The Whitehall Vikings defeat the Ludington Orioles at home, defeating them 57-54 in overtime.
WHITEHALL: Christian Subdon may tell his team was still unsure about the consequences of a Friday overtime loss to Oakridge.
On Wednesday night, the Whitehall boys basketball coach spoke openly to his players during a non-conference home game.
The Vikings fought off a harsh talk and played the rest of the game with an inspired defensive effort, as they rallied from an early eight-point deficit in the first half to clinch a wild 57-54 overtime victory over the Orioles.
When asked about Subdon's speech, he said, "We talk about that all the time at practice, and Ludington is disciplined. They're not looking to get a bad shot, either. They're looking to get a great shot in the corner or a kick out for three people. We were three points out, so I just told them that we must be accountable, chest up and build a wall instead of leting them go by."
Ludington fired a 29-22 lead into halftime, but Whitehall dominated a 16-7 lead in the fourth quarter.
Both teams had momentum-swinging interactions down the stretch, including a controversial fifth foul called on Ludington standout Peyton LaCombe midway through the quarter. The Vikings put together a defensive stand with 30 seconds remaining on the clock and fired a desperation shot at the buzzer, but it was off the mark as the game progressed.
Senior guard Red Watson took over the game on the defensive end of the floor during the extra session, scoring multiple turnovers and knocking down a couple of late free-throw attempts to aid his team's victory.
During a crucial moment in the game, Watson awarded his coach the chance to assist the team in executing the buttons and getting the most out of them.
Subdon's timeout remarks have been mocked by Watson. "He's just a really defensive-minded person, so he just fired us up. I'm also a defensive-minded person, so I've just learned from the best."
Isaac DeHart scored 13 points, including three three assists, to advance Whitehall (12-5, 9-3), while Brodie Fogus added 11 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks, with Camden Thompson scoring 10 points, eight assists, five steals, and three assists, while Watson scored nine points, five steals, and four assists. Jack Houtteman and Nate Bolley each added seven points.
That's back-to-back games in overtime, so we're pretty tired but they're working their butts off, said Subdon of his team. I think we had three kids in double figures (scoring) and three children within two points of double figures, thus that's huge.
"Cam has usually been shouldering the task and he had ten points tonight. He's also gratified in that, but he's happy with the victory. He did other things that affected the game, especially. Isaac DaHart had nine points, but it's not the story for him. He has just defended his entire butt off. "
David Shillinger scored 18 points to lead Ludington (10-7, 9-0 Lakes Eight), while Peyton LaCombe scored nine points, and Matthew Westhouse scored eight goals.
We couldn't depend on Cam (Thompson) scoring all of the points, Watson said of the Orioles' challenge. Shillinger is an incredible player. Hes quick, hes smart, and I really had to focus on him all night. We had to get a lot of people involved in knocking down big shots, and that really helped us out.
The Tuesday night showdown will be a constant event next season, as Ludington will be one of six schools traveling to the West Michigan Conference for the school year 2022 and 23.
We will play them twice a year, and they're going to be tough, said Subdon. Coach (Thad) Shank always has his guys ready to go. They have played as Cass Tech, they have played Benzie Central, they have played the Reeths-Puffer, and all of these teams that are just fantastic basketball teams. It's hard to really look at their record because they're a good basketball team.
At the conclusion of Wednesday night's contest, the Whitehall locker felt a wave of gratitude, saying, "Asked out" their mistakes from a 62-60 loss to Montague last Friday, which allowed Ravenna to remain one game off the top of the West Michigan Conference standings.
Today, we really valued all of our possessions. We didn't really turn the ball over too much, but we just took care of it when we needed to, said the ball.
Whitehall will conduct a home match against Mason County Central on Friday night. A win for the Vikings has at least a share of the West Michigan Conference championship, while a win against Shelby (11-6) on March 1 would earn an outright share of the conference crown.
That last game is what really pushed us in this one, added Watson. We hate losing, especially at home. Oakridge put us in a difficult spot, so we have to go get it back. Ludington is a great team and I believe they are better than our previous two opponents in our conference, so that is really going to help.
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