Posted by MNA Staff on January 11th, 2019
BEAR LAKE — The comeback was on, but time ran out on the Bear Lake boys basketball team on Friday night. Despite outscoring Big Rapids Crossroads 27-13 in the second half, the Lakers came up just short in a 47-45 West Michigan D League loss to the Cougars.
“I was proud of the way they battled back,” said Bear Lake coach Garret Waller. “We gave ourselves a chance, and if this team plays like they did in the second half the rest of the year, we’re going to be tough to beat.
“But they’ve got to find that sense of urgency right from the start of these ballgames.”
Crossroads (9-1, 7-1 WMD) controlled the game in the first half, mounting a 34-18 lead by halftime, as the Lakers’ leading scorer Trey Gilbert was forced to miss some action due to foul trouble.
With a defensive adjustment and Gilbert back on the floor, Bear Lake (5-4, 5-3 WMD) began to chip away at the Cougar lead out of the locker room.
“We got Trey back on the floor, which made a huge difference,” Waller said. “And we had some trouble pressing them for one reason or another in the first half, so we fell back into our half court defense in the second. I told them, ‘Let’s get (the deficit) down to eight or 10 points by the fourth quarter, and they did that.”
The Lakers outscored the opposition 10-4 in the third quarter and 17-9 in the fourth. They had a chance to tie the game in the final second too, but Gilbert missed the front end of a pair of free throws, and a lane violation nullified the second.
Gilbert finished the game with a team-high 20 points to go with six steals and one assist. Reagan Merrill added eight points, five rebounds and one assist while Riccardo Girlanda scored seven with one rebound, one steal and one block, and Bradley Novak netted seven with two boards and two assists.