Lakers’ rally comes up just short of Crossroads

Bear Lake’s Tai Babinec goes in for a layup during the Lakers’ defeat at the hands of Big Rapids Crossroads on Friday night. (Dylan Savela/News Advocate)

BEAR LAKE — The comeback was on, but time ran out on the Bear Lake boys basketball team on Friday night. Despite outscoring Big Rapids Crossroads 27-13 in the second half, the Lakers came up just short in a 47-45 West Michigan D League loss to the Cougars.

“I was proud of the way they battled back,” said Bear Lake coach Garret Waller. “We gave ourselves a chance, and if this team plays like they did in the second half the rest of the year, we’re going to be tough to beat.

“But they’ve got to find that sense of urgency right from the start of these ballgames.”

Crossroads (9-1, 7-1 WMD) controlled the game in the first half, mounting a 34-18 lead by halftime, as the Lakers’ leading scorer Trey Gilbert was forced to miss some action due to foul trouble.

With a defensive adjustment and Gilbert back on the floor, Bear Lake (5-4, 5-3 WMD) began to chip away at the Cougar lead out of the locker room.

“We got Trey back on the floor, which made a huge difference,” Waller said. “And we had some trouble pressing them for one reason or another in the first half, so we fell back into our half court defense in the second. I told them, ‘Let’s get (the deficit) down to eight or 10 points by the fourth quarter, and they did that.”

The Lakers outscored the opposition 10-4 in the third quarter and 17-9 in the fourth. They had a chance to tie the game in the final second too, but Gilbert missed the front end of a pair of free throws, and a lane violation nullified the second.

Gilbert finished the game with a team-high 20 points to go with six steals and one assist. Reagan Merrill added eight points, five rebounds and one assist while Riccardo Girlanda scored seven with one rebound, one steal and one block, and Bradley Novak netted seven with two boards and two assists.

“We’re starting to gel a little better and I’m starting to find some good rotations with this group,” Waller said. “It’s a learning thing as we go here, but I’m hoping we can start playing more like we did in that second half tonight.”

Bobcats maul Baldwin

BALDWIN — Brethren boys basketball came away with a West Michigan D League victory Friday, winning 73-58 at Baldwin.

“We were able to press,” said Brethren head coach J.J. Randall. “We were able to run the floor, but we still had a lot of turnovers. Baldwin’s a little down this year.”

Gavin Asiala led the Bobcats (5-3, 5-3 WMDL) with 15 points. Jacob Riggs recorded 14 points and 14 rebounds, Logan Tighe finished with 14 points and seven boards, Skylar Wojciechowski had seven points and seven assists while Nick Knight scored 10 points.

“We were able to push the ball a little bit and get some quick, open looks,” Randall said. “I still don’t think we executed the best we could, and Baldwin put up some points, too. … Overall it was a good night.”

The Bobcats host Fife Lake Forest Area Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Onekama loses a thriller to Suttons Bay

SUTTONS BAY — Onekama boys basketball dropped a close one to Northwest Conference foe Suttons Bay Friday, falling 52-50 when a potential game-winner proved to be just off the mark.

“We had a chance to win it at the end,” said Onekama head coach Nathan Bradford. “We had a good look at a 3-pointer. I thought it was going in but it bounced out. Luke Mauntler had a good shot at the end but missed it.”

The Portagers (5-4, 3-3 NWC) jumped out to an early lead but faltered, allowing Suttons Bay (3-7, 2-4 NWC) to get back into it.

“It went back and forth pretty much all night,” Bradford said. “We had a good cushion to start but Ben Acton twisted his ankle and had to sit out for a while. We taped him up and he came back. He was limping around out there but he gave everything he had. He played a heck of a game.

“… We went back and forth and they made a few shots at the end.”

Taylor Bennett led the Portagers with 17 points, five rebounds and two assists. Acton recorded 15 points and seven steals, Aric Hopwood finished with 10 points and Wade Sedlar scored eight points while grabbing four boards.

“We started off really well,” Bradford said. “We had a little lull when Ben went out. After halftime, it took us a while to get going again but we fought back and had chances at the end to win, so I give the kids credit. They fought back at the end.

“…They had a chance to win at the end and that’s all I can ask for.”

Onekama next sees action Wednesday with a home game against Manistee Catholic Central at 7:30 p.m.

Manistee falls to Muskegon Catholic Central

MUSKEGON — Manistee boys basketball held Muskegon Catholic Central to a four-point fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough as the Chippewas fell 47-34 on the road Friday.

“The turnover bug got us tonight,” said Manistee head coach Dan Gustad. “They threw a little press on us and we ended up with 25 turnovers, which is way too many. Obviously, it’s our second game in a row without Anselmo Sarabia, who is our point guard and leading ball-handler.

“I think if he would have been healthy enough to go we probably would have persevered the press tonight a little better and maybe had a better outcome.”

Drew Schlaff led the Chippewas in his varsity debut with eight points. Keaton Connell finished with seven points and six rebounds, Grant Schlaff scored four in his varsity debut, Austin Guenther finished with four points and four assists while Andrew Jackoviak had four points and four boards.

The Chippewas next see action Friday when they host Western Michigan Christian at 7:30 p.m.

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