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Godwin Heights survives a scare from Wayland

By: Lenny Padilla, March 7, 2016, 10:30 pm

(PHOTO CREDIT: Rich Prepetit)

Grand Rapids – Markeese Hastings isn’t known for his offense. But the Wyoming Godwin Heights forward might end up on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.

Hastings grabbed a defensive rebound with two seconds left in the third quarter and chucked the ball full-court that went through the net as the buzzer sounded sending the Godwin Heights players and fans into a frenzy.

“I knew the time was ticking down,” Hastings said. “So my first thought was to look at the clock and get a shot up. That’s what I did and it happened to go in.”

But it was his defense that helped Godwin Heights rally to beat Wayland Union 65-52 on Monday in a Class B district opener at Grand Rapids South Christian.

Top-ranked Godwin Heights advances to play South Christian on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Hastings, a 6-5 sophomore, had eight points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots – all in the second half.

“I know defense wins championships,” Hastings said. “The offense comes and goes. I knew I had to play well on defense and stand in front of Zach (Nieuwkoop) and move my feet.”

Leon Redd had 19 points, nine rebounds and five assists for the Wolverines (18-3), which won the Class B state title last spring. Lamar Norman scored all 14 of his points in the second half. Christian Rodriguez added eight points and five assists.

Wayland employed a 2-3 zone that frustrated Godwin Heights in the first half and the Wildcats led 19-16 at halftime. It’s a stunning total for a Godwin Heights team that averages 76 points per game.

“I don’t know if I was worried (at halftime),” Wolverines coach Tyler Whittemore said. “I was trying to figure out what I could do differently, put guys in different positions. I’m always looking to make adjustments. We needed to play the up-tempo offense we’re used to.”

Hastings, who is the tallest player for Godwin Heights, usually has to matchup with the other team’s post player, like he had to do last week against Grand Rapids Christian’s Xavier Tillman.

“I play hard all the time no matter who I’m guarding,” Hastings said.

Whittemore was still in shock over Hastings’ full-court buzzer-beater.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” he said with a big smile. “I’m glad it went in.”