By Greg Gielczyk
Not that head coach Ashley Lubera is using that as an excuse, but the Falcons might have run out of gas in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s Western Michigan D League contest and dropped a 55-39 contest to Bear Lake.
It was the second game between the two teams this week (Pentwater won the first game, 37-17), and the Falcons came in confident and determined to finally put a winning streak together.
“We played a solid three quarters, and they got the best of us in the fourth,” Lubera said after the game. “Fatigue set in, and we lost the momentum.
“We missed a couple easy buckets (in the second quarter) that I wish we could have had back. We were pleased with our effort in the first half.
“It’s a brand new bunch of guys this year, and a couple freshmen taking on big roles. I think they are very comfortable on each other. Our true focus has been team work, and relying on each other and knowing that any guy can hit the shots on any given night.”
The two teams finished the first quarter in a 10-10 tie, and but for those missed opportunities the Falcons could easily have taken the lead at the half. As it was, the score was tied, 18-18 at the break after each team scored six points in the second period.
Bear Lake opened up a six-point lead at the start of the third quarter when the Lakers knocked down a pair of 3-point buckets, and the Falcons were outscored, 18-12 in the third to fall back to a five-point deficit, 36-30 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lakers pulled steadily away from the Falcons in the final eight minutes, outscoring Pentwater, 19-9 to spread out the final margin.
“We just kind of ran out of gas,” Lubera said. “They were making some shots, and getting to the foul line. We were kind of turning the ball over more than we should have been.
“They outplayed us in the fourth quarter, for sure. It’s not an excuse, but we’ve had six cancellations this year, so we have been playing three games a week for the last couple of weeks.
“We’re happy to be on the floor, though. It’s not a complaint by any means. But, I think we got two strong wins this week, and we went in tonight confident. The kids played hard, and they played well.”
Pentwater was paced by Will Werkema-Grondsma who scored 15 points, hauled down 10 rebounds and picked off four steals. Tyler Plummer-Eisenlohr scored 12 points and had four steals.
“I think we’re peaking at the right time,” Lubera added. “We’ve had such a roller coaster ride this season. At the end, we’re winning some games.
“We’re upsetting some teams that I knew we could compete with. A couple of freshmen are playing well, putting up some double figures.
“Team chemistry has been great. We’re trying to knock down that chemistry before districts get here. We’re going in with the mindset of winning each quarter, and hopefully we pull out a few more wins as a team, and see where that takes us.”
Pentwater is 3-13 overall, and 3-11 in the league. The Falcons are back in action Monday night when they host Marion in the WMD.