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Lakeland rallies past Green Ridge

By Eric Ingles

6 months 25 days 6 hours ago |800 Views | | | Email | Print

By Eric Ingles


Democrat Sports Reporter


A pair of Dalton Dull free throws with 20 seconds left capped off a second-half Lakeland comeback as the Green Ridge boys basketball team fell 76-61 to the Vikings Thursday at the W-K Shootout.


“They’re a good shooting team and they didn’t shoot it like they could in the first half,” said Green Ridge coach Jason Ollison. “We knew that. We talked about that at halftime. We still had to get out on their shooters because just because they weren’t making shots didn’t mean they wouldn’t. We got in some foul trouble and when you’re playing guys that are used to playing two or three minute spurts and they’re playing five or six minute spurts, that kind of throws off continuity.”


The Tigers led most of the way until the Vikings tied the game with 5:57 remaining in the fourth quarter. The two teams traded baskets and traded the lead the rest of the way. A Gable Dull putback put the Vikings ahead 60-58 with 4:53 to play, their first lead since the first quarter. Connor Dillon free throws put the Tigers back in front and after Lakeland tied the game, a Dillon layup made it 63-61.


The Tigers made it 65-51 on a Hayden Doane basket before the Vikings answered with a pair of layups to tie the game again at 65-65. Doane converted on a 3-point play with 1:29 left but a layup from Dakota Kalberloh and a 3-pointer from Gable Dull put Lakeland back in the lead with 41 seconds left.


After Dalton Dull’s free throws, the Tigers had several chances to tie the score but could not and Lakeland put the game away from the free throw line.


“I couldn’t be more proud of our fellows,” Ollison said. “They ran the game plan just the way we wanted it run, just didn’t get out and defend quite as well as we could. We’ll get it back.”


One of those in foul trouble was Doane, who picked up his fourth foul with 5:10 left in the third and the Tigers leading 44-32. When he came back with 5:43 left in the game, the Vikings had tied it up.


“He is one of the smartest players that I have ever had the pleasure of coaching at the high school level,” Ollison said. “He really makes things go for us and when he’s not out there, it really puts us out of position because we rely on Hayden an awful lot. Him not being out there and the way that lead dwindled just showed that.”


Though Lakeland came in with a size advantage, Green Ridge held firm on the boards, limiting the Vikings second-chance opportunities and getting several of their own.


“That’s been our focus from the very beginning,” Ollison said. “That’s what we knew we were going to have to do to compete at a higher level. Rebound’s heart and my guys have heart. That’s why we’re able to hold our own against the bigger teams.”


The Tigers jumped ahead with 3-point shooting early. Following a 3-point play by Harding, Hayden Doane and Connor Dillon hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to put Green Ridge ahead 9-0.


Lakeland chipped away at the lead thanks to a pair of baskets inside by Gable Dull and eventually tied the game at 15-15 on Dull’s 3-point play and even took a 17-15 lead on a Dull putback but Green Ridge regained the lead by the end of the first quarter as Hunter Niceswander hit a putback and Doane sank another 3-pointer to make it 20-17 after one.


In the second quarter the Tigers held the Vikings to eight points and at one point led 35-21. Niceswander, Justin McCarthy, Harding and Dillon all hit 3-pointers in the quarter. Defensively the Tigers made 11 stops in the second including six turnovers, one of those a Tom Dove steal and layup. Meanwhile Lakeland shot just 1 of 10 from the field in the second.


The teams traded baskets to open the third before Lakeland went on a 17-6 run late in the quarter.


The Tigers (4-3) will host California at 6 p.m. today.

Reach at or 826-1000 ext. 221.

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