After beginning the season with five straight losses, the Spartans finally have their first victory. Lakeview fought back from a doubledigit second half deficit on Tuesday night to defeat the visiting Portage Central Mustangs, 48-42, in boys’ basketball action on Tuesday.
Lakeview and Portage Central each have 1-5 records after the Tuesday night’s game.
“It feels good for these guys because they worked as hard tonight as they’ve worked in any other night,” said Lakeview coach Steve Wichmann. “I think the difference is we executed a little bit better tonight on different things, and I’m happy for them and I’m proud of them.”
Each team only managed six points in the first quarter, but the Mustangs began to pull away in the second quarter, leading 17-9 at one point. The Spartans scored the final four points of the half and headed into the locker room with a little momentum, down by just four.
But the momentum quickly turned in favor of the Mustangs, who scored six points in the first minute of the second half to take a double-digit lead, 23-13.
“We called timeout and just kinda settled everybody down, and then we just kinda chipped away and turned them over a little bit,” said Wichmann. “We got it back to where it was close and then we looked up and it was 31-30. I think our guys deserve a lot of credit for fighting back.”
Lakeview began to find their stride midway through the third quarter. Seven players scored for the Spartans in the period as they slowly inched their way back into the game. T.J. Fisk converted on a three-point play, and C.J. Foster recorded a steal and an assist to Dayton Johnson to end the quarter up by one, 31-30. The Spartans finished the third on a 13-3 run.
The lead switched hands four times early in the fourth, until Foster again assisted on a score, this time to Devin Sherlock, who cut into the middle and hit a floater to take a 35-34 lead. This time, the Spartans would hold onto the lead. Hunter Bost and Fisk each made layups down the stretch, and Johnson made six free throws in the quarter to close out the 48-42 win.
Johnson was the Spartans leading scorer with 13 points, three rebounds, and three steals. Bost had nine points and six rebounds, while Fisk finished with eight points and six rebounds.
As great as Tuesday’s win feels, coach Wichmann would like nothing more than to capitalize on the victory in the near future.
“As soon as I walked into the locker room and congratulated them, the next things was ‘Let’s win Friday’. That has nothing to do with who we are playing, it’s just that now that they’ve got a taste, I think we’re hungry and hopefully as we continue to get better we can maybe get a couple more,” said Wichmann.