By MIKE ECKERT
TRAVERSE CITY — Petoskey senior Erik Davenport scored 19 points in the second half Tuesday to spark the Northmen to a 64-57 Big North Conference win over host Traverse City West.
"It was a really tough game, but we found a way to make it happen," Davenport said. "That's what you've got to do in these tough games. I give credit to the team. We all played a great game."
The Titans (5-3, 3-1 BNC) cut the lead to 59-55 with 32 seconds left, but Davenport went 5-for-6 from the free-throw line the rest of the way to hang on for the win.
Petoskey moves to 6-0 on the season and 2-0 in the league.
"We needed to play a good team, and West is a good team," Northmen coach Dennis Starkey said. "I'm feeling real good about the way we handled it, because we hadn't been tested like this all season. Credit West, they take things away from you to make it hard to score every time down the floor. But what it turned into was good players making good plays."
Davenport finished the game with 28 points and five rebounds.
"Davenport was good and we got caught in too many switches," Titans coach Brett Graham said. "To be honest, we didn't pay attention to our scout, and we didn't play good defense."
Joe LeBlanc added 13 points for the Northmen while Sam Baumgartner had nine points and 10 rebounds.
"Individually, we had some guys step up with some big games," Starkey said. "Starting with Erik Davenport inside. We needed that. We've been consistently getting good production from Quinn Ameel and Sam. Joe LeBlanc as our fourth guy also gave us a good boost and some buckets when we needed them."
For the Titans, Jeremiah Williams had 15 points and six rebounds, Zach McGuire had 11 points, Kendrick Meyer had 10 points and eight rebounds while Donny Cizek had eight points, eight rebounds and four assists.
"We couldn't stop Williams at all in the second half, and Meyer was awfully tough for us, too," Starkey said. "But luckily we were able to guard their shooters and limit the damage there. They can beat you from a lot of different ways."
West never led in the game, but never went away. The Titans trailed 20-12 at the end of the first quarter, but an offensive rebound and a put-back from Meyer at the buzzer of the second quarter made it 29-26 Northmen at the half.
"We got close, but when it was time to make a critical play, we didn't execute," Graham said. "It comes back to the first half. You can't give up 20 points in the first quarter. They got whatever they wanted."
The win for Petoskey came after losing at TC West a year ago — ending a 29-game win streak in the league.
"There was a little chip on our shoulder," Davenport said. "It was really nice to come in here and get the win."
Though early, the win keeps the Northmen as the only unbeaten team in the Big North this year.
"We said before the game that whoever is 2-0 is not set. There's a long way to go," Starkey said. "But it is important to win road games in this league. We've got two so far. That's nice, but we've still got 10 more games to play and we're going to have our highs and lows. I think we kind of stole one here. We were lucky to get this one."
Petoskey won the JV game 45-34 behind 18 points from Evan Whitmore. The Titans had 13 points from Thiyo Lukusa and nine points from Deion Dyal.
The Northmen also took the freshman game 44-34. Jared Roth had nine points for West while Sam Fyfe had seven points.