MATTOON -- Lake Land men’s basketball coach Brandon Colvin feels his team is right on the cusp of turning the corner. At times he really likes what he sees. Other times he doesn’t see the necessary effort the team needs to turn that corner.
It was the same story during Wednesday’s game at Laker Fieldhouse against Lincoln Land. The Lakers had a lackluster start to the game and Colvin went with a full hockey change - substituting all five of his players out at the same time.
After about 10 minutes, the Lakers started to find their footing and that led to a 33-17 finish to the first half for a double-digit lead.
Lake Land stretched out the lead in the second half and defeated Lincoln Land 93-77. The Lakers improved to 3-6 overall and Lincoln Land fell to 0-7 on the season.
Colvin was happy with the win but still feels the team has to get closer to putting together a full 40 minutes. He felt the team put together 30 good minutes instead of a full 40 minutes.
“We’ve been battling consistency all year. If we ever put 40 minutes together, we will be dangerous,” Colvin said. “We seem to be stuck at one level and they aren’t going up or down. But it’s just not being consistent. That’s something I have to figure out.”
Defensively, Wednesday’s game was an improvement for the Lakers, who gave up 221 combined points in their last two games. Lincoln Land didn’t crack 80 points.
“We were better. That last five minutes disappointed me. When we went zone, we didn’t get out on shooters, guys didn’t move,” Colvin said. “That’s on me. I have to control that a little better. If we ever figure it out offensive and defensively and are consistent, we are going to be dangerous. I keep preaching it to the guys but it’s on me to get it to catch on.”
Lake Land was down 13-10 and after a timeout, the Lakers went up 19-15. Then Denis Alibegovic started to make plenty of shots to help Lake Land go up 30-22. Alibegovic scored 21 points in the first half. He hit seven three-pointers and finished with 26 points.
“He needed that to get the confidence up and hopefully that’s something that gets him going for the rest of the year,” Colvin said.
A Hunter White steal and dunk put Lake Land up by 10 points. A Tra Landers three-pointer at the buzzer gave Lake Land a 43-30 lead going into halftime.
Lake Land continued to stretch the lead in the second half and they were up 53-34 with about 15 minutes left in the game.
Colvin liked that the team was able to continue its strong play in the second half.
“We took the momentum from the first half and carried it over and looked really good,” Colvin said. “I thought the guys for the most part in the second half did a good job but we had a little bit of a letdown and that’s something we have to avoid against better teams.”
Josh Brewer added 19 points in the win for Lake Land.