Two steps forward and one step back.
That’s the kind of progress Lakeview is dealing with right now.
After getting two impressive wins last week, the Spartans stumbled on Tuesday as Portage Central beat Lakeview, 48-34, in a Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference non-division boys’ basketball contest at Lakeview High School.
Despite the loss, Lakeview coach Steve Wichmann still likes the direction his team is taking.
“Tonight was a bump in the road, that’s how we are looking at it,” Wichmann said. “We have been moving forward and getting better the last few weeks, but you can’t take a step forward every time. So sometimes you take a step back and tonight was one of those times.
“We aren’t going to dwell on this. We are just looking to move on and hopefully we go to practice and keep getting better.”
After Lakeview beat two of the top teams in the SMAC East in Loy Norrix and Marshall last week, the Spartans might have realized early this wasn’t going to be their night with the struggles they had early on.
Lakeview had eight turnovers in the first quarter and fell behind 16-8 by the end of the period.
Then in the first five minutes of the second quarter, the Spartans had five more turnovers and just one basket as they fell behind 22-10 with 2:51 left in the half.
“The one thing we talked about before the game was turnovers. We had too many the first time we faced them too, but a lot of them were unforced this time,” Wichmann said. “Give them some credit for those turnovers, but I thought we were pretty careless with the ball.”
Overall, Lakeview had 14 turnovers in the first half and went 1-for-11 shooting in the second quarter for just two points in the period and trailed 24-10 at intermission.
“We just tried to press and give some ball pressure and I think that really worked well in the first half, using solid team defense,” Portage Central coach Darryl Blasingame said.
Lakeview’s struggles continued in the early second half with five more turnovers in the third quarter as Portage Central outscored the Spartans 16-7 in the period to put the game away – leading 40-17 heading into the fourth quarter.
Steffan Robinson had 12 points with Max Ryan adding 11 as Portage Central improved to 8-3 on the season. It was the second one-sided win by Portage Central over Lakeview as the Mustangs beat the Spartans 56-37 the first time out.
“I don’t know what we have against them, or if it’s a matchup advantage for us. We know Steve does a good job with his team, so I don’t know if it’s anything specific. We were just able to get them on a couple nights,” Blasingame said.
Lakeview was led by Donnie Ernsberger with nine points and eight rebounds with Jake Love, Tyreace Frederick and Jake Bivens each getting seven points as the Spartans fall to 4-6 on the season.