By Jennifer Eisenbart
On one hand, seeing large leads disappear late in the game is never a good thing for any basketball team.
On the other hand, when you pull out a win both times, there’s only so much complaining a coach can do.
“We gotta figure that out, though,” said BHS coach Steve Berezowitz after the Demons pulled out a 57-48 decision at home Saturday. “We play really good stretches, and then we go through a little lull.”
The game was the second half of a boys/girls doubleheader at BHS. In the early game, the Waterford girls pulled away in the second half for a 56-34 victory.
It looked like it would be much of the same in the boys game, only in Burlington’s favor. After trailing early and behind 25-23 at the half, the Demons went on a 20-6 run in the third.
Leading 43-33 entering the fourth, Ben Geiger hit a 3-pointer that put BHS ahead 46-33 before Waterford began to rally.
The Wolverines pulled to within two and had a shot to tie the game, but missed the shot – with the ball going in and out of the basket. On fast break pass, Carson Biedrzycki laid up the ball on the other end to make it 49-45.
From there, the Wolverines were fouling, and BHS converted just enough attempts – the Demons hit nine of 15 tries – to pull away for the win.
Key in the victory for BHS was senior Jake Reetz, who had his best effort of the year with a game-high 21 points. He hit four 3-pointers – one each in the first and second and two in the third – and seemed to come up with a play whenever Burlington needed it.
“He was kind of upset with himself in certain areas,” said Berezowitz. “He saw some things. He can even play better.
“I’m proud of Jake. He really stood up.”
Biedrzycki and Gieger added 10 points each. Berezowitz acknowledged that the Wolverines did a good job of taking Biedrzycki out of the game – something he fully expects teams to be doing.
For Waterford, the stretch in the third quarter – the Wolverines hit just two baskets – proved critical.
“That was just a bit of us pressing and hurrying ourselves,” said Waterford coach Mickey Mala, who drew a technical late in the game after tearing off his jacket and throwing it in protest of a non-call.
Mala didn’t want to go on the record complaining about the officiating, but did say the way the game was being called altered his team’s shot selection – especially in the third quarter.
However, “while I wasn’t happy with some perceived inconsistencies, it wasn’t the reason we lost the game. That was our third-quarter ineffectiveness.”
“Burlington plays extremely hard both defensively and offensively and is always in a position to make you pay if you aren’t focusing with your utmost attention,” Mala added. “This game was no different.”
Chris Benavides led Waterford with 15 points, while Tanner Hunsucker added 14 and Nick Schwalbach 11.