Lakers at a loss
COTTONWOOD – Some nights nothing seems to go your way, and for the Lakeview boys’ basketball team that night was Monday.
The Lakers hosted the MACCRAY Wolverines in a Camden Conference showdown to close out the regular season and will enter the playoffs after sustaining one of their most lopsided defeats of the year. Behind a trio of double-digit scorers, the Wolverines mauled the Lakers to the tune of a 68-32 final.
MACCRAY (19-5 overall, 12-3 Camden) preyed on a poor shooting night for the Lakers, jumping out to a 17-2 lead with 12 minutes, 14 seconds to play in the first half.
Lakeview cracked double digits six minutes later, but only mustered 16 points in the first half and went into the locker room trailing 46-16.
“We struggled shooting tonight,” Lakeview head coach Dan Hoffman said. “It didn’t seem to want to go in for us at all.”
The Wolverines had the opposite problem, as they seemingly could not miss in the opening half.
Taylor Thissen led the scoring charge for the Wolverines with 18 points, though 16 of those came before halftime. Carter Asche chipped in 17 points, as the 6-foot-9 center took advantage of Lakeview’s lack of size in the opening 18 minutes. Asche had 15 points and three blocks before the break.
“They towered over us tonight,” Hoffman said of MACCRAY’s size. “We got into foul trouble with our only big and our other big is ill, so that leaves a big hole to fill.”
Jonah Dovre had been the most consistent big man for the Lakers on the year, but missed the regular season finale due to illness. Lakeview’s other center, Spencer Larsen, scored a team-high 11 points, but was the only Laker to reach double digits. He also battled foul trouble in the game, picking up four fouls by halftime.
Six-foot-5 forward Bailey Boike also had a strong game for the Wolverines, who received the No. 2 seed in Section 3A-North. Boike added 13 points for MACCRAY as the high-low game of the Wolverines wreaked havoc on the diminutive Lakers.
“It’s huge when they’ve got two big guys that can do whatever they want, pretty much,” Hoffman said. “It was a struggle to go inside after Spencer got into foul trouble.”
Unable to battle on the inside, the Lakers were forced to hope that their poor shooting improved after halftime. It didn’t, and the two team’s slogged through the second half, with MACCRAY having the better play for longer stretches en route to their rout.
Another impact the lack of size had on the Lakers was on the glass. Lakeview (11-16, 6-11) had been averaging nearly 30 rebounds per game on the season. Without Dovre and with Larsen limited, the Lakers grabbed just 15 boards in the game.
Lakeview has until Thursday to get healthy and get the kinks out of its game. Having received the No. 6 seed in Section 3A-North, the Lakers open up the playoffs back in their home gym on Thursday against No. 11 seed E.C.H.O. Charter. The victor gets a shot at No. 3 seed Canby in Montevideo on Saturday.
“Hopefully we got it out of our system so the rest of the week will go smooth,” Hoffman said.