Lakeview allowed itself to enjoy this win in its first game in the girls basketball district tournament.
But the Spartans want more.
Lakeview defeated Gull Lake, 52-42, in this Class A district semifinal at Battle Creek Central on Wednesday.
But now the Spartans are after the win they really want, the one that would come in the district championship game on Friday.
Lakeview won its first ever district title in Class A last year in girls basketball and now that Spartans have one, they want another.
“Tonight’s game was great, great victory, but this is far from over,” Lakeview coach Don Bussler said. “As far as I know they didn’t hand us any wooden trophy tonight.”
Behind the standout performance by the Spartans’ Emily Eldridge, with 19 points and 10 rebounds, Lakeview improves to 13-7 overall and will face Battle Creek Central in the district final on Friday.
“This win over Gull Lake feels good, but we came out of it knowing we don’t have that trophy yet,” said Eldridge. “So we are just going to go back on the court next time, leave it all out there, and plan on not going home without a trophy.”
The win not only put the Spartans into the district final, it also allowed them to get a measure of revenge against Gull Lake. Gull Lake beat Lakeview in the final game of the regular season last Friday as the two teams split the season series.
“It’s always nice to beat a Gull Lake team. They are a good program, so when you beat then you know you have beaten a good team,” Bussler said. “We lost to them last time out so there was some doubt there. So it was huge to bounce back and win tonight against that same team.
“As tough a loss as it was on Friday, I think it zapped every ounce of energy out of Gull Lake to win that game. Then they have to go on the road to play on Monday. While we didn’t have to travel, we got a bye, so I think we were fresher.”
That might have shown early on.
Gull Lake started out fast and led 15-12 after the first quarter. However, the Blue Devils went scoreless in the second quarter as Lakeview went on a 11-0 advantage in the period to lead 23-15 at intermission.
“It’s hard to win a game against a good team when you don’t score a point in one of the quarters,” Gull Lake coach Mike Balcom said. “You can’t forfeit an entire quarter and still win a game. I think it just came down to Lakeview outplayed us tonight.”
Despite that surge, Gull Lake climbed back in to the game with a 8-0 run of its own and cut the lead to 27-25 after a jumper by Grace Clancy with 2:05 left in the third.
Clancy led Gull Lake with 19 points with Ashton Whitman getting 13 points as the Blue Devils end the season at 12-9.
Lakeview would responded early in the fourth quarter and took the lead back to double digits when the Spartans’ Chloe McAllister hit a 3-pointer to make it 45-33 with 3:45 remaining.
Ava Cook added 11 points for Lakeview with McAllister chipping in 10 points.