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East Kentwood continues to roll, shuts down Northview

Basketball   | Jeff Chaney

State Champs! Sports Network

 

Kentwood – The East Kentwood boys basketball team finished the non-conference season in grand style on Tuesday.

One week after beating the defending Class A state champion Muskegon Big Reds by a point, the talented Falcons handled a solid visiting Grand Rapids Northview team, 72-60, in OK Conference crossover.

“I think we are battle tested,” said East Kentwood coach Jeff Anama. “The teams we have played in our non-conference schedule are really good teams. The last three games, Brother Rice was undefeated and we played them well, Muskegon was undefeated and we played well and Northview just had lost their first game, so we are playing good teams heading in to the (OK Red Conference), where I think it will not get any easier.”

East Kentwood (7-0), unranked entering 2015, set the tone earlier against the Wildcats with a stingy defense and fast transition play.

The Falcons forced Northview (4-2) into 14 first-half turnovers that helped East Kentwood build a 36-25 heading into the half.

“They did a good job making us pay with the way were playing,” said Northview coach Trevor Chalmers. “I didn't think we did a good job handling their pressure. We tried to split it with the dribble, and that turned into some easy turnovers and points for them.

“Then in the second half, they run the transition better than anyone from one to five. Their big man was getting down the floor and getting easy ones, too. That is stuff that we want to do, but they were doing a much better job of it.”

The Falcons pushed the lead 14 midway through the third quarter before Northview was able to make a small run to end the third to cut the Falcons’ lead to 50-40 heading into the final quarter.

But an 11-6 run to start the final quarter seem to demoralize the Wildcats. And a great alley-oop dunk by Darron Ewing off a fine pass from Brent Kimbrel midway through the fourth put a stamp on East Kentwood’s victory.

But it wasn't all good news for the Falcons. They were out-rebounded 36-28, and went just 13 of 30 from the free throw line.

“It's funny, because we are 82 percent on the year,” Anama said. “This is the first game that it went south. We were nine for nine the last game, and 12 for 15 in the game before that. I don't know what happened tonight at the free throw line. We really left a lot of points on the free throw line tonight.”

Micah Rosser scored 14 points to lead four players in double figures for East Kentwood and Kimbrel had 12.

Northview was paced by Malik Clincy's 17 points.