OTTAWA LAKE – Whiteford’s boys basketball team has four players averaging in double figures and won a Tri-County Conference championship with a balanced offense.
Wednesday night in front of a packed house in Ottawa Lake, the ninth-ranked Bobcats put the finishing touches on the outright league crown by beating Summerfield 59-43.
The Bobcats overcame a slow start – they missed their first six field goal attempts – and didn’t have head coach John Rice who had to sit out the game after being ejected from a game last week. They overcame those things with a 20-point second quarter and by outscoring Summerfield 17-8 in the fourth quarter. Whiteford’s biggest lead of the game was the final margin.
The Bobcats have won 12 straight games and are 12-0 in the TCC. They play Britton Deerfield Friday. A game against Morenci from earlier this season is not expected to be made up as it would have no bearing on the final league standings.
Cameron Iott scored 14, Hunter Lake 13, Matthew Taylor 12 and Jared Fink 11 for the Bobcats Wednesday. Joel Breeding scored 16 and Brendan Dafoe 15 for Summerfield (11-4, 9-4 in the TCC).
Summerfield led 2-0, 4-0 and 5-4. A free throw by Fink broke a 5-5 tie with 35 seconds left in the first quarter and a field goal by Taylor gave the Bobcats an 8-5 lead after the first eight minutes. The Bobcats would never relinquish the lead again, although the Bulldogs did fight back from a 28-20 halftime deficit to tie the game 32-32 with 4:45 left in the third quarter. The Bobcats quickly re-took the lead 34-32 on two Antonio DiTerlizzi free throws and went up 36-33 on a jumper by Thomas Eitnear. The lead continued to grow from there with the Bobcats going up 50-37, 52-50, 55-40 and, finally 59-43 on two Lake free throws.
Whiteford JV coach Bobby Plumer coached the Bobcats with the help of longtime varsity assistant Mark Keeling.