BRIDGMAN — Watervliet used hot shooting down the stretch to rally from a 10-point deficit to edge Bridgman 59-56 in a Dec. 7 season-opener.

The host Bees had rallied from a 16-13 first-quarter deficit to lead 32-27 at half-time.

A Riley Gloe bucket and John Sanderson’s three-pointer upped the margin to 10 points (43-33) late in the third period, but in a sign of things to come Andrew Chisek drained a trey before the quarter had ended to pull the Panthers within seven (43-36).

Watervliet got a series of clutch buckets from Wyatt Epple, Chisek and Kaden Bierhalter to seize a 51-50 lead with 2:19 left in regulation.

Ensuing lay-ups from Bierhalter and Tyson Williams upped the lead to 55-50 with less than a minute to go.

Jayce Warren (who finished with a game-high 31 points) drained a pair of late three-point baskets to keep things close, and even had a chance to force overtime with a late attempt from the three-point zone, but in the end Watervliet’s fourth-quarter surge stood up.

Chisek paced the Panthers with 24 points while Bierhalter added 20.

Sanderson scored 11 points for the Bees.

NEW BUFFALO

The Bison won their Dec. 8 opener at Sturgis 77-73 behind a balanced attack.

Kaden Parmley (24 points), Jeremiah Mitchell (14 points), Markvell Shaw (12 points), Zack Forker (12 points and 10 rebounds) and Anthony Lijewski (9 points) contributed to the opening-night victory.

JJ Stevens poured in 37 points for the home team while Jacob Thompson added 22 points.

The Bison are scheduled to visit Covert on Friday, Dec. 10, before hosting River Valley on Dec. 14.

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