Lakeview boys grind out win over Kent City

By Chip Burch • Last Updated 3:08 pm on Monday, January 09, 2017

LAKEVIEW — Lakeview’s boys basketball team got a win that will stick with them for a while.

The Wildcats came back from a 34-29 deficit after three quarters to beat the Kent City Eagles 50- 42 Friday night in a Central State Activities Association Silver Division game.

Lakeview’s Keola Kaaikala, left, is guarded by Kent City’s Braden Petruska during the first quarter of the teams’ game Friday night.

“I think a big win is an understatement for this team,” Lakeview coach Pete Wurm said. “We knew the front of our schedule was extremely tough. We’ve lost some games pretty badly based on effort and effort alone for the most part.”

Lakeview (3- 3, 2- 1) trailed throughout most of the game. The Wildcats were down 17-13 after one quarter and 27-22 at halftime.

“We were losing in the first half because we were just a step slow to their (Kent City’s) guys,” Wurm said. “ They got to the line and hit a ton of free throws and even with that we were in the game.”

The Eagles (4-2, 2-1) had only one field goal in the second quarter, and that was from Gavin Mead. But he and his team were 8-for-12 from the free- throw line.

Both sides scored seven points in the third quarter, setting up the wild finish.

Kent City took the lead at 41- 4o with a free throw with three minutes left in the game but made only one free throw the rest of the way.

Wildcat senior David Larson scored a bucket and two free throws to give his team the lead for good, then Zach Hamlin sealed the win with a three-point play with 28 seconds left.

“These guys brought more energy than I’ve seen all year,” Wurm said. “ The effort in the second half made the difference.”

All this happened while leading scorer Keola Kaaikala was on the bench, having picked up his fifth foul. He led Lakeview with 21 points.

“The last few games he’s exerted himself more in the second half,” Wurm said. “I told him to try to assert yourself a little earlier. We’re a better team when you have some freedom and you do some stuff and you create because he’s a real tough matchup with his shooting ability and his height on obviously on defense.”

“It makes me feel excited,” Kaaikala said. “ Especially the big win because everybody played as a team in the end. I may not have been playing but their teamwork was exceptionally well done and it was great to watch.”

Kaaikala said he was just shooting.

“I was able to get my shots off,” he said.

Kent City got 12 points from Fraser Wilson and 10 from Jace Dailey in the loss.

Lakeview will now go to Ionia to face the Bulldogs Tuesday night.

“I think we have to play harder and box out,” Kaaikala said. “In the first half, we weren’t boxing out as much. Even in the second half, it took us a couple of minutes, even in the fourth quarter we weren’t getting low. That’s what I believe we have to do.”

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