The Lake Land basketball program walked away with a sweep of a doubleheader over Lincoln Trail Wednesday night.
The women’s team won 68-50 in its game, which started at 5:30, and the men’s team won its game 89-72 after the women’s game.
For both teams, some key 3-point shooting helped them get a lead in the first half that gave them a boost going into the later parts of the games.
Women: Lake Land: 68, Lincoln Trail: 50
Some basketball teams take the risk of either living or dying by the 3-point shot in their games, and the Lake Land women’s team was able to live by it in its victory over Lincoln Trail on Wednesday.
In the first half, the Lady Lakers made only five 3-point shots out of 12 attempted, but those they made helped them to jump out to an early 8-2 lead in the first quarter, and to a comfortable 35-22 lead going into the half.
“I think they were important,” said head coach David Johnson. “We try to stretch the defense out, and we’ve always been a 3-point shooting team.”
Sophomore Koty Crowder and freshman Jamie Sandschafer each made a 3 within 30 seconds of each other, starting at the 7-minute mark in the first quarter. Neither team scored until Sandschafer’s three. Freshman Avery Jackson also made a shot just under a minute later that gave Lake Land its 8-2 lead.
Crowder, who averages 15.2 points per game as the second-leading scorer for Lake Land, had a slower-than-usual shooting night, shooting 1-5 on 3-pointers in the first half and finishing with 13 points.
Jackson, who leads Lake Land with 19.4 points per game, finished the first half with 10 points, leading the team and all scorers up to that point. Jackson finished with a game-high 19 points.
Lake Land’s defense held Lincoln Trail to one 3-point attempt in the first half, which was made by freshman Kaitlin Adams with 4:21 left in the first quarter.
Lincoln Trail’s best scoring quarter was the third when the Lady Statesmen scored 18 points.
“I think they did a better job getting the ball inside that quarter,” Johnson said. “But I also thought we were pretty casual (on defense) that quarter.”
Aside from the one 3-point shot, Lake Land caused Lincoln Trail to make just nine of the 26 shots it attempted. The Lady Statesmen had six players contribute offensively in the half, led by freshman Shamarrhea Young, who had 6 points.
The last time the two teams met, Lake Land blew out the Lady Statesmen by a 68-36 score on January 6. Coming into the game, Lake Land had won four of its last five, and Lincoln Trail was coming off a 66-47 win over Shawnee Community College.
With the victory, Lake Land improved to 17-8, and Lincoln Trail fell to 13-10.
Men: Lake Land: 89, Lincoln Trail: 72
Much like the women’s team who played before them, the Lake Land men’s basketball team scored a lot of its points on 3-pointers and made the risk of living by the 3 worth the taking in the first half.
Sophomore Kasey Elam led all scorers in the first half with a stellar 17 points coming off the bench, which included a 3-point shooting clinic, going 5-6 on threes, 6-8 total shooting.
“I mean it was real important,” said Lake Land head coach Brandon Colvin. “I always tell him every day, if you shoot your shot normal, in balance and flow, you’re a good shooter. When he doesn’t step back and he’s not dropping his hands, and he showed it there, you know nice flow, got it through it, he hit them. That’s something Kasey can do night in and night out.”
Sophomore Josh Jefferson, who reached the 1,000-point club on Monday in Lake Land’s win, added 8 points in the first half, including a 3-pointer and three free throws.
But the 11-point lead the two helped Lake Land take into halftime was threatened in the first part of the second half.
Freshman Casius Bell Jr. of Lincoln Trail led his team through a comeback in the first 10 minutes of the second half, scoring 8 points in the first three minutes to cut the Statesmen’s deficit to 4 points, still trailing the Lakers 51-47.
“They came out, made some adjustments that we didn’t really adjust to too quickly,” Colvin said.
From that point until there was 8:21 left in the game, Lake Land held a small lead that stayed around 6 points. But then over the next two minutes, the Lakers extended their 64-60 lead by 10 points, 72-62.
“I thought the guys did a great job of fighting through the adversity,” Colvin said.
Three Lakers scored during the run. Sophomore Sean Kromah made a 3-point shot and two free throws courtesy of getting fouled during the bonus. Then freshman Allante Harper added a free throw after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt, and freshman Kevin Williams added a basket of his own.
For the rest of the half, though, Lake Land dominated and never surrendered the lead.
For most of the first half, the two teams held a close, competitive score, but Lake Land did hold the lead since the 18:35 mark in the half until halftime. The highest Lake Land’s lead grew to was 12 at the 12:27 mark, with a 20-8 lead.
Lincoln Trail was not willing to give up, going on a quick 7-point run over the next minute to cut its deficit. Lincoln Trail freshman Justin Williams led the 7-point run, scoring 5 points off of two drives to the basket and a free throw. He finished the first half with those 5 points.
Lincoln Trail sophomore Najee Taylor led his team in scoring in the first half, scoring 6 points from the post.
The last time the two teams met on January 6, Lake Land walked away with a 12-point victory, 80-68. Lake Land was coming off a 98-89 win over Indiana Elite on Monday, and Lincoln Trail had its previously three-game losing streak extended to four games with the loss.
Lake Land is now 16-9, and Lincoln Trail fell to 7-16.