TRUMBULL ATHLETIC CONFERENCE Short-handed Lakeview prevails
Minus two starters, the Bulldogs remained unbeaten by beating Champion.
By GREG GULAS
CORTLAND -- With two starters forced to the sideline because of illness and discipline, the Lakeview High boys basketball team was faced with an added challenge to remain undefeated.
Step in Jeff Ellens and Kevin Rigby.
Ellens had a game-high 21 points and 14 rebounds and Rigby added 12 points and 10 caroms as the Bulldogs toppled Champion 56-46 Friday at the Lakeview gymnasium.
"It was very difficult to run our offense due to their size," Lakeview coach Larry Herrholtz said. "We thought that it would come down to controlling the boards, and that we did tonight.
"Champion is big and strong and they didn't give us many open looks," Herrholtz added. "We really had to work hard at both ends of the court for this victory."
Sitting it out
The Bulldogs were without the services of starters Brandon Bakker, who was nursing a fever, and Joey Opalka-Brown, who was held out for violating team rules.
Bakker is expected back to the line-up when he recovers, while the staff will evaluate Opalka-Brown on a game-by-game basis.
The first period by either team was anything but impressive. Ellens scored four of his 21 points in the period, off-setting a 3-for-14 shooting performance by the Golden Flashes from the field as they held a 7-6 advantage after the first eight minutes.
Lakeview (9-0, 3-0 Trumbull Athletic Conference) used eight points from Rigby, outscoring the Golden Flashes (3-4, 1-3) 21-14 in the period to take a 28-20 lead at intermission.
Rigby and Ellens scored the first two buckets of the second half to increase the Bulldog lead to 32-20, but when Josh Ozanich scored seven of his team-high 15 points in the period, the Golden Flashes cut the Lakeview lead to 33-31 with 2:21 remaining in the quarter.
Putting it away
Ellens (six points) and Rigby (two points) then scored the final eight points of the quarter as the Bulldogs built a 41-31 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
"It's not how you start, but how you finish," Herrholtz said. "That goes for both the game and the rest of the season. We cannot rest now if we expect to meet our goals."
Jim McHale's eight points in the final quarter helped the Bulldogs increase their lead to 47-31 as they coasted to victory.
Neither team was exceptional from the field. The Bulldogs were 18 of 48, while Champion was 19 of 47. Lakeview canned just three of 16 from beyond the 3-point arc, while the Golden Flashes were three of 20 from 3-point range.
The Bulldogs held a 39-24 rebound advantage.