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Andy Roberts • Oceana’s Herald-Journal file photo

Pentwater’s Linnea McDonough (right) spikes the ball during a regional semifinal match against Calvary Christian in 2016. The Falcons won a thrilling five-game battle that ranks among the most memorable Pentwater sporting events since 2012.

The Pentwater Falcons don’t have as many sports as the previous two schools we’ve covered in this series, but over the past eight years, they’ve made up for it with probably as many thrilling games per capita as any of the eight schools I cover. Interestingly, many of those memorable battles have come against county rival Walkerville. Come down memory lane as we relive some of the best Falcons’ games I’ve seen since 2012.

Pentwater vs. Calvary Christian, volleyball, regional semifinals, 2016 - This match, which Pentwater won in five thrilling games, is memorable to me for two reasons. The less important reason is that I made the audacious decision to cover it, on deadline, as the back half of a Mount Pleasant-area doubleheader, as Shelby played (and won) a regional semifinal match earlier that evening. (Thanks again for your free WiFi, Taco Bell.) The match itself, though, was spectacular. The Falcons struggled through game one and lost it, but rallied back to win two tight games in a row, including a memorable 27-25 battle that ended with three consecutive errors by the Eagles. Calvary rallied to win the fourth game, and the decisive fifth went to the limit before Pentwater came out on top, 15-13.

Pentwater vs. Brethren, baseball, 2018 - Baseball is a team game composed of individual battles. Rarely, though, does the sport resemble a one-on-one competition. An exception was this 1-0 Bobcats’ win in late April, which matched two of the best to ever pitch in the West Michigan D League; Glenn Miller for the Falcons and Jake Riggs for visiting Brethren. Both teams had already shown that they were the class of the league, so the conference title was essentially on the line. Miller had the early edge; he took a perfect game into the fifth inning and had the Falcons’ lone hit in the first inning. However, in the sixth and final frame, Brethren managed a run for which Miller was basically faultless. The Bobcats’ Hunter Wojciechowski got a wind-aided double, that would normally have been routinely caught, then scored with two outs on a swinging-bunt single that no Falcon could’ve stopped. Miller missed his chance for revenge when he stepped to the plate with a runner on third and two out in the bottom of the sixth, only to be intentionally walked and the rally stifled. Pentwater did, though, bounce back to win the nightcap and ultimately split the conference title with Brethren.

Pentwater at Walkerville, boys basketball, 2020 - There are three entries on this list that are Pentwater/Walkerville basketball games, as the rivals have had more than their share of memorable battles in recent years. This one, a 47-45 double-overtime Pentwater win, was recent, happening this February for the Wildcats’ homecoming. The Falcons, who went on to claim a WMD championship, were shorthanded because of a flu bug that swept through the team (perhaps an ominous sign, considering COVID-19 struck a month later). However, they overcame the challenge, and a game Wildcats’ effort, by grabbing 20 offensive rebounds. Jack Stoneman had the 20th of them, which resulted in the winning basket. Khole Hofmann had a big game, with 13 points and 13 rebounds. (These teams would tangle in another exciting showdown in the district tournament, with Walkerville cutting a 28-point Falcon lead to two before falling short.)

Pentwater vs. Walkerville, girls basketball, 2020 - Another rivalry battle from this past season, this one took place in late February, which seems like an awfully long time ago. The Wildcats, looking to lock up the outright WMD title (they would a few days later), fell 58-57 in a triple-overtime thriller. The stars shone brightly in the game, with Mykaela Berumen going for 26 points for the Wildcats and Jhordan Miller-Rowe and Terra Cluchey answering with 22 and 14 respectively for Pentwater, with all three making several huge baskets late in the game. The night’s biggest basket, though, went to Falcon backup Haidyn Adams, who scored a putback layup with two minutes to go in the final overtime. Those were the final points of the night.

Pentwater vs. Walkerville, boys soccer, 2017 - It’s not just the court that sees these county rivals deliver memorable games, as the soccer field has seen some too. One of the better ones was this early-season meeting won 4-3 by the Falcons. Pentwater rallied from a two-goal deficit behind Billy Sproul, who scored all four Falcon goals, the last of which came with over 31 minutes to play. Pentwater then tightened up on defense and managed to keep an attacking Wildcat squad out of the goal the rest of the game.

Pentwater vs. Walkerville, boys basketball, 2017 - Overtime classics seem to pop up frequently between these rivals, and this one was a great one, with Pentwater winning 57-51. The Wildcats, in the midst of what became their first winning season in a decade, led much of the game, including by four with just a couple of minutes left, but senior Damon Martz picked a great time for his biggest scoring explosion to lead a rally. Martz scored 17 points, seven in the fourth quarter and 10 in overtime, to lead the Falcons to victory. Kendall Sibley hit a late free throw to force overtime, and Jared Talsma scored 17 for the Wildcats.