Lakers down Bobcats in OT, 37-35

Bear Lake’s Hayley May (15) tries to elude the defensive attention of Brethren’s Megan Cordes (3) during the Lakers’ 37-35 overtime win over the Bobcats Tuesday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

Bear Lake’s Hayley May (15) tries to elude the defensive attention of Brethren’s Megan Cordes (3) during the Lakers’ 37-35 overtime win over the Bobcats Tuesday night. (Brian Fogg/News Advocate)

BEAR LAKE — Bear Lake girls basketball was able to pull it out at the wire against Brethren for the second time in 10 days on Tuesday night.

The Lakers were able to sneak out with a huge 37-35 win in overtime despite squandering a double-digit, third-quarter lead.

The game all but eliminates the Bobcats (10-6, 8-3) from the West Michigan D League title race, while Bear Lake (12-4, 10-1) stays in a first-place tie with Pentwater.

“We had to win tonight,” Bear Lake coach Jeff Harthun said. “If you lose then Pentwater would be sitting pretty. We have to go down there on Thursday and play Pentwater. That’s not the league title, because we still have to play Baldwin and Walkerville, but you can’t lose to Pentwater.”

Despite the loss, Brethren’s Mariah Pringle scored her 1,000th point in the third quarter, but her 22 points, 16 rebounds and 7 blocks i the game wouldn’t be enough.

“I’ve had her for four years. She’s very athletic,” Brethren coach Julie Riggs said. “I don’t think she’s even found out how good she can be. I think at the next level they’ll tap into that with stronger competition.”

Neither team shot the ball well from the line. The Lakers were 8-for-25 and the Bobcats were 14-for-37 from the charity stripe, and that showed early on.

Pringle scored nine the first half, but the Bear Lake led 18-14 at the break with some help from Mariah Beaver off of the bench.

Beaver finished 11 points and 4 rebounds.

She made two three-point shots out of the locker room in the third to help the Lakers pull out to a 30-18 lead late in the third. The team did this largely without leading scorer Yuki Babinec, who played sparingly with an injury. Hayley May had to handle most of the point guard duties in the game.

“I really have to give credit to a lot of these girls that stepped up. They didn’t freak out. They gave us a little bit of pressure and I didn’t know what we were going to do,” Harthun said.

“Hayley was out and Yuki was out. Mariah kind of took over. People were filling in spots that they don’t normally do. I give the whole team credit. Kate (Omar) did a good job. She was dead tired. She gave Abby (Cross) a break by guarding Mariah.”

Pringle scored her 1,000th point as time expired in the third quarter on a left-handed hook in the lane to make the game 30-20.

After going up by double digits the Lakers went on an 8:42 scoring drought while the Bobcats starting extending their man-to-man defense on the perimeter.

Brethren slowly climbed back into the game. A layup from Pringle gave Brethren a 32-30 lead with 2 minutes left in the game, but just as Bear Lake has done all season, they found a way to rally in the closing minute of a game.

“We couldn’t run an offense. Our defense was going to have to win the game. We came back and we had a chance at the end,” Riggs said.

Abby Cross had an and-one play with 28 seconds left in the game pull Bear Lake back into it at 33 and send the game to overtime.

In overtime the Lakers tried to lose by going 2-for-10 from the line, but a series of turnovers and missed free throws by the Bobcats helped Bear Lake hold off the late rally.

“The foul line completely deserted us. We’ve been doing well from the foul line. It shouldn’t have been that close. That’s one thing that we need to improve in the last week we have here,” Harthun said.

May finished with 6 points and 5 rebounds for Bear Lake and Cross had 8 points and 4 rebounds.

Whitney Danks had 5 points and 11 rebounds for Brethren and Megan Cordes had 8 points and 4 rebounds.

Brethren will be back on Thursday at Manistee Catholic Central.

Bear Lake will be back on Thursday at Pentwater.

Brethren won the junior varsity game 36-20.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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