Local Sports Journal

PONTIAC – The host Pontiac Firebirds wasted no time Saturday night in American Basketball Association (ABA) action against the West Michigan Lake Hawks, downing the visitors 112-100 after notching a 12-0 first-quarter run that got Pontiac going.

It was the Lake Hawks’ first road game of the young season.

“We played very tough on our first road game,” said Lake Hawk head coach Ron Jenkins. “However, we gave up to many second-chance shots.”

Turnovers hurt West Michigan as well, with the Lake Hawks committing 22 giveaways on the evening, often leading to easy transition baskets for the Firebirds.

And yet, down 23 heading into the fourth quarter, West Michigan chiseled down the lead to just seven points with under two-and-a-half minutes remaining. West Michigan’s Ralph Monday scored 11 of his team-high 21 points in the final stanza, but it was not enough.

Monday also collected a game-high 14 rebounds, dished out five assists and caused two steals.

“One thing about our team is that they never give up and they are always ready to perform on the court,” said Jenkins about his club’s fourth-quarter comeback. “I believe as we continue to build on our chemistry, we will be a hard team to beat down the line. I understand most of our opponents have been playing several years together and this is our first season. Therefore, with the solid foundation being set, I’m OK with early losses in the season.”

Pontiac’s C. Smith led his team with 15 points.

West Michigan’s Will Wright finished with 10 rebounds and six assists, while Anthony Thompson had 13 rebounds and five blocks.

Anthony Crump had nine boards, and Bernard Webb added with eight rebounds in the loss.

The Lake Hawks are now 1-3 on the season.