For the second time this season, the varsity boys basketball team dropped a heartbreaker in overtime to the Comstock Park Panthers.
The Red Hawks used a strong defensive effort in the first quarter to jump out to a 9-5 lead. The defensive battle continued throughout the 2nd quarter, and Cedar Springs took a 19-15 edge into halftime. Great defense by both teams led to Cedar Springs shooting just 35 percent in the first half and the Panthers only 22 percent.
A key steal and a basket by Comstock Park late in the 3rd quarter trimmed the Red Hawk lead to six and gave the Panthers momentum heading into the fourth. The lead went back and fourth throughout the 4th quarter. With 8 seconds remaining, the Panthers missed a free throw and Cedar Springs appeared to be fouled in the act of shooting. However, the official ruled that the foul occurred prior to the act of shooting and no free throws were awarded. Ryan Dines’ desperation 3-point was off the mark and the game went to overtime, which the Panthers dominated en route to a 50-44 overtime win.
Coach Secor commented, “I was awfully proud of the fight, effort, and energy we played with for 32 minutes. In a few crucial situations, we made some mental errors that really cost us. Having said that, I think we have proven that we can play with anyone in this league and the difference between who finishes first and who finishes fourth is very slim. I look forward to the challenge of the next 3 games and preparing to host districts for the first time in nine years.”
Brandon Slater played a key role throughout the contest, coming off the bench to score 10 points and grab 3 rebounds in one of his best games as a Red Hawk. Ryan Dines led the team in scoring with 14 points. Dines and Jason Gingrich also combined to play solid defense on Comstock Park junior guard Ryan Schall, the leading scorer in the OK Blue. Their defense led to Schall shooting 2/19 and only mustering 10 points. The Panthers converted on 25/32 from the free throw line while the Red Hawks shot just 5/12.
Cedar Springs, now 8-9 overall and 5-5 in the OK Blue, finishes up league play with home games this week vs. Belding and West Catholic. Tuesday the 28th will be “Senior Night” when the Red Hawks host undefeated, and ranked #4th in the state in Class “B,” Godwin Heights