By JAMES COOK email@example.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — The season didn’t start off the way Greg Immink had hoped.
He aims to correct that soon.
Traverse City West dropped its boys basketball season opener 56-42 to Midland at home Tuesday, trailing by as much as 20 points.
“Obviously, it wasn’t the result we were all hoping for,” said Immink, who made his West coaching debut. “Midland’s a very good team. They gave us some fits defensively. We had a little bit of difficulty scoring. That’s something we’ll correct this week and we’ll be better next time.”
West played evenly with the Chemics for much of the first quarter, starting with a Stephan Sheppard 3-pointer to give the Titans an early 3-0 lead and a Trevor Goudey put-back to pull within 10-9 with 3:42 left in the first.
But until a Sheppard jumper with a minute left stemmed the run, Midland extended its lead to 17-9.
“They have good size — thick, athletic kids,” Immink said. “They gave us some trouble inside. Any time you get beat by double digits, there’s things to work on. And we have a lot of those.”
A Sheppard triple and an Alex Scott driving layup drew the Titans within two at 18-16 before Midland pulled away on back-to-back threes by Will Williams and Jacob Dostal.
“I thought we got some good shooting from a couple of our guys,” Immink said. “We moved the ball pretty well. We had a little bit of stagnant offense there for a little while that really hurt us. Defensively, there’s some things to work on. We have to rebound better. That’s how you end every possession — you get the ball. And we didn’t get it enough.”
Sheppard led West with 16 points, with Tristan Roman adding seven and Deion Dyal five. K.J. Sayer grabbed five rebounds and Jake Cerny blocked two shots.
Midland’s balanced scoring attack was paced by 13 by Dostal, 12 from Williams and Zach Stirn and eight by Payton Dewildt.
West returns to action this weekend with a tournament in Petoskey, where they’ll face Milford on Friday evening and Brighton on Saturday afternoon.
TC West won the junior varsity game 56-53, led by 29 points from Nick Brzezinski and nine from Josh Roman.
The Titan freshmen — which opened the season with a 58-14 win Monday over McBain behind 13 points from Nick LaCsote and 12 by Caleb Corwin — improved to 2-0 with a 51-41 victory against Midland as Jacob Fewins and Carson Rosa each scored 11 points.