By Mike Dunn
McBAIN – The Lake City boys basketball team took one step closer to a .500 record on Monday, pulling away in the second half on the way to a 57-40 triumph over host Northern Michigan Christian.
The Trojans, who won a total of five games a year ago and six the year before that, improved to 7-8 overall and 3-5 in the league while the Comets slipped to 5-10 and 1-8.
“It was a nice team effort tonight,‘ said Lake City coach Brad Besko. “After not playing or practicing much the past few weeks, we came out and executed pretty well.
“We had a lot of contributions from different people.‘
Besko was particularly pleased with the aggressive play of junior post Ben Marion, who took the ball hard to the hole on a number of occasions while amassing a game-high 20 points. Marion also drained a trey, muscled down four rebounds, and blocked two shots.
“Ben had a great all-around game,‘ Besko said. “He was aggressive with the ball and that’s what we want to see from him.‘
Besko also commended the defensive energy supplied by guards Ryan Towianski and Dawson Corrigan, both of whom covered the floor effectively while playing out front in the 1-3-1 zone defense, and Besko also noted the contributions of senior Thomas Blumberg off the bench.
NMC coach Shawn Pattee wants to see the Comets play with more of a sense of urgency on the floor.
“Lake City outworked us for the 50-50 balls; they got almost every one of them,‘ Pattee said. “Defensively we were a step slow too many times.‘
Pattee commended junior wing Alex Rozeveld, who led the Comets with 12 points, drawing fouls as he took the ball hard to the hole and making 4 of 5 from the line.
“Alex always gives a good effort,‘ Pattee said. “Tonight he recognized the refs were calling it tight and he penetrated and drew fouls.‘
Pattee also commended junior point guard Jamey Haan, who tallied 10, including a pair of triples, and senior Tanner Mulder, who scored eight including 4 of 4 from the stripe after drawing contact.
Lake City led just 21-17 late in the first half but began to pull away when senior Braden Hinkston smoked the first of his three treys to make it 26-17 just before the half and then pulled the trigger on the second one early in the third quarter to create a double-digit advantage, 29-19.
Hinkston had two assists to go with his nine points. Hunter Bisballe hit for seven with four boards and two assists and Noah Thom struck for five, including a trey at the buzzer ending the first period to give Lake City a lead it would not relinquish.
The Trojans led 13-11, 26-17 and 41-29 at the quarter breaks.
Caiden Platz and Ezra Dieterman each tallied four for the Comets.
NMC won the JV game 41-37 as Trevin Winkle waxed the twine for 17. Bradley Seger scored 12 for Lake City.
NMC is scheduled to host Grand Traverse Academy tonight. The Trojans are home Wednesday against Manton.