Defense and free throws.  Once again, it came down those key things.  And unfortunately for East Lansing, they weren't in their favor in Tuesday's Class A Quarterfinal vs Holland West Ottawa.  The Trojans were out-shot at the charity stripe 20-3 en route to the Panthers 58-55 victory.  East Lansing felt they were the team of destiny after making the school's deepest playoff run since 2008.  Turns out destiny was on the side of West Ottawa, who had won their first Regional Title in school history last week.  It was a tight game throughout with the biggest lead being 10 points, that by the Panthers in 3rd quarter.  And despite the tremendous defense by both sides, fouls and foul shots did not become a factor until the final 8 minutes.  East Lansing started out well, staying patient on offense vs the West Ottawa zone D.  Junior Jack Morse and Senior Malik Jones supplied most of the 1st quarter scoring as the two combined for 10 of the Trojans 19 points.  E.L. led 14-9 through one.  The Panthers tightened up in the second and their three-point shots started dropping.  While East Lansing got a little stagnant, getting outscored 18-9 and falling behind 27-23 at the half.  Future Michigan Wolverine Brandon Johns, who would finish his high school career with over 1800 points, was held to just 4 points in those 16 minutes.  West Ottawa came storming out of the locker room and took that 10-point lead before Johns got going with a few monsterous dunks.  Senior Noah Schon also came alive with a pair of 3-pointers and the Trojans crawled back within four, 40-36.  As the fourth quarter began, each team abandoned their zone defenses in favor of the traditional man to man.  And that's when the fouls became the predominate story.  West Ottawa would go on to make 12 of their 14 free throws (5-6 from star point guard Xavier Wade) and increase their lead once again.  Brandon Johns tried to will his team back, like in their Regional Final victory over Okemos.  Johns hit a jumper; then a runner; knocked in a FT; and drained a tough 3.  But in the end it wasn't enough.  The Panthers advance to face Novi Friday at 2 pm at the Bresling Center.  Brandon Johns led the way with 19 points and 5 reb.  Noah Schon was the only other Trojan in double figures with 12 points (all in the second half).  Jack Morse added 9 points and Malik Jones had 8 points & 6 assists.  West Ottawa was paced by Xavier Wade's 20 points.  Tyler Bosma had 16 points, 7 rebounds  5 assists.  East Lansing finishes the season 22-4.

INDIVIDUAL STATS:

EAST LANSING:

Brandon Johns: 19 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk

Noah Schon: 12 pts, 3 ast

Jack Morse: 9 pts, 3 reb

Malik Jones: 8 pts, 6 ast, 3 stl

 

WEST OTTAWA:

Xavier Wade: 20 pts, 5 reb

Tyler Bosma: 16 pts, 7 reb, 5 ast, 3 blk

Drew Pederson: 9 pts

Liam Cavanaugh: 8 pts, 3 stl