Local Sports Journal

An unselfish band of Warriors tried their best to get a teammate a school scoring record on Friday night.

Bernard Smith goes up for two points. Photo/John Mulder

Bernard Smith (50), shown in a game earlier this season, scored 45 points in the Western Michigan Christian Warriors’ victory over Grand River Prep.

Four –year starter Bernard Smith poured in 45 points, one short of the Western Michigan Christian school record, in the Warriors’ 85-37 River Valley Conference victory over the visiting Grand  River Preparatory Titans.

Smith scored 26 points in the first half and 19 in the second half for the Warriors (5-1).

“I have the best teammates in the state,” said Smith, who also pulled down 17 rebounds. “I couldn’t ask for better teammates or coaching staff. So, I am just blessed with this team.”

Smith fell short of the record set by Larell Billips.

In the early going, the Warriors and Titans had an offensive slugfest with Jacob Ray scoring 12 points in a first quarter in which the Warriors grabbed a 29-18 lead. Titan Willie O’Toole scored 13 points in the opening quarter, but did not register another point over the last three quarters.

In the meantime, Smith poured in eight points in the first quarter and added 18 more in the second. In the third quarter, in which the Warriors pushed the score beyond the 40-point margin, Smith had 13 more points.

“These guys wanted to get something for Bernard,” WMC Kyle Mastenbrook said. “I would say Bernard may have been the 13th more excited about trying to get him the ball on the team. I’m  real proud about how unselfish the guys are, how hard they are playing and hard they work.”

Ray finished with 16 points and five assists. Derrick Holt had six steals and Alex Rop had five assists.

Western Michigan Christian 85, Grand River Prep 37

Jon Lampani 4 1-2 9, Willie DeLaFuente 1 0-0 3, Brad Burgess 2 0-1 4, Gershawn Burton 1 0-0 3, Tusani Gates 2 0-0 5, Willie O’Toole 4 2-2 13. Totals 14 3-5 37.

Alex Rop 2 0-0 4, Jacob Ray 7 0-0 16, Devin Eekhoff 0 0-2 0, Derrick Holt 1 4-8 6, Bernard Smith 21 3-8 45, Kyle Kingma 1 0-0 2, Jared Varnado 1 2-2 5, Sam Mast 2 0-0 4, Riley Arkema 1 0-0 3. Totals 36 9-20 85.

Grand River 18 – 6 – 8 – 5  — 37
WMC  29 – 25 – 20 – 11 – 85

3-pointers: DeLaFuente, Burton, O’Toole (3), Gates. Ray (2), Arkema, Varnado. Fouled out: none. JV: WMC 67-29.