beat by 30,” Waller said. “We (darn) near have to start over. It’s very frustrating.

“We’ve got to keep our main guys on the floor, and we have the get some other guys to put the ball in the hole, or we’re going to be in trouble.”

Hejl was hampered by early foul trouble, picking up his third foul midway through the first quarter and finishing the half on the bench with just nine points.

Bear Lake trailed 42-28 at the half, but the Panthers outscored the Lakers 33-22 in the third quarter to take the game by the throat.

“Kaiden put his points up and Trey played halfway decent, but the other guys either didn’t come to play or (didn’t) put the ball in the hole,” Waller said. “We missed a lot of layups, especially in the first half.”

Next up for the Lakers is a suddenly massive game at surging Manistee Catholic Central (9-3, 5-3) on Friday, Feb. 2.

“If we play like that on Friday, we’ll drop another one,” Waller said.

Portagers routed by Buckley, 79-34

BUCKLEY — Onekama fell to 6-4 overall and 5-4 in Northwest Conference boys basketball play with a 79-34 loss at Buckley Wednesday night.

“They came ready to play, and we didn’t,” Bradford said. “They put it right to us. The played like the state runner-up that they were last year.”

The Bears (9-3, 8-1) jumped out to a commanding 27-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 49-16 at the half on the way to the big win.

Ben Acton led the Portagers with 10 points and Nick Falk and Taylor Bennett each had 6 in the game.

“I don’t want to take any credit away from them, they definitely played well,” Bradford said. “We probably had our worst start of the year. We got down by too many, and by then it was too late.”

Onekama will look to rebound on Friday, Feb. 2, when they travel to Kingsley.

“We’ll just put this one behind us and hopefully we can move forward,” Bradford said.

Onekama’s junior varsity team defeated Buckley 67-52. Wade Sedlar led the Portagers with 33 points.

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Posted by Scott Yoshonis

Scott is the sports editor of the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3112 or syoshonis@pioneergroup.com.

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