MATTOON — Lake Land men’s basketball coach Brandon Colvin knows his team is talented to make a postseason run. But he also knows teams don’t win on talent alone.
They also need the effort, which hasn’t been there lately.
The effort wasn’t there again on Wednesday against Kaskaskia College. Lake Land gave up 61 points in the second half and Kaskaskia went on to win 87-82. The Blue Angels shot 61.8 percent (21-of-34) in the second half.
It was the third straight loss for Lake Land (14-8, 8-4 GRAC) and the fifth loss in the last six games.
Colvin used the example of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even though the Cavs were considered one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference, they’ve struggled in 2018 and are falling down the standings, just like Lake Land has been in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and the district lately.
“Defensively, it’s us putting 40 minutes together, which we didn’t do. We put 20 minutes together against Wabash and held them to 38 in the second half. Held them to 26 in the first half here,” Colvin said. “We haven’t put together a full 40 minutes of defense yet, and until we do that we are going to keep going up and down. Right now we were in a spot where we are more down than up.
“I used the Cavs as an example. They aren’t defending in the NBA and they are struggling. Every level, you have to defend. It’s never been an offensive issue with us.”
Lake Land was without two of its best players, as Amel Kuljuhovic and Dazon Farris both missed the game with injuries. It’s the second straight game Kuljuhovic has missed. But Colvin didn’t use that as an excuse.
Josh Jefferson led Lake Land with 26 points, and Tra Landers had 16.
Lake Land finished the game with 22 personal fouls compared to 14 for Kaskaskia and at one point in the second half, the Lakers were whistled for 11 fouls compared to only three for Kaskaskia.
But Colvin said the Lakers had to attack more in the second half.
“You don’t get any calls when you don’t attack the rim very hard and we just weren’t attacking,” Colvin said. “They were and they got stuff off the curl. We held them to 26 points in the first half and gave up 61 in the second. You aren’t going to beat very many teams doing that.”
Lake Land plays at Southwestern Illinois College on Saturday.
Lake Land went up 13-8 early and then were up 20-14 and 28-22 with 2:12 left in the first half. Kaskaskia got four free throws to pull within 2 when a Tromon Weston putback gave Lake Land a 30-26 lead going into halftime.
The two teams traded the lead in the first 5 minutes of the half and Lake Land had a 44-43 lead when the Blue Angels went on a 5-0 run to go up 48-44 with 13:50 left in the game.
Kaskaskia was up 52-46 and Lake Land cut it to one at 54-53. The Blue Angels held onto the lead and went on a 10-3 run to go up 68-60.
Lake Land got within three at 74-71 with 2:20 left, but the Lakers couldn’t get any closer as Kaskaskia came back with a 3-point play to go back up 77-71.
The Lakers did cut it to 3 points again when Josh Jefferson hit a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left. Lake Land fouled right away and Logan Kohrmann hit both free throws to seal the 87-82 win for the Blue Angels.