Kevin Rigby led the Bulldogs with 18 points in the 59-47 win.
By DOUG CHAPIN
KINSMAN -- Coming off a close loss Tuesday to state-ranked Newton Falls, the Lakeview High boys basketball team bounced back Friday, holding off a late Badger rally for a 59-47 Trumbull Athletic Conference victory.
"That was a real tough loss; we lost to a great team," Lakeview coach Larry Herrholtz said of the Bulldogs' home loss to Newton Falls, ranked sixth in Division III.
"For us to come back, as young as we are, I'm proud of our effort."
Kevin Rigby, a 6-1 junior, scored eight of Lakeview's last 12 points after the Bulldogs' 16-point lead -- 41-25 with 6:39 left in the game -- dwindled to two points, 47-45 at the 2:56 mark.
Ben Fox came off the bench and scored all of his team-high 11 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Badger comeback.
Rigby, who finished with 18 points, shot 6-of-10 from the foul line down the stretch. His biggest play came with Lakeview ahead 49-45 when he made a steal near midcourt and drove for a layup and was fouled by Kyle Arnold of Badger at the 1:50 mark.
The foul was ruled intentional and Rigby made one of two free throws. Lakeview retained possession and Brandon Bakker scored about 20 seconds later to make the score 54-45.
"We talk a lot about taking steps and I thought we took a big step by handling their comeback," Herrholtz said. "We expected [Badger] to make a run at any time."
Playing well: Rigby and junior point guard Phil Butch drew praise from Herrholtz for their work down the stretch.
"They pulled the ball out and realized we didn't have to push it and hurry things," Herrholtz said. "Phil Butch works hard every day in practice. He wants to learn and get better. He wants to become a special player."
Lakeview (5-4, 4-2) held a 26-18 rebounding edge. Rigby, Bakker and Jon Reid had five each. The Bulldogs led 17-9, 24-16 and 38-25 at the quarter stops.
"They did a great job defensively," Badger coach Bill Bogan said. "They defended aggressively and they have great size across the back. We didn't get many second shots. They were super on the glass."
Key losses: Badger (7-2, 4-2) lost senior point guard Ryan Miller to a head injury midway through the second quarter and lost backup point guard Arnold and senior forward Josh Upshire to fouls.
"We would hope that with the experienced team we have, we wouldn't be in the position in the first place," Bogan said of his team's near-comeback.
"But it was a tremendous effort. They never gave up."
Bakker added 11 points to the Lakeview attack. Butch had 10 points and five assists and Rigby made eight steals.