The West Ottawa Panthers won the Boys Class A District 5 played at Hudsonville on Friday night. The championship game was a well fought battle between two teams that match up well on both ends of the floor.
The Panthers, winners of the OK Red Conference have 3 players that are the pulse of the team. When the trio is in sync, they are a difficult team to defeat. Coach Steve Windemuller looks to Seniors Xavier Wade, Tyler Bosma, and Drew Pederson to lead the squad. Wade can run the point, shoot from anywhere, and rebound with anyone. Bosma offers height and agility down low with the ability to score in the paint nearly at will. The 3-point shot is well within this young mans range which makes him a very difficult matchup for most opposing coaches. Pedersen can also rebound and score, however, defense is his passion. Typically matched up with the other teams scoring leader, it becomes Drew’s job to shut down or at least slow down option number one.
The Jenison Wildcats, runners up in the OK Black would stand between the Panthers and a second consecutive mitten shaped trophy. The Wildcats also rely on Senior leadership, and have a tri-fecta of players that first year coach Dominic Allen has enjoyed working with all year. Led by Jacob Boonyasith, Carter Chylek, and Colton Ritsema, the Cats were ready for the Panthers. Boonyasith became Jenisons all time leader in scoring this season. He passed a mark that has stood for more than 40 years. Obviously a scoring threat, he can score inside, as well as from distance. Chylek and Ritsema at the forward position, will atack the glass compiling rebounds as well as assists when opposing teams focus too much on J.B. leaving one of the big men open. In Wednesdays semi-final game Ritsema began the night 3 of 3 from beyond the arch.
The game Friday was a battle from the begining. West Ottawa won the tip and scored the first basket of the night. In the early moments of the first 8 min frame it seemed the Panthers would run away with this one. However the Wildcats went on a run to end the first quarter behind by only 3 (16-13). The clock was refreshed with 8 more min and the battle raged on. The Panthers would trade blows with Jenison and take a 6 point lead into the locker room at the half (29-23). The third quater ended with Coach Allens’ team still trailling, however now the deficit was 5 (42-37). In the final frame of regulation the Wildcats battled back and even drew the score even several times. The Panthers would never trail in this one and had a 2 point lead with just 3.7 seconds left on the clock(50-48). With memories of the final 3 seconds from last year’s Regional Championship game in the back of his mind Coach Windemuller called a timeout to discuss ways to keep Jenison from more last second heroics. He and his players are the only ones who truly know if it went as designed, but the Wildcats Boonyasith hurried the ball across half court, then while looking at a triple team attempting to keep him from shooting, he found Jr Kyle Nott wide open in nearly the same spot on the floor that Grand Rapids Christian guard Thad Shaminski scored a year ago. Nott released the shot, the buzzer sounded while it was in the air headed toward the rim. The Hudsonville Gym that was just moments prior as quiet as a mouse, now erupted in a roar of Panther fans as Notts shot missed it’s mark. The Panthers held on for the win. Survive and advance, that is what they did, but will the scars from this one help or hurt when the Regional Semi-final game begins Monday night?
Grandville High School will host the Boys Class A Regional 2 on Monday and Wednesday March 12th and 14th. Monday features two games; the first at 5pm featuring the Muskegon Big Reds(19-3) vs Grand Rapids Christian Eagles(14-9). The night cap is scheduled to start at 7, but WILL begin 30 min after the matinee game features the West Ottawa Panthers(21-2) vs the Forest Hills Northern Huskies(16-7).
The games are sure to be exciting, if you can not attend, tune in as we will be covering both of them. Down load the free app and take us with you anywhere. Archived broadcasts are available. Like us on FB, and follow us on Twitter.
Top Scoring : W.O. Bosma(19), Wade(11), Pedersen(9) Jenison Boonyasith(23), Ritsema(9), Nott & Deyman(6ea)