STANTON — Rivalry basketball games are intense and usually physical. That’s expected.
Such was the case Tuesday night in Stanton as the Lakeview Wildcats (6-3, 4-3) earned a hard fought, foul-riddled game over rival Central Montcalm 50-31 in a CSAA matchup.
The two teams combined for 52 fouls and 64 free throw attempts. Amazingly, just one player fouled out. Both coaches anticipated this type of game.
“We did expect a game like this. It is a big rivalry between the two schools,” Hornets coach Kevin Everingham said.
In between the bumps and bruises, there was a basketball game being played. Central Montcalm (1-8, 1-6) jumped out to a 7-3 lead and finished the first eight minutes ahead 8-6.
“We came out a little flat and played a little bit tight,” Lakeview coach Dave King said. “We haven’t been playing well to this point. We had a nice second half against Hesperia on Friday and I was hoping it would carry over to today. We just came out flat.”
Lakeview overcame the slow start in the game deciding second quarter. Led by senior Megan Leach, the Wildcats outscored the Hornets 23-9 to take a 29-13 halftime lead.
Leach scored 15 of her game-high 22 points in the second quarter.
“She makes us go. When she decides she wants to score and not just share the ball all the time, she is very good at it,” King said. “That makes us twice as good as a team, because she can score. She has the ability.”
At halftime, the two teams had combined for 30 fouls and 39 free throws. Lakeview made 12-of-16 free throws in the second quarter alone.
The style of game was enough to throw off the flow of Central Montcalm, which struggled with just two first half fields, against nine made free throws.
“It’s frustration. That’s all it is,” Everingham said. “We have to find a way to keep their mind in the game and not let the frustration take over.”
Everingham said the frustration comes from anything that goes wrong.
“It’s missed shots, it’s fouls not going their way,” he said. “It’s a big range of things, but we will keep working on that.”
Lakeview’s defense had a lot to do with the Central Montcalm offensive struggles, as well.
“I didn’t see a lot of outside shooting threat early in the game from them,” King said. “In the second quarter, we decided to pressure their guards with some half court trapping and that got us going. We packed it in a little bit in the second half.”
The Wildcats extended their lead to 20 points after the third quarter at 41-21.
“We were fouling like crazy and we didn’t need to,” Everingham said. “We kept playing the way we wanted to. It didn’t change what we were doing, other than I would have liked to press more, but couldn’t with the fouls.”
Andrea Henry added eight points and Chelsea Lint six points for the Wildcats.
Michaela Crooks led Central Montcalm with 10 points. Kaden Everingham added eight points in the loss.
Both teams are on the road Friday, with the Wildcats at White Cloud and Central Montcalm at Reed City.
LAKEVIEW 50, CENTRAL MONTCALM 31
Lakeview 6 23 12 9 — 50
C. Montcalm 8 5 8 10 — 31
LAKEVIEW (6-3, 4-3) — Henry 2 4-7 8, Leach 7 6-8 22, Cornell 1 1-2 3, Molitor 0 2-2 2, Jaquays 1 1-5 3, Lint 2 2-2 6, Wood 0 0-1 0, Mathews 1 1-2 1, Shurlow 2 0-0 5. Totals: 15 17-29 50. Three-point goals: Leach 2, Shurlow. Total fouls: 24. Fouled out: None.
C. MONTCALM (1-8, 1-6) —- Everingham 2 4-6 8, Crooks 2 6-9 10, Christensen 0 3-4 3, Singh 0 2-4 2, Case 1 3-6 5, Brasington 0 1-4 1, Collins 1 0-2 2. Totals: 6 19-35 31. Three-point goals: None. Total fouls: 28. Fouled out: Flint.