Sports

Lakewood falls apart in fourth quarter

Michael Leach attempts to shoot over the Nathan Hale defenders. Leach eventually fouled out, but not before extracting 10 points against Hale. - Photo courtesy RANDY ORDONEZ
Michael Leach attempts to shoot over the Nathan Hale defenders. Leach eventually fouled out, but not before extracting 10 points against Hale.
— image credit: Photo courtesy RANDY ORDONEZ

What had played out to a first-half tie turned into a dominating performance against the Lakewood boys basketball team.

Nathan Hale outscored Lakewood 20-1 in the final quarter Dec. 6 to defeat the Cougars 66-43.

“They flexed their muscles in the fourth quarter a little bit and took it to us,” said Lakewood coach Matt Hart. “But the first three quarters, yeah, I was impressed with our guys effort.”

The game had started out promising enough. The teams dueled each half, with Lakewood leading several times, including once by as many as seven points. Juniors Shannon Bird and Cameron Fry each had three-pointers in the first quarter with Fry going on to a team-high 12 points. But both Fry and Michael Leach, whose 10 point made him the only other Lakewood player to break into double-figure scoring, were outscored by Hale seniors Thomas Pierson and Ben Scheideman who had 25 and 27 points respectively.

It was still a game going into the fourth quarter where Lakewood trailed by only four. But Hale threw around its size and the Cougars ran into foul trouble. Six Cougars ended the game with three or more fouls and Leach fouled out.

With the loss of Leach and missing veteran varsity player Nathan Hesselman, who was out with illness, the guys were short on manpower, Hart said.

“If Nathan Hesselman had been able to play ... he would have been able to bang around with those big guys from Nathan Hale a little bit,” the coach added. “I’m not sure it would have made a difference in the outcome.”

In a game with six Lakewood players scoring, only junior Joseph Hawkins sunk a free throw in the fourth quarter. Hawkins and senior Jordan Stauffer with both 3-for-4 from the free-throw line.

As Lakewood gets ready to begin its league schedule against Cedarcrest Dec. 17, Hart said the team is showing rapid improvements.

“I think that we came a long way between the first game and the second game. I think if we keep it up we’ll be OK,” he said.

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