Lakeview's defense checks Hubbard in 66-40 victory
Jon Kittle and Dan Whaley spearheaded the Bulldogs to their sixth triumph.
By DOUG CHAPIN
CORTLAND -- Sportswriters covering Lakeview High boys basketball games in recent years can be certain that after the game they will be involved in a discussion about defense.
Such was the case with former head coach Larry Herrholtz, and the practice continues with his successor, George Lanterman, who was an assistant under Herrholtz.
Tuesday, it was more of the same as the Lakeview defense put the clamps on Hubbard in the middle two quarters of a 66-40 Trumbull Athletic Conference victory.
"We talked before the game about rebounding and playing defense," Lanterman said. "Hubbard is a very good team with a lot of offensive weapons. We knew we would be challenged to guard them."
The Eagles (5-2, 1-1 TAC) were coming off a victory Friday over Liberty, like Lakeview, a perennial league contender.
Hubbard got off to a good start, making six-of-13 field goal tries in the first quarter. The game was tied at 15-15 before Lakeview (6-2, 2-0) scored the final five points of the period for a 20-15 advantage.
"We spent a lot of time preparing our game plan and we thought we knew what each of their players can do," Lanterman said. "In the first quarter, they were getting some shots we didn't think they should get if we were playing defense."
Lakeview defense is tough
The Bulldogs stepped up on the defensive end, holding Hubbard to seven-of-25 shooting during the middle two quarters while forcing four turnovers and making seven steals.
"Friday night, we came out to play and played a great game," Hubbard coach Rick Fox said. "Tonight, we thought we came in with some momentum, but Lakeview took all the air out of our bubble."
That is not an unfamiliar experience for Lakeview's opponents.
"I'm not surprised our kids stepped up defensively," Lanterman said. "Our kids work hard on defense, we hang our hat on our defense and coach Herrholtz deserves a lot of credit for that.
"I've been here five years and when I first got here I learned that Lakeview's success was all about defense."
The Bulldogs increased their lead to 32-23 at halftime and a 12-2 run in the first four minutes of the second half set the score at 44-25. It never got closer than 17 the rest of the way.
Jon Kittle and Dan Whaley led Lakeview in scoring with 15 points each, and Mike Marando and Mark Novotny added 10 each. Kittle also had five assists.
Bulldogs dominate rebounding
The Bulldogs had a 45-20 advantage in rebounding with 10 for Novotny, eight each for Dustin Opalka and Whaley, seven for Adam Morello and six for Greg McCumber.
Fox said the Eagles, who don't have a lot of size, have had trouble all season rebounding.
"Liberty outrebounded us also even though we won on Friday," Fox said. "We work hard on it in practice, but tonight we just didn't box out."
Cory Hitt, who stands no more than 6-feet tall, does a solid job in the post for the Eagles. He finished with 13 points and six rebounds. Robert Wigfall added eight points.
Though the loss was disappointing for the Eagles, a split of road games against Liberty and Lakeview isn't such a bad thing in the competitive TAC.
"We are happy where we are this early in the season," Fox said. "The league is as balanced as it has been in recent years, it's possible a team could win with five losses. We talked before the season about how tough it is to win on the road in the league. Hopefully tonight will teach us that we have got to be ready to play every night in this league."