By Andrew Johnson
MUSKEGON HEIGHTS — The West Michigan Lake Hawks made too many mistakes on Saturday in a 139-136 overtime loss to Team Network at Muskegon Heights High School.
Perhaps the most costly mistake was in the closing seconds of overtime, when the Lake Hawks needed a three-pointer to tie the game.
After swinging the ball around the perimeter, Ralph Monday got caught in no-mans land with the ball and eventually threw it away. Team Network recovered the loose ball with about three seconds left and dribbled out the clock.
“I should’ve called timeout,” West Michigan head coach Ron Jenkins about the final offensive seconds said. “But the players play, and the coaches coach. The players had a chance to finish it and they didn’t do it. It’s just a disappointing loss.”
Overall, the Lake Hawks finished with 24 turnovers on the night and only 18 assists.
“lt was a highly competitive game overall,” Jenkins said. “But at this level you can’t turn it over though, and that’s why we lost the game.”
In the first quarter, West Michigan was down 27-24 before closing out the quarter with an 11-0 run to take a 35-27 lead after one. Terry Walker Jr led the Lake Hawks with 15 points in the opening quarter.
In the second quarter, West Michigan surrendered 43 points and found themselves trailing 67-58 at halftime. Tremayne Thompson had seven points in the quarter to lead the Lake Hawk effort.
Monday began to take over in the post after halftime, going to the free throw line six different times in the third quarter. He finished with 13 points in the quarter while going 8-of-11 from the charity stripe. At the end of the quarter, West Michigan trailed 101-95.
The Lake Hawks came back to take the lead in the fourth quarter and held a 122-118 with 2:43 left in regulation. Team Network went on a 4-0 run to tie the game 122-122 with 1:23 to play.
The teams remained deadlocked until Maurice Benson put Team Network ahead 124-122 with just 17 seconds remaining.
On the final possession of regulation, Thompson made a lay-up with just two seconds remaining to send the game into overtime tied at 124-124.
In overtime, Team Network started the period on a 10-3 run to take a 134-127 lead with 2:47 remaining.
However, the Lake Hawks responded by 9-2 run to tie the game at 136-136 with 40 seconds to go.
With just 29 seconds left, Seandale Shinolster of Team Network drew a foul and hit both free throws to take a 138-136 lead.
Following the free throws, West Michigan turned the ball over on the inbounds pass and fouled Team Network again with 23 seconds remaining.
Team Network went 1-of-3 from the free throw line, giving West Michigan a chance to tie and send the game to double overtime.
One final turnover sent West Michigan to the locker room with a second straight loss, dropping their record to 11-3 on the season.
Walker Jr led West Michigan with 32 points on the night while Monday finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds. Thompson added 21 points and 12 rebounds while Jacarrius Scott had 24 points.
The Lake Hawks will next travel to Henderson on Saturday before returning home on Sunday for a game against the Ohio Kings at Muskegon High School.