SHEPHERD — It took a little while for Lakeview’s boys basketball team to get into the swing of things at their Class B district basketball game at Shepherd Monday night.
But when they did get going, it was too late.
The Wildcats were bounced from the tournament by the host Bluejays 44-39 Monday, ending their season at 14-7.
The biggest problem to begin with was the size of Shepherd, noted coach Mike Schreiber.
“Their (Shepherd’s) starting five went 6-6, 6-5. 6-4, 6-2 and six foot,” Schreiber said. “And those were quick kids.”
The tall Bluejays caused all kinds of problems for Lakeview.
“We had a little trouble in the first half,” Schreiber said. “My kids had some nerves and we had four or five shots blocked before we got into an offensive rhythm.”
As a result, the Wildcats scored only five points in the first quarter and eight in the second. But thanks to a six-point second quarter by Shepherd, Lakeview only trailed by four, 17-13 at halftime.
The Wildcats shaved another point off the deficit in the third quarter, but that would be as close as they would get.
“The guys got more settled down,” Schreiber said. “We ran the same offense. It’s just a matter of feeling comfortable. Also with the size (of Shepherd) we got a little smarter passing the ball inside. We did a decent job. We just didn’t shoot the ball well enough from the perimeter.”
The Wildcats scored 11 points in the third quarter, almost doubling their point total from the first half. They added 14 more in the fourth quarter but allowed the Bluejays to score 17.
“If you look at our quarter scores we did better. So offensively we got better with what we were trying to get done,” Schreiber said.
Lakeview was led by Nate Shurlow, who had 16 points including three triples, and Shawn Lindsey, who had 14 points.
Schreiber gave a lot of credit to the Bluejays.
“I’m not sure what their (Shepherd’s) end record was but they had a solid year,” he said. “They didn’t make any mistakes at all.”
The Wildcats didn’t have any time to rest, and that may have been a factor, Schreiber noted.
“We had a tough game Saturday,” he said, noting a double-overtime win over Reed City Saturday. “We could have used a couple more days rest but it wasn’t in the cards.”
Schreiber’s team had the best record of any of the local boys basketball teams, but he said it could have been better.
“We lost a couple of games early before Christmas that we’d like to have back after our youth got caught up,” he said. “I really think the guys are as good as our situation would allow us to be. We played hard and together. We needed to keep working. This is a real good group for a work ethic.”
Shepherd, meanwhile, will face Central Montcalm in the district semifinals Wednesday. Belding will face Alma in the other district semifinal.
SHEPHERD 44, LAKEVIEW 39
Lakeview 5 8 11 14 — 39
Shepherd 11 6 10 17 — 44
LAKEVIEW (14-7) — Lindsey 5 1-2 14. Shurlow 7 2-4 16, Hamlin 1 0-0 2, Ruvalcaba 0 1-2 1 Zuluaga-Torres 2 1-2 5. Totals: Three-point goals: Lindsey 3. Total fouls: 15. Fouled out: none.
SHEPHERD (14-7) — Myers 2 4-4 8, Sura 2 1-1 6, Holmes 1 0-0 2, Sanchez 2 2-3 6, Dunham 0 1-4 1, Ledbetter 7 5-5 19, Doyle 1 0-0 2. Totals: Three-point goals: Sura. Total fouls: 14. Fouled out: none.