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Despite a rough night shooting the basketball, Lake Park managed to hold off East Aurora for a 55-47 victory Thursday night in Upstate Eight Valley play.
In what was their first home game of the season, a young Lancers team that has three sophomores who see significant minutes and just four seniors on the roster came out flat and the Tomcats (0-5) managed to keep things close all night as a result.
“First game at home, guys were tight playing in front of the home crowd, and we came out flat,” said Lake Park coach Josh Virostko. “We only have two kids that played last year, and every day is a learning experience. This is just their first time doing everything.”
The Lancers (5-2) shot just 22-of-58 from the field, and a combination of failing to capitalize on open looks and a pesky Tomcats defense kept them out of rhythm all night.
The teams combined to shoot just 8-of-25 in the first quarter, as the Lancers held an 11-10 lead, and they weren’t able to gain much ground en route to a 28-23 halftime advantage.
The Lancers defense stepped up in the third quarter, holding the Tomcats to just nine shot attempts compared to the 20 shots they were able to take.
However, the lid remained securely on the basket for the Lancers, as they only managed to outscore them 12-10 in the quarter despite the 11 extra shot attempts.
The Lancers finally took control of the game to open the fourth quarter, forcing three straight turnovers en route to an 8-3 run that gave them their first double-digit lead of the game.
The Tomcats did manage to keep things from getting out of hand, as a Ray Velazquez three-pointer on their second to last possession cut the final margin to single digits.
“We’re still playing hard, we just need to learn to play together a little more,” said East Aurora coach Wendell Jeffries. “We came out aggressive, and when we got down 10 in the fourth quarter we still didn’t give up.”
Sean Moore led the Lancers with 14 points, while Michael VanAswegen chipped in 13 off the bench including three three-pointers.
For the Tomcats, Tyree Willis led the way with 11 points and KeJuan Davis added nine points off the bench.