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. [...]
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Such a wide range of emotions can be found at the state wrestling finals where even winning is sometimes met with disappointment. Tears can stream from the faces of winners and losers. Winners can feel exhilaration, shock and relief. Losers can feel heartbreak, anger and even contentment. Without a doubt, no other sport displays as many emotions as wrestling does. After three days, just 56 wrestlers out of 896 will be crowned individual state champions, although 448 in four divisions will walk away with All-State honors.
The Lakeview Wildcats defense came ready to play. Lakeview’s defense dominated the first quarter while holding the Montabella Mustangs scoreless in the first eight minutes en route to a 43-35 road win Tuesday. Kobe Perez led the Wildcats scoring effort with 17 points.
On paper, Tri County should have won. On the mat, Tri County did not win. In stunning fashion, the Belding Redskins upset the No. 8 ranked Vikings with a pin in the final match to knock off the favorite 33-32 in the semifinals of the Division 3 team district wrestling tournament at Central Montcalm on Thursday.
Mike Hallada made two steals to preserve Lakeview’s lead and two free throws to seal Lakeview’s win. In a defensive, physical game, it was the Wildcats using defense to edge the Reed City Coyotes in a 39-38 non-conference win at home on Tuesday.
Holding a 37-35 lead, Hallada had steals on back-to-back Reed City possessions to retain that lead. Then with 36 seconds left, Hallada hit two free throws to give the Wildcats a 39-35 lead, which was enough to win.
It had been a long time since Central Montcalm defeated rival Lakeview in girls basketball. The Wildcats looked out of sync from the opening tip, while the Hornets came ready to play in a 47-31 win at home on Tuesday.
Nolan Saxton has established himself as being one of the best wrestlers in the state. The two-time state placer — seventh as a freshman and fifth as a sophomore — is currently ranked No. 5 at 130 pounds in Division 3 by michigangrappler.com. Saxton, a junior, is 29-3 this year with a career record of 107-14. All three losses this year have come to past individual state champions.
The competition at the individual Lakeview Invitational was noticeably tougher than past seasons. With the additions of Grandville (ranked No. 6 in Division 1) and Chippewa Hills (No. 3 in Division 3), the individual talent featured many 2015 state placers, including defending state champion Cameron Mahlich of Ionia. Chippewa Hills and Grandville dominated the competition with six individual champions and six runner-ups in 14 weight classes. Chippewa Hills, though, edged Granville in total points 250-233.5.
Lakeview girls basketball coach Dave King wasn’t sure, but his Wildcats may have set a record Thursday night. The Wildcats allowed the Hesperia Panthers no points in the first half and four points total in a 62-4 slaughter. The four points allowed could be a record for fewest in a game.
Alec O’Connor hit the first two. Will Huiet hit the final one. Those three consecutive 3-pointers by O’Connor and Huiet, trailing by five points, propelled the Greenville Yellow Jackets to a much needed late run in a 46-43 win over the Lakeview Wildcats on Tuesday night.