HOUGHTON LAKE — Its ranks hit by illness and injury, the Houghton Lake boys basketball team has talked a lot lately about gutting games out and coming together to rise to the occasion.
And that’s exactly what they did on Monday night against a talented and athletic team in McBain Northern Michigan Christian in a non-conference home game, pulling out a thrilling 54-53 overtime win.
The Bobcats (8-5, 6-4 JPC) received major contributions from Cameron Sidelko and Shawn McKinley. Sidelko created offensive chances, making plays for everyone on the floor, while McKinley dominated the interior.
Houghton Lake grabbed a 15-13 lead at the end of the first quarter, and outscored the Comets, 13-12 in the second to hold a 28-25 edge at halftime. The Bobcats outscored the Comets, 13-12 in the third and went into the fourth with a 41-37 lead. NMC rallied for a 14-10 advantage in the fourth and tie the score, 51-51 at the end of regulation.
McKinley led the Bobcats with 18 points and Sidelko added 13. They were followed by John Steckler with seven, Brock Decker and Jackson Blanchard with six apiece and Trent Ordiway chipped in four.
“We’re starting to score with more consistency, and our offense is coming around,” Houghton Lake coach Jeff Goodwin said. “Ball movement and spacing have been issues, but we looked much better (against NMC).
“Everyone that saw the floor gave meaningful contributions out there. It truly was a team win and, more importantly, I saw our guys invested in one another. They truly are starting to come together as a team.”
But, the Bobcats are not a finished product. They still have to get better, especially finishing better on scoring opportunities. Houghton Lake’s decision making is sometimes suspect.
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