STANTON — Had it not been for a single quarter in which Central Montcalm went on a dry spell Tuesday night, the boys basketball game against Tri County would have been a lot closer.
Instead, the second quarter did in the Green Hornets. The Vikings took advantage for a 60-50 win in the first game of the season for both teams, who inaugurated their new coaches.
“We had some bad turnovers on our part,” Central Montcalm coach John Kearney said. “I can’t be mad at them. We have to handle the ball correctly and that’s what we will be working on.”
Central (0-1) led 15-12 after the first quarter, but couldn’t hit a basket in the second.
“We just got out of running our offense,” Kearney said. “They (Tri County) put a little pressure on us. We had only one bucket and three free throws.”
Tri County outscored the Green Hornets 14-5 in the quarter to make the score 26-20 at the half. At that point Kearney told his team about “just blocking out, getting the rebound and getting out,” he said.
It didn’t quite work, as the Vikings (1-0) outcored the Hornets 13-10 in the third quarter for a nine-point lead, which got extended to 17 with about three minutes left.
“They (Tri County) had the lead to 17 points and we cut it down to eight,” Kearney said. “We were trying to put pressure to get the ball moving and trapping. We get the steal but then we threw it right back to them.”
Kearney noted he had everyone on his roster play because of that pressure.
“They all played before the first quarter was over,” he noted.
Jared Cilibraise led Central with 10 points as seven of the 10 Hornets scored.
Tri County got 18 points from Mitchell Goerner and 14 more from Devin Longoria in the win.
“They were very aggressive, took the ball to the bucket really hard,” Kearney said of the Vikings. “They put the pressure on us to see what we would do and we cracked.”
It was the first win for Tri County’s new coach, Chad Gould.
“We had real good energy and played fast all night. Our defense was good most of the night and we communicated with each other really well,” Gould said. “Offensively we still have work to do, but I thought we adjusted to their zone fairly well and got up good shots.”
The Hornets will travel to Lakeview for their first Central State Activities Association game Friday, while the Vikings will head to Fruitport to play the Trojans for their first Lakes 8 Conference game of the season that same day.