By Jim Flick
After a slow start, Howland’s boys basketball team dominated Lakeview in a 62-43 victory on Tuesday night.
Lakeview (4-16) led 6-0 halfway through the first quarter. But Howland (7-10) battled back, scoring nine unanswered points and led 9-6 at the end of the first quarter.
The Tigers outscored the Bulldogs 19-16 in the second quarter to lead 28-22 at halftime, and dominated the second half, outscoring Lakeview, 34-21.
“[Lakeview] came in and played hard, Howland coach Bill Bogan said. “We finally pulled it together.”
Bogan said the game followed his team’s usual pattern.
“That’s the way we’ve been all year,” he said. “We weather the storm and battle back. We found areas that we could dominate and we did so. The kids did a great job.”
Brendan Cope led the Tigers with 24 points.
“We executed our defense pretty well,” Cope said. “I basically went from the high-low to the dead area and found the holes. I caught a lot of great passes from my teammates.”
The game was “absolutely” a team effort, Cope added.
Howland senior Arbie Murray, who scored eight points, said the Tigers played hard because of a traditional rivalry with Lakeview.
“People showed up and we just had to beat them tonight,” Murray said. “We were more of an attack team tonight and our shots fell in when we needed them to.”
Bogan agreed Howland and Lakeview are traditional rivals.
“It’s the battle of Route 46,” he said, referring to the road that links Howland with Cortland, the community where Lakeview High is located.
Freshman Reece Bogan also scored eight points for Howland, while seniors John-Mark Weisman and junior Evan Steele each added six points.
Howland sank six 3-pointers, including two by Steele, compared to just two 3-point shots for Lakeview.
Lakeview’s leading scorers were senior Brandon Bensing and sophomore Ryan Pishotti, who each scored nine. Bensing connected for one of his team’s 3-pointers, while junior Justin Journey contributed the other.
Howland’s lead reached 20 points late in the fourth quarter, when Weisman sank two free throws.
“A lot of mental mistakes,” Lakeview coach Craig Mild said. “We didn’t run our offense. We were very impatient. That leads sometimes to quick shots and turnovers and it keeps building from there. We played a good first half, and the second half wasn’t typical of us. We had opportunities, but we didn’t run our offense, and when we did we didn’t make the shots.
“It was a snowball effect. They didn’t come out and do anything different in the second half.”