by Ben Murphy
It may still only be January, but Tuesday’s 57-51 win at Lake City was certainly a big one for the McBain Northern Michigan Christian boys basketball team. With the win the Comets sit in sole possession of first place in the league; about a third of the way through the schedule.
“We started off slow and Lake City jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the opening three minutes,” head coach Kyle Benthem said. “We were able to settle into the game at about the five minute mark in the first quarter and we brought it back to tied by the end of the first quarter.”
After it was 12-12 after one, NMC was able to keep things going in the second, pulling ahead 28-23 at the half. The Comets held a 46-39 lead entering the fourth and were able to finish off the ‘W’ from there.
“Credit Lake City, they are strong and athletic and kept making runs to come back into the game,” Benthem said. “Brant Winkle went out with injury in the fourth quarter which left us without a starter but we were able to come away with the win. As a team we need to get better on the defensive end and get better mentally. Carter Quist really played well and scored some key buckets down the stretch down low.”
Trevin Winkle finished with 23 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three blocks, Quist chipped in with 10 points and five rebounds, Blake DeZeeuw added nine points, four assists and four blocks and Seth VanHaitsma added seven points.
On Friday NMC won a road Highland game at Evart, 86-49.
The Comets were able to hold leads of 26-4, 54-26 and 76-38 at the quarter breaks.
Leading the way in this one was T. Winkle with 33 points and 10 rebounds, DeZeeuw had 16 points and five boards and B. Winkle chipped in with 13 points.
“We came out with focus and intensity and were able to jump ahead early in the first quarter,” Benthem said. “We shot well and had a balanced scoring attack. Trevin had a great first half on both ends of the court. We got into foul trouble in the first half, but our depth helped us a lot. Our kids were shooting the ball with confidence and we had 10 guys score. It was a needed improvement from our first game back from break. Still a few things to work on defensively but this was a big step in the right direction.”
NMC (5-0 overall, 5-0 Highland) played at Pine River on Thursday and is at home against Harrison on Wednesday.