Marine City was feeling pretty good heading into the locker room trailing undefeated Lakeview by just five points on Tuesday night.
Playing their first game in three weeks, the Mariners used that time off to prepare for a potential upset of the Huskies in their Macomb Area Conference Silver Division opener.
It looked possible until the second half started.
That’s when Lakeview made it clear it was in no mood to suffer its first loss of the season on the Mariners’ home court.
The Huskies surged further ahead in the third quarter and never looked back in picking up a 57-38 win.
Instead of his team collecting a third-straight victory – and a solid confidence booster – first-year Coach Joel Whymer could only look back on that third period in disbelief.
Marine City (2-3, 0-1) was outscored 16-8 in the frame and saw that five-point deficit swell to 13. It only got larger as the game went on.
“We can’t have those lapses in the third quarter,” Whymer said. “When it’s a five-point game at halftime, we have to more ready to play in the second half and be mentally tougher.”
Lakeview (6-0, 3-0) opened the second half with a 3-pointer from Robert Shields that put the Huskies ahead 28-20. The Mariners answered with buckets from senior D.J. Burns and Sam Honaker to pull to within four points.
Lakeview then fed its big man, Gary Tilney, underneath for a pair of baskets for a 30-24 lead.
The 6-foot-4 senior center was an imposing force for the Huskies as he finished with a double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Shields added 19 points.
Honaker had 20 points for Marine City.
“He’s aggressive and he’s always looking to score,” Whymer said of his senior captain. “We need him to score points for us. He did a good job attacking and making some shots.”
Despite the loss, Whymer is still hopeful that Marine City can contend in the MAC Silver Division despite the setback in its first conference game of the season. The Mariners face division rival Clintondale on the road on Friday.
“Tomorrow we’re going to come into practice and get better,” Whymer said. “Everyday, that’s our goal.”
(Click on the video link above to see highlights from this game. Subscribe to this page to get instant e-mail alerts when a story is posted. Follow Duff Tyler at www.facebook.com/St.ClairExaminerDuffTyler and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dufftyler)