PARK TWP. — Sometimes, teams just need a little break and a quick chat to get the ball moving around better.
That’s exactly what the West Ottawa boys basketball team needed, as the Panthers gave Grand Haven its first loss of the season, 58-45 on Friday night.
“I thought we played quite well the first half,” Grand Haven coach Greg Immink said. “The ball was moving and we were making shots. We were able to get out in transition some, which also helped, and I think our defense in the first half was really quite good.
After the Buccaneers led the Panthers 30-26 at halftime, the Panthers outscored the Bucs 32-15 in the second half to take the win.
“We had a slight discussion at halftime about some things we needed to shore up and do a little better at,” Panthers’ coach Steve Windemuller said. “We had two guys in foul trouble — we played a long time without Tanner and without Blake Pederson. That’s not a good thing for us.
“They came out and got a great start to the second half and rolled for awhile. I thought defensively we picked up the intensity a little bit.”
West Ottawa (6-1) began the third quarter on a 12-2 run and the fourth quarter on a 9-0 run as they quickly stole the momentum back from Grand Haven (7-1) and kept it with them for the rest of the game.
“When everybody starts shooting, you get the momentum, everybody starts shooting well — it stacks on top of each other,” Panthers senior Brady Bosma said.
Bosma led all scorers with 18 points.
Part of the Panthers’ slow start in the first half was dealing with the Bucs’ bigs, including 6-foot-5 senior Owen Ross, who led his team with 17 points.
“Those big guys, especially Owen, is really tough to go against and they’re not small, I’ll tell you that much,” Panthers’ senior Tanner Wiegerink said. “It’s hard to get into them and the shot fake was working but it’s still very tough to get a shot over them.”
West Ottawa outscored Grand Haven 13-4 in the final quarter.
“The second half, obviously the momentum changed. Defensively, we didn’t get after the ball like we did in the first half. On the offensive side, we were a little bit too much with the ball, rather than making the ball work for you.”
Wiegerink and Pederson each added 11 points for West Ottawa. Drew Sinke had 10 points for the Bucs.