Whitehall’s Isaac Love goes up for a shot through contact from Shelby’s Jason Beckman during Thursday night’s WMC boys basketball game at Whitehall. Love scored 20 points, but the Vikings dropped a 58-49 decision to Shelby.
WHITEHALL — A third-quarter lapse cost the Whitehall Vikings a shot at a big win Thursday night at home, but coach Nate Aardema can tell his team is improving game by game.
The Vikings were tied with Shelby at the halftime break, but a run of turnovers in the third quarter helped the Tigers take control, sending Whitehall to a 58-49 loss.
“In high school basketball or in any basketball, those little lapses are enough to cost you the game,” Aardema said. “We had a couple of turnovers, and we broke down defensively a few times too. That was it. And to catch up, we have to do things we’re not necessarily as comfortable doing.”
Shelby’s full-court pressure defense threw off Whitehall’s rhythm in the third quarter, and the Vikings (1-5, 1-3 West Michigan Conference) struggled to get the ball across the midcourt stripe. Even when they did, the Tigers were forcing Whitehall to play faster than it wanted to, which got the Viking offense out of sorts.
“If nothing else, the press makes you change tempo,” Aardema said. “They got a few run-outs and hit a few shots, and all of a sudden you feel like every shot you take is going in.”
The Tigers indeed got into an offensive flow in the third quarter, bolstered by the quick possessions they got from forcing several turnovers. Shelby outscored Whitehall 22-9 in the third quarter.
Whitehall kept battling, but the Tigers hit enough shots in the fourth quarter to keep the Vikings at bay.
The Vikings’ offense was led by two of their tallest players, but Isaac Love and Dylan Medendorp have proven to be more than simply big bodies. Each player has a sweet shooting stroke and both made three three-point shots during the game. Love’s 20 points led the way and Medendorp added 14.
“Isaac had a couple of good looks out of our sets,” Aardema said. “He was aggressive again tonight. We have to keep his energy up over break and make sure we’re staying fit. He’s carrying a big load every night.”
Shelby got 16 points from Andrew Beckman, 13 from Jason Beckman and 11 from Spencer Peters to pace its offense.
Despite the Vikings’ early struggles, Aardema knows from experience that a 1-5 start doesn’t spell doom for his team’s season.
“When I coached our JV coach (Garrett Anguilm), they started 1-5 before the break and won a district title,” Aardema said. “There’s always that learning curve. You hate to have it, but it’s a long, long season.”
“It takes character to keep bouncing back, and those guys are full of character. The story of our season isn’t written right now.”
Aardema said his Vikings will practice over break in preparation for a Jan. 8 contest with Ravenna, and the Vikings will look to rapidly turn things around in the new year.
SHELBY (58) J. Beckman 4 2-3 13, Porter 1 0-0 2, Peters 5 1-1 11, Mussell 3 0-0 7, Kajtazi 2 0-0 4, Lee 2 1-2 5, A. Beckman 6 4-4 16. Totals 23 8-10 58.
WHITEHALL (49) Johnson 1 0-0 2, Medendorp 5 1-1 14, Owens 3 2-2 8, Russell 2 1-2 5, Love 7 3-3 20. Totals 18 7-8 49.
Shelby.....13 10 22 13 — 58
Whitehall..16 7 9 17 — 49
Three-point goals — J. Beckman 3, Mussell 1, Medendorp 3, Love 3. Total fouls — Shelby 12, Whitehall 12. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. JV score: Shelby 36, Whitehall 24.
WHITEHALL — The Whitehall Vikings dropped to 1-4 Tuesday night, taking a tough loss to Muskegon Heights, 78-45.
Whitehall trailed by nine after a quarter and was never able to overcome the early deficit. The Vikes had a tough time defending Jeff Jordan and Eddie Torres, who scored 23 and 25 points respectively to lead the Tigers. Aaron Sydnor also added 11 for Muskegon Heights.
The Vikings got a strong night out of Matt Russell, who scored 13 points, and Isaac Love added eight, but Whitehall was outmatched.
“We turned it over way too much and they played well,” Whitehall coach Nate Aardema said. “I think our kids will learn from this game and improve.”
MUSKEGON HEIGHTS (78) Jordan 9 2-3 23, Hudson 4 3-4 11, Sydnor 4 3-4 11, Torres 10 0-0 25, Harvey 1 0-0 2, Green 0 0-2 0, Jones 2 0-0 4, Stewart 1 0-0 2. Totals 31 8-13 78.
WHITEHALL (45) DeCouto 0 0-2 0, Johnson 2 0-0 4, Medendorp 1 0-0 2, Sutton 0 2-3 2, Owens 2 0-0 4, Rohen 3 2-2 9, Russell 6 1-3 13, Love 4 0-0 8, Sims 1 1-2 3. Totals 19 6-12 45.
Musk. Heights...22 16 21 19 — 78
Whitehall..........13 14 12 6 — 45
Three-point goals — Jordan 3, Torres 5, Rohen 1. Total fouls — Muskegon Heights 13, Whitehall 13.Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none.
RAVENNA — Putting three players into double figures gave the Montague Wildcats the balance they needed to weather solid early play from Ravenna and dispatch the Bulldogs Thursday night, 71-49, for their third straight win.
Chase Casebolt led Montague (5-1, 3-1 West Michigan Conference) with 21 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Luke VanBoxel had 17 points and Brandon Moore added 12.
The three-pronged attack helped the Wildcats break open a game that was tied after a quarter, and Montague overwhelmed Ravenna in the final three quarters.
“Luke’s aggressiveness offensively helped the team,” Montague coach David Osborne said.
Montague overcame a somewhat uneven shooting night — the Wildcats shot 41 percent from the floor — by getting to the line 21 times.
The Wildcats were strong defensively, blocking eight shots, half of them by James Boerema. Kalup Bentz led the team with five steals and also scored seven points. Brandon Stine’s four assists paced Montague.
Moore scores 1,000th
point, Cats win
MONTAGUE — Montague’s Brandon Moore passed the 1,000-point plateau for his career Monday night, and the Wildcats piled up 34 first-quarter points on their way to an impressive 78-34 win over Orchard View in nonconference play Monday night.
Montague (4-1) took control immediately, ripping off a 17-2 run to end the first quarter. The Cats then clamped down defensively, allowing just 21 points in the final three quarters.
Moore’s 13 points that earned him the 1,000-point milestone made him one of four Wildcats to reach double figures on this night. Chase Casebolt led Montague with 21 points, Luke VanBoxel had 14, and James Boerema scored 10 points. In all, ten Wildcats scored.
“Chase shot the ball great and attacked the basket well,” Montague coach David Osborne said.
Montague distributed the ball well, recording 25 assists on 32 made baskets.
Brandon Smith led Orchard View with 10 points.
Reeths-Puffer beats Cardinals
MUSKEGON — The Reeths-Puffer Rockets won their second straight game Friday night, defeating Orchard View 53-38. The win earned R-P a sweep of the boys/girls doubleheader at OV.
Andrew Reinecke scored 19 points for the Rockets. Marquese Livers had nine, Quinzell Pannell had seven and Jalen Benton and Kevin Polk each contributed six.
R-P is now 3-1 on the season, the first for coach David Ingles.
John Leonard’s 16 points paced OV in a losing effort.
Rockets top Fruitport
MUSKEGON — Reeths-Puffer improved to 2-1 on the season Tuesday night with a 53-42 victory over the Fruitport Trojans.
Quinzell Pannell had a big night for the Rockets, scoring 14 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Andy Reinecke had 12 points and Kevin Polk scored nine for R-P. Marquese Livers grabbed nine boards to go with his six points.
Despite the victory, first-year R-P coach David Ingles saw plenty of room for improvement after his team surrendered 31 second-half points to Fruitport.
“I thought Fruitport played harder than we did,” Ingles said. “I felt our defensive effort was very poor in the second half. We have to learn to play better with a lead.”
Tyler Fehler led Fruitport with 15 points while Aaron Veihl scored 12.