TAC BOYS BASKETBALL Title will run through LaBrae
Vikings knock Lakeview out of 1st place, 81-77 in OT, can spoil Liberty's hopes next Friday
LEAVITTSBURG -- LaBrae High School is going to make sure it has a say in who wins the Trumbull Athletic Conference boys basketball championship.
Friday on their home court, the Vikings' 1-2 punch of Danny Hartman and Jason Frederick combined for 45 points in an 81-77 overtime victory over Lakeview.
The victory knocked Lakeview (15-3, 10-2 TAC) out of a first-place tie with Liberty (14-4, 11-1) in the TAC. LaBrae (14-4, 9-3) can help determine the conference champ when it plays host to Liberty next Friday in its regular-season finale.
Frederick made two key foul shots with less than 50 seconds remaining that gave LaBrae a 79-75 lead. He finished with 22 points.
"When Danny was hurt, a lot of offensive pressure fell on me, but tonight it was good because we really meshed together," Frederick said.
Playing with intensity
Hartman, who played hurt in the first meeting between the teams, scored 23 points.
"We came out with a lot of intensity and the crowd meant a lot to us tonight," he said. "I was scoring early because I really wanted to come out and help the team. A big difference for us was that we moved the ball around well and didn't stand around like we did in the first game with Lakeview."
"This time we got out on their shooters a lot better," Frederick added.
In that first game, Lakeview's Eddie Mackiewicz scored 33 points in the Bulldogs' 77-50 win. Friday night he was held to 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Mackiewicz's last 3-pointer, with 45 seconds remaining in regulation, sent the game to overtime.
Lakeview had a balanced scoring attack; Matt Pytlik was high-scorer with 18 points, while Alex Koltsov and Dustin Opalka had 14 each, and Mike Frangiamore scored 11.
Frenetic fourth quarter
The Vikings had a seven-point lead on three occasions in the third quarter, but it was trimmed to four, 52-48, entering the fourth quarter.
Pytlik made a field goal and free throw with 2 seconds remaining in the third period that started the Bulldogs on a 10-0 run. That put them ahead 55-52 with 6:45 remaining. But LaBrae, with Frederick punctuating a 7-0 run with his third 3-pointer, went back on top 61-57.
LaBrae led 66-61 in the final minute of regulation when Alex Koltsov found Pytlik under the basket -- one of Koltsov's 13 assists -- and, after a turnover, Mackiewicz tied the score with a 3-pointer.
There were four lead changes in overtime, the final one coming with 1:28 to go when Kyle Rowan sank a pair of free throws to give LaBrae a 73-71 lead. Rowan scored a layup against Lakeview's press in the final minute and Michael Ryan sank a pair of free throws with :02 showing to clinch the win.
"We executed very well and we had to because Lakeview plays great defense," LaBrae coach Gregg Isler said. "Offensively, this was the best we have moved the ball all season and tonight we had guys step up and make free throws down the stretch, something that has to happen in close games."
Lakeview coach Larry Herrholtz said playing from behind virtually all game took a toll.
"LaBrae was the better team tonight. They shot extremely well. We tried to switch defenses to get them out of their shooting rhythm and they still were hitting their shots."