PENTWATER — Poor shooting plagued the Pentwater boys basketball team in the first half, but defense held the key in the end as the Falcons rallied for a 51-41 victory over Bear Lake Wednesday night in the Western Michigan D League at home.
Shots wouldn’t fall for the Falcons from the onset of the game, but they played strong defensively and kept the score close in the first quarter as they trailed only 12-9 at the horn.
In the second quarter, the Falcons capitalized on that tenacious defense combined with their speed, as well as great rebounding work done by Campbell Miller and Brandon Macher.
The Falcons also benefited from excellent play from the guards up front, and the post action down low. Pentwater hit four open shots and were 8 of 11 at the free throw line to post a 16-2 advantage in the second period and soared into a 25-14 lead at the half.
“We found really good chemistry tonight,” Pentwater head coach Ashley Lubera said. “It just felt really good. They played really good team ball, they shared the ball in transition. We just picked up a lot of steals on defense.
“It was great to beat a team that has picked up a couple wins against teams we’ve lost to.”
Pentwater maintained its double digit lead in the second half, with several Falcons going to the bench with their quota of five personal fouls.
But the Falcons had James Davis, CJ Corneslisse and Reydyn Hugo step up big to score some huge rebounds and kept Pentwater in front.
The Falcons managed to keep pace with Bear Lake’s scoring in the second half, outscoring the Lakers, 14-11 in the third quarter to carry a 14-point lead, 39-25 into the fourth period. Bear Lake had a 16-12 edge in the final eight minutes but it wasn’t enough to overtake the Falcons.
“We knew they had good shooters outside, so we played them man all night just to make shots difficult,” said Lubera. “My guys just hands down as a team did a really good job switching screens, and really pressuring their shooters.
“Defensively tonight, I think that’s what won us the game. It created a great transition and just offense for us down the stretch.”
Tyler Plummer-Eisenlohr paced the Falcons with 20 points, and he also hauled down six rebounds and dished out two assists. Will Werkema-Grondsma popped in 16 points, hauled down eight rebounds and picked off four steals.
Jonny Arnouts added eight points, pulled down four rebounds, picked off four steals and dished out three assists. Macher finished with three points, five rebounds and two assists.
Miller chipped in two points and six rebounds, while Davis had two points and one rebound.
Pentwater snapped a six-game losing streak and improved its record to 3-8 overall and 3-6 in the conference. Next up for the Falcons is another home game Friday night against Big Rapids Crossroads Academy in the WMD.