Valley Sports Report
LANSING - After Waverly from a halftime deficit to take a two-point lead heading into the final eight minutes, Lansing used a fast start in the final eight minutes, then made its free throws down the stretch to pull out a 56-51 win here Tuesday night in IAC Large School boys basketball action.
Waverly, now 5-5 and losers of three straight since an injury to 6-8 standout Scott Woodring, turned in its best performance since losing its big man.
"(Lansing) is one of the better teams in the North, so to lose by five on their home court ... the effort was definitely there," said Waverly coach Lou Judson.
"It seemed like we were playing with more of a sense of urgency," he said. "It seemed like we had moved on mentally from some things that we've gone through.
"It seemed like a little different team out there," added Judson. "For me as a coach, I'm not into moral victories, but when a team plays as hard as we did tonight, I came out of it knowing we're headed in the right direction if we can keep that kind of focus and that kind of mentality of working hard."
Senior Dylan Ward knocked down a 3-pointer and scored seven points in the first quarter, while freshman Caden Hollywood had six points, including a trey, and junior Ryan Lambert drained a 3-pointer, but he Bobcats kept pace, thanks in part to seven points from Garrett Bell, to head into the second quarter tied at 16-16.
Lansing outscored Waverly 12-7 in the second quarter, but the Wolverines bounced back in the third quarter.
Junior Jalen McCarty canned a 3-pointer and scored nine points, and Hollywood added five points, including a 3-pointer, to fuel a 16-9 run that put the Wolverines ahead 39-37 heading into the final eight minutes.
"We came ready to play, started making some jump shots, and started feeling good about ourselves offensively, and also picked it up on the defensive end," said Judson.
"We had too many turnovers again, though, and the turnovers in crucial moments really hurt us," added Judson.
Griffen Nelson knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, and Garrett Bell scored three buckets to help the Bobcats back into the lead midway though the fourth quarter.
The Bobcats then hit 7 of 10 free throws in the final minutes to nail down the win.
McCarty led Waverly with a career-high 16 points and three rebounds, while Ward had 15 points, nine rebounds, and three blocked shots, and Hollywood added a career-high 13 points, six rebounds, and one blocked shot.
Trevor Morse chipped in with four points, while sophomore Peyton Bowen grabbed seven boards and dished out three assists, and Lambert contributed four steals and three assists.
Bell led Lansing with 15 points and Nelson added 11, including a trio of 3-pointers.
Waverly returns to action Friday when it hosts Dryden.
IN PHOTO: Waverly's Jalen McCarty.
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