Clare County Review & Marion Press

Third-ranked NMC keeps on winning

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

McBain Northern Michigan Christian’s boys basketball team put their Division 4 third place ranking on the line Tuesday, in Roscommon. The Comets came away unscathed, taking down the Highland Conference foes, 75-62.
NMC took a big 23-5 lead after the first quarter and led 42-17 at the half and 60-36 entering the fourth, where the Bucks rallied to make the final a bit closer than the game really was.
“We were able to jump out early lead,” head coach Kyle Benthem said. “Trevin Winkle played well. Shot the ball efficiently and got to the rebounds. Nathan Eisenga also played well on both ends of the court. The second half got a little sloppy, with lazy defense and not executing our offense. It was good to get a Highland Conference win. Credit Roscommon for coming back and playing hard in the second half.”
Winkle finished with 35 points and 11 rebounds, Blake DeZeeuw had 16 points, Landon Ochampaugh added 10 points and Nathan Eisenga netted eight points.
On Friday, NMC was able to pick up another road Highland win, at the historically difficult place to play, Beal City, 62-35.
“It was good to go to Beal and get a Highland win on a Friday night,” Benthem said. “Beal came out and hit two threes and a lay-up to go up 8-0 in the first four minutes. At the four minute mark of the first until the end of the second quarter, we were able to go on a 32-6 run.”
In the midst of that run, NMC led 13-8 after the first quarter and took control of things by the break with a 42-14 lead at the half. The Comets also led 42-20 entering the fourth.
Ochambaugh had a big 23 points performance, Winkle put in 13, DeZeeuw added nine points and 13 rebounds and Carter Quist had four points and 14 rebounds.
“Ochambaugh had a huge night for us,” Benthem said. “We needed someone to step up, and he was there for us. The second half was very physical. Quist defended the post very well and rebounded very well.”
NMC (9-0 overall, 8-0 Highland) was at Manton on Thursday, plays at Meridian on Monday and hosts crosstown rival McBain on Wednesday.

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