Bernard Smith had a triple-double to lead host Western Michigan Christian to a 51-49 comeback win over Reeths-Puffer on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-5, 265-pound junior, who had a double-double in each of his previous five games, poured in 28 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked 10 shots.
“Everything was going through him,” WMC coach Kyle Mastenbrook said. “We played unselfishly, it was great. Guys were taking care of the ball, being smart with it, playing tough on defense, going all out all over the floor.”
The Warriors trailed 16-9 at the first stop and 34-24 at intermission. The Rockets increased their lead to 13 before Smith went to work, scoring 17 points in the second half while the Rockets scored just 15 points.
“If we make a couple shots and not make stupid turnovers, we win that game,” said Rockets’ first-year coach Dave Ingles, who last year coached at Muskegon Catholic. “That was a big key.”
Except for an early bucket, the Warriors trailed the entire game until sophomore Logan Waller scored on a put back to tie it at 40-40 late in the third quarter.
Puffer hit a free-throw to tie it at 49 all with just two minutes left in the game, but Smith muscled his way to the hoop to put in the winning bucket with 1:27 left. The Rockets had the ball and tried tying up the score, but Smith and James Jackson swatted away several of their attempts in the closing moments.
“I thought we played great tonight,” Mastenbook said. “It was our best game and we played smart, played together — better than we ever have.”
Jackson eight points and Henry DeKam added seven.
The Warriors travel to Mona Shores on Friday.
Junior Varsity: WMC lost 53-49. Ryan Butkis put up 11 points while James Godwin and Devin Eekhoff scored 9 and 8 respectively.
Freshmen: WMC won 53-51 in overtime. Demonta Bartee poured in 17 points followed by Devon Kitchen with 12 and Jordan Rhodes and Chris Hain with 9 each.