By Coach Brian Walker

The Laker C-squad had not played or practiced for 10 days due to weather and cancellations, so when the team took the floor against a talented Melrose squad last Monday we really didn’t know what to expect.  What we got was a very entertaining first half with both teams battling to an 18-18 tie.  In the second half however, Melrose put an early run together to earn the 49-35 win.  The first half saw the Lakers connect on 7-of-15 shots (47 percent) from the floor with Tristan O’Neil scoring 8 of his team high 16 points before the break.  Conner Erickson hit a pair of 3’s for 6 points to send the Lakers into the locker room tied at 18 apiece. The shooting in the second half fell a bit as the Lakers hit just 4-of-15 shots (27 percent) and would fall behind early in the second half by double digits.  Despite the shots not falling, the team played hard and found a way to get to the free-throw line 15 times in the second half, knocking in nine of them (60 percent).  It was nice to see the effort the team continued to play with after falling behind.  

Without having a chance at a practice, the team responded against a very good Osakis team the next night, coming away with a nice win 46-38.  In the first half, the team cranked up the offense by outscoring Osakis 27-20.  Tristan O’Neil scored all 20 of his points in the first half.  Tristan was very aggressive offensively and attacked the basket, which got him to the free-throw line 10 times, and he made 8.  He also hit a pair of 3’s.  Marshall Kopp came off the bench to get 3 points in the first half.  In the second half, it would be Conner Erickson who put his team on his back and would score 18 of the team’s 19 second-half points.  Erickson finished the night with 22 points.  He would also hit a pair of 3’s and knock down 4-of-5 free-throws.  The Lakers made 14-of-40 shots from the floor (35 percent) and make 14-of-21(67 percent) from the FT line.  AJ Svec hit a clutch free-throw for 1 point in the second half.  We got great play from our post players, Riley Week, Ike Spychalla, AJ Svec and Caleb Kath, who defended and rebounded the ball well.  The team also got solid play from Ben Johnson, Carter Huckle, Drew Bleick and Mason Danielson.  We were missing Oliver VanderHagen for the past two games.  

The team finished the season with a 9-14 overall record.  The team started out 2-7 before playing the final 14 games with a .500 record.  These guys worked really hard on the defensive end of the floor, and really grew as a team.  This was a great group of kids to work with.  They have a lot of potential, but will all need to keep working on their game in the offseason.  I look for good things from them in the future.  GO LAKERS!!