By Greg Gielczyk 

PENTWATER — Pentwater hit some big shots down the stretch, particularly from beyond the 3-point arc, and got some big stops defensively and turned back visiting Mesick, 62-53, Thursday night. 

It was a West Michigan D League showdown between a pair of major contenders at this early stage of the season. The Falcons remained perfect in the league at 8-0. 

Jonny Arnouts fouled out with three minutes left, but Wyatt Roberts and Tyler Douglas stepped up big and contributed some important minutes for the Falcons. 

“I’m just really proud of the entire team, every guy coming off the bench,” Pentwater coach Ashley Lubera said. “We have some guys floating between JV and varsity (with) the five quarters (rule) that made a huge impact tonight in the third and fourth quarters when Jonny got into some foul trouble. 

“We’re just not depending on one or two guys to carry us, and that’s really been effective for us. I’m just really proud of how the team is playing together, and their unselfishness.” 

Pentwater emerged from a high-scoring first quarter with a 21-17 advantage as Trey Johnson knocked down 14 against the scrappy Bulldogs. 

Locking down on defense in the second quarter with Kaleb Brown leading the defensive charge, while Nathan Macher and Mikey Carlson sparked the offense. The Falcons gained a nine-point edge, 31-22, at the half. 

But the Bulldogs owned the third period, hitting a trio of shots from beyond the 3-point arc and making some key defensive stops to narrow the gap to 44-40. 

Arnout drained back-to-back triples and added a free throw, while Carlson sank 3-of-4 free throws and the Falcons outscored the Bulldogs, 18-2 in the final period. 

“The team is made up of sophomores and juniors, with one senior who’s given some good minutes, and they’re just really committed to understanding that it opens them up more, too, if they play together,” added Lubera. 

“We can run with good speed and play really solid defenses if we are all on the same page. It is really working in our favor.” 

Johnson had a big game for the Falcons, firing in 20 points, while Arnouts had 14 before fouling out and Carlson added 11. 

Carlson was the Falcons leader on the boards with 11 rebounds, and he added three assists and two steals. Macher pulled down eight boards and had three steals while Brown grabbed six rebounds. 

Pentwater improved to 8-2 overall and travels to Baldwin for a huge WMD game with the Panthers on Friday. Baldwin is 7-2 overall and 6-1 in the league.