BLANCHARD — Lakeview’s boys basketball team used defense in a big way Wednesday night.
The Wildcats held the Beal City Aggies to just eight field goals in a 37-29 win in the Class C district at Montabella High School.
The low number of Aggie field goals was a pleasant surprise to Lakeview coach Peter Wurm.
“These kids, about our last seven games, have been playing remarkable defense,” Wurm said of his team. “We’ve been beating teams like Reed City, we held Kent City, who won our league, to 33 points. We beat a very good Fulton team and held them to 12 points in the first half. These kids have been playing defense amazingly.”
The defense started in the first quarter when the Wildcats (15-7) held Beal City to just three points, all by Aaron Schafer and led 10-3 after one quarter.
The Aggies, coached by former Montabella coach Cam Gattrell, hit only a pair of threes in the second quarter as they scored just eight points.
However the Wildcats had only six themselves and the score was 16-11 Lakeview at the half.
“We put in a new zone offense about a week ago or so,” Wurm said. “We just didn’t run through it. Kids were standing too low. They were supposed to post, then flash away then cut back up to an open spot. They were just standing, trying to post for much longer than they should and it was clogging everything up. We forced it. That’s historically been an issue with us for about the second half of the season. I thought we had it fixed. I think the first-game post-season jitters came back to us.”
Beal City made only two field goals and three free throws for seven points in the third quarter and trailed 23-18 with eight minutes left in the game.
But the Wildcats went to the basket early and often and put the game away with a 14-point fourth quarter.
Kobe Perez led Lakeview with 16 points and Keola Kaaikala added 10 points, including the only 3-pointers the Wildcats made.
The best any Aggie could do was eight from Schafer.
“Defensive rebounding was very good on our part,” Wurm said. “We didn’t hit the offensive glass too well. Defensive rebounding we really went after. We knew we had an advantage with our muscle.”
Wurm also cited the defense on the perimeter shooters as part of the reason why Lakeview won.
“That’s what ‘s done it all season when we beat good teams,” he said.
The Wildcats will face host Montabella in the district final Friday night at 7 p.m.
LAKEVIEW 37, BEAL CITY 29
Lakeview 10 6 7 14 — 37
Beal City 3 8 7 11 — 29
LAKEVIEW (15-6) — Hallada 2 2-3 6, Kaaikala 4 0-0 10, Perez 7 2-4 16, Hansen 1 0-0 2, Arnold 1 1-1 3. Totals: 15 5-8 37. Three-point goals: Kaaikala 2. Total fouls: 16. Fouled out: none.
BEAL CITY (7-15) — R. Schafer 1 3-4 6, E.Schafer 2 0-1 4, Chilman 1 2-4 4, A. Schafer 2 4-6 8, Yonker 2 2-3 7. Totals: 8 11-18 29. Three-point goals: R. Schafer, Yonker. Total fouls: 14. Fouled out: A. Schafer.