2016-10-13 / Sports

North Bay boys secure share of first league title

County contenders stumble down the stretch, gear up for districts
By Jay Bushen
Of The Enterprise staff


NORTH BAY senior Oliver Creamer (9) and a Buckley player put their heads together last Wednesday during a Northwest Conference game in Buckley. 
Photo: Ron Kramer NORTH BAY senior Oliver Creamer (9) and a Buckley player put their heads together last Wednesday during a Northwest Conference game in Buckley. Photo: Ron Kramer Most championship celebrations start as soon as the final whistle blows.

Others start many minutes later, unexpectedly, on the walk to the bus.

It wasn’t the championship-winning moment coach Tom Spencer and his North Bay soccer players pictured when the season began in August, but it was a moment nonetheless.

“We went crazy,” Spencer said.

North Bay players capped their 10-game Northwest Conference campaign on Monday with a 9-2 win at Glen Lake, giving them an 8-2 league record and — thanks to their 3-2 hiccup at Buckley last Wednesday — what they thought was a second-place finish in the conference standings.

A text message sent to Spencer from a Benzie Central coach said otherwise.

Benzie upset three-time defending league champion Leland 1-0 at home on Monday, dropping the Comets to 7-2 in conference play and lifting North Bay to at least a share of the league title for the first time in program history.

“We are enjoying the moment,” Spencer said Tuesday afternoon. “We are in first place by ourselves right now. Leland has to win to tie us. That feels pretty darn good. We celebrated a conference championship last night and, whether we share it with Leland or not, we are champions.”

Basile Fremaux scored the lone goal for Benzie against the Comets, who were without Gerardo Vasquez in the first half (illness) and Jack Anhut (ankle) for the entire match.

Coach Joe Burda made no excuses.

“Benzie outplayed us, out-hustled us, never gave up and deserved the win,” Burda said.

Leland was slated to host Glen Lake after press time last night with a share of the league title on the line.

The Lakers, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from their poor defensive outing against North Bay.

Brett Dyer led the North Bay attack with two goals and three assists. Jesus Calderon added two goals and one assist; Eli Kramer tacked on one goal and two assists; Evan Busby scored twice; and Austin John and Ethan Sommerfield scored once. Jose Garcia, Keegan Maleske and Ethan Pino contributed with one assist apiece.

“We’ve got bigger things to do,” Spencer said. “We’ve had our sights on the conference and getting out of districts. Right now, our sights are getting beyond districts. This team is destined for great things.”

Glen Bredin scored both goals for Glen Lake, his 15th and 16th this fall.

North Bay will close out its regular season in Northport on Friday against Charlevoix while Leland travels to take on Traverse City Christian. Both will play in the first round of districts Monday. Glen Lake has a bye.


LELAND FORWARD Noah Fetterolf, pictured during a recent home game against Manistee, had a chance to win a fourth straight conference championship last night when the Comets hosted Glen Lake in Leland. Results were not available at press time. LELAND FORWARD Noah Fetterolf, pictured during a recent home game against Manistee, had a chance to win a fourth straight conference championship last night when the Comets hosted Glen Lake in Leland. Results were not available at press time. MORE SOCCER

Late surge lifts North Bay to win

Navneet Dhami broke a scoreless tie with 19 minutes remaining Saturday as North Bay notched a 3-0 homecoming victory over Traverse City Christian.

Austin John assisted on Dhami’s late tally, his fourth of the fall campaign. Evan Busby scored the pair of late goals. Brett Dyer had one assist.

“We had total control of the match from beginning to end,” said coach Tom Spencer, former coach of the Sabres. “We were frustrated by their goalie, the goal posts and our inability to finish for much of the game.”

Brendan Duffiney and Manmeet Dhami were named king and queen.

Comets lose to familiar foe

Hank Guest scored the lone goal for Leland on Friday as the Comets dropped a 3-1 decision at Muskegon Western Michigan Christian.

It was the first meeting between the teams since the Warriors handed Leland a 1-0 loss in last year’s regional final.

The Warriors took over in the second half as Kadin Riksen and Evan Fles headed two balls passed Leland keeper Andy Mosqueda, who made 18 saves.

“Muskegon was a good trip, a pretty good preview of what our district could see moving on,” coach Joe Burda said.

North Bay slips up at Buckley

Brock Beeman scored the game-winning goal late in the second half last Wednesday as Buckley dealt visiting North Bay a 3-2 defeat in league play.

Ethan Pino and Evan Busby scored for the North Bay boys, who led 1-0 at halftime. Pino and Brett Dyer distributed one assist apiece.

Coach Tom Spencer said his players let the Buckley players, fans and officials take them off their game.

“We emotionally lost it,” Spencer said. “It was very clear at the end of the game in the expressions of disappointment that we had lost it. Buckley deserved to win. They play great soccer at times, especially in the Buckley den. They’re very physical. The referee allowed them to play their game and therefore we didn’t plays ours.”

Saffell, Comets cruise past Lakers

A six-point performance from sophomore Nick Saffell propelled Leland to a 9-1 Northwest Conference victory at Glen Lake last Wednesday.

Saffell finished with three goals and three assists, scoring one of two Leland hat tricks. Garret Buta-Scott had the other, plus one assist. Jack Anhut, Hugo Calderon and Noah Fetterolf rounded out the nine-goal night for the Comets. Fetterolf tacked on one assist and Hank Guest had three.

The Lakers led early, after Glen Bredin found Tyler Robbins for the game’s first goal, but trailed 2-1 at halftime and allowed seven goals in the final 20 minutes of the match.

“We will need to put not one but two strong halves against them when we play them again next Wednesday on their home field,” second-year Glen Lake coach Jason Howes said.

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