Pine River boys hand Lakeview first loss

LAKEVIEW — Even with a 38-18 halftime lead, the Pine River boys basketball team realized Monday night it wasn’t going to be easy to finish off the Lakeview Wildcats.

After all, Lakeview entered the game at 8-0 and the Wildcats put on a big push down the stretch.

But the Bucks made the shots and plays in the clutch to pull out a 56-50 victory against the previously unbeaten Wildcats.

Mitchell McDonald and Lucas Harris both had 13 points, while Greg Park had 11 for the Bucks, who improved to 6-2 overall with their third straight win.

McDonald also had six boards and four assists, while Harris had seven boards and Lukas Sizemore had four.

“We rebounded well,” Harris said of his team’s first half. “We played with their touughness. We struggled in the second half. It was nice beating (an undefeated team).”

Lakeview fired out to an 8-2 lead, but the Bucks would go on a 28-6 run to take control of the game with a 30-14 advantage. Park and McDonald had a pair of threes in the first quarter and Harris added six points for an 18-9 lead.

The Pine River bench also played solid in the second quarter to help the Bucks stay in control. Players like Tyler Wing with a triple and Conner Hoaglund with two field goals gave the visitors a major boost before the regulars entered the lineup. Park and Harris both had threes in the second to help the Bucks build their 20-point halftime lead.

“I knew the guys were capable of playing like that,” Pine River coach Brian Godoenow said of his team’s first 16 minutes. “Their size had us concerned. The guys did a good job of help defense.”

Lakeview held Pine River to six points in the third, but the Bucks defense didn’t let the Wildcats gain much ground. It was 44-30 after three. Pine River missed five straight free throws, while Caleb Ruvalcaba had a triple with 24 seconds left to cut it to 53-48. Powell hit a free throw to help Lakeview put it away.

“We were making our shots,” senior guard Brandon Fulks said. “We pressured the ball and didn’t let them get the easy shot.”

Nate Shurlow had 16 points and Kobe Perez 15 for Lakeview.

“This is a good statement for our guys to see that they can play with a team like this,” Goodenow said.

The Bucks were outscored by 14 in the second half, but Goodenow cautioned his players at halftime to expect a strong rally by the host team.

“I told the guys that Lakeview’s a good team and not to be surprised if they make a run,” Goodenow said. “We needed to keep our composure.”

One of Lakeview’s most recent wins were over Class A rival Greenville.

“They weren’t 8-0 by mistake,” Goodenow said, “I’m impressed with them.”

Pine River is home tonight with McBain Northern Michigan Christian and with Lake City Friday.