STANTON — The gymnasium at Central Montcalm was a sea of orange and not the usual green on Friday night.
In honor of a juvenile diabetes fundraising event the Central Montcalm girls basketball team wore orange and white uniforms while the crowd was decked out in orange shirts. The event was entertained by a pair of varsity basketball games.
The Lakeview Wildcats battled back twice from 10 point deficits to pull out a 46-41 CSAA victory over the Hornets.
“It was back and forth and it was physical,” Lakeview coach Corey Kohler said. “We had a little slump there for a while and couldn’t seem to put the ball in the hole for a while. We got foul happy and sent them to the foul line.”
Lakeview led 5-2 early in the game, but Central Montcalm led after the first quarter 13-10.
“We are better off if we can run,” Hornets coach Marty James said. “We were able to create some things and get in transition. That gave us some open looks. We prepared for their trap and got some opportunities off it.”
The Hornets started the second quarter with an 7-0 run to open up a 10 point lead. The Wildcats then closed out the quarter with an 8-0 run to trail 20-18 at halftime.
“We called a couple of timeouts and settled down,” Kohler said. “A couple of times we got away from what we needed to do to break their pressure. Once we got back to cutting and getting to where we are suppose to be we were fine.”
The Hornets again got off the a quick start in the third quarter. They scored the first eight points to again open up a 10 point lead at 28-18. Lakeview again closed out the quarter tough with a 13-5 run to trail 33-31 after three quarters.
“I liked our effort. I liked the way we pressed and ran the floor,” Hornets coach Marty James said. “I’m a little disappointed in our half-court offense. We turned the ball over easy at times and that cost us over all.”
The game remained close with the Wildcats taking their first lead since the first quarter at 39-37 on two free throws by Estelle Molitor.
“We started to take care of the boards well,” Kohler said. “It was a good win for us.”
Trailing 41-39, Lakeview’s Megan Leach took over. She scored six of the Wildcats final seven points including a driving layup that drew a foul and gave the Wildcats the lead for good.
“She is our rock,” Kohler said. “She takes good care of business with the ball and gets people into spots to where they can finish.”
Leach finished with 13 points while Alex King added nine points.
Karli Clark had a double-double for the Hornets with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Alex Barnwell had seven points and Savannah Case grabbed eight rebounds.
“I like the way the girls hustled. We didn’t have but a couple of moments where I thought they got by us on defense,” James said. “In a close game if we eliminate those moments its probably the difference in the game.”
James didn’t want to lose, but was impressed with the fundraising event and what the game meant to his team.
“We don’t want to lose, but tonight these girls and the people have put this on have stepped outside of themselves,” he said. “That’s what this is about. I try to preach we want to care more about others than ourselves. We want to be a community and take care of those around us.”
The Hornets travel to Big Rapids while the Wildcats host White Cloud on Tuesday in league play.
Lakeview 10 8 13 15 — 46
C. Montcalm 13 7 13 8 — 41
LAKEVIEW (8-4) — Leach 4 5-7 13, Lindsey 2 3-5 8, King 4 0-2 9, Molitor 2 2-3 6, Nielsen 3 1-6 8, Schurlow 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 11-22 46. Three-point goals: Lindsey, King, Nielsen. Total fouls: 22. Fouled out: None.
C. MONTCALM (3-7) — Thomas 0 2-4 2, Crooks 2 0-0 4, Barnwell 2 2-2 7, McKeown 0 4-4 4, Clark 5 10-16 20, Case 2 0-2 4. Totals: 11 18-28 41. Three-point goals: Barnwell. Total fouls: 18. Fouled out: Case.