by Ben Murphy
The McBain Northern Michigan Christian boys basketball team continues to meet every challenge thrown their way. On Wednesday, the Comets were finally able to defeat crosstown rival McBain, 72-44.
The host Comets led just 14-12 after the first quarter, but began to take control of things in the second with a 32-18 edge and pulled away to a 53-32 gap entering the fourth.
“First quarter was a battle, McBain had great defense in the first half,” NMC head coach Kyle Benthem said. “I thought our kids held composure throughout the first half and we were able to take a 14 point lead into halftime. We came out in the third quarter hitting our shots which helped us push the lead. I think our defense could improve, yet I was happy with our rebounding and offense.”
The Comets had a big 30 point nine rebound performance by Trevin Winkle, Landon Ochampaugh had 19 points, Blake DeZeeuw added eight points and four assists and Carter Quist added eight points.
The Ramblers saw Evan Haverkamp score 18 points, Dylan Schonert put in 12 points and Ben Rodenbaugh added six points.
McBain (1-9 overall, 1-8 Highland) hosts Roscommon today and stays at home to take on Pine River Tuesday.
On Monday, NMC won a big non-league game at Meridian, 37-34.
“We weren’t able to hit many shots and Meridian’s defense took us out of our game,” Benthem said. “Defense, rebounding and free throws decided the game because scoring was hard to come by.”
Meridian held a 7-4 lead after the first quarter, but NMC inched ahead 15-13 at the half and held a slim 23-20 lead entering the fourth.
The Comets pushed that lead to nine in the final stanza, but Meridian stormed back to tie things up with about a minute to play. With one second left, Winkle was fouled on a three point attempt, but made all three free throws to finish off the win.
“No matter how we get the win, it is good to get a road win and head home,” Benthem said.
Winkle scored 16 points and had seven rebounds, DeZeeuw had 10 points and eight rebounds and Quist added six points and five rebounds.
NMC (12-0 overall, 10-0 Highland) heads to Houghton Lake today (Friday), hosts Evart on Tuesday and hosts Lake City on Thursday.