Updated: 12:13 a.m., Eastwood boys beat Lake in thriller (2-22-13) PDF Print E-mail
Written by THOMAS SCHMELTZ/Sentinel Sports Writer   
Friday, 22 February 2013 23:20
LUCKEY —There cannot be much of a better way to send a senior class off than with a thrilling win over one of the league’s top teams.
Eastwood did just that Friday on its senior night and ended Lake’s hopes of sharing the Northern Buckeye Conference championship.
The game saw highs and lows in a contest that meant little to the Eagles and everything to Lake.
Trailing by one, Grant Peters converted a layup with 10 seconds remaining putting Eastwood on top 61-60 in the final regular-season game of the year.
Lake’s Jayce Vancena was fouled on a driving layup on the ensuing possession with 2.8 seconds remaining but could not convert the free throws.
The Flyers retained possession, but Vancena’s game-winning attempt from the left elbow rimmed out and the Eastwood faithful celebrated at midcourt.
Had Lake beat Eastwood, it would have shared the conference title with Otsego at 12-2.
Instead, Lake finished second at 11-3, one game behind Otsego (12-2). The Knights were 52-49 losers at home to Rossford.
It was the second time Eastwood (8-14, 8-6) has beaten Lake this year. The Eagles were 61-57 winners on Jan. 18.
Lake is 19-3 overall.
“I don’t know that I have an answer for that,” said Eastwood head coach Matt Routson when asked about the reason for success against Lake. “For whatever reason we play well against Lake ... We’ve brought our ‘A’ game both times that we’ve played them.”
“We’ve had good success against Lake,” said senior Kevin Sweeney, who scored 17 points for the Eagles. “I’ve especially had good luck against Lake for some reason. I’m not sure why.”
Sweeney also scored 17 points in the first meeting between the teams.
Eastwood trailed 51-40 heading into the fourth quarter and the Eagles played their finest in the last eight minutes.
Eastwood out-scored Lake 21-9 in the fourth quarter while shooting 9-of-10 from the free-throw line.
“Going into the fourth I told them that we had to value our possessions and get stops defensively,” Routson said. “We had to make (Lake) run a half-court offense and we were able to get stops and make plays when we needed.”
The matchup question remained a mystery to Lake head coach Ryan Bowen.
“I don’t know if their guard play up top is too physical for us or what,” Bowen said. “Our guards usually get to the basket pretty well and they did not tonight.
“We relied on the outside shot a lot. Just for some reason, I don’t know. I can’t answer that right now,” he added of why Lake struggles against the Eagles.
The Flyers had three double-digit scorers with Vancena, Marcus Pierce and Jared Rettig each scoring 16 points. Point guard Connor Bowen tallied just four points and was unable to penetrate to the paint with consistency.
Rettig, a guard, scored 12 of his 16 points on four 3-pointers, all of which came in the first half.
After holding an 18-15 lead after the first quarter, Eastwood faltered to start the second.
Nine consecutive empty possessions started the second quarter for the Eagles and Lake built a 28-18 lead midway through. But with the help of two triples from Jake Schmeltz, Eastwood cut Lake’s lead to 35-30 by halftime.
Schmeltz finished with a game-high 20 points
A 13-0 scoring run to start the fourth quarter gave Eastwood a 53-51 lead with 3:30 left in the contest.
Eastwood forced seven of its 22 turnovers in the final eight minutes where it controlled the paint, hit free throws and played exceptional defense.
“Luckily we calmed down a little bit after their flurry and we were able to make good decisions and convert instead of them stealing and converting,” Routson said.
Lake ended its regular season a win away from setting the school record for wins in a season. It also ended its regular season on a sour note for the second straight year.
Eastwood defeated Lake in the final game last season to clinch a tie for the NBC title.
“We had some real dumb turnovers,” coach Bowen said. “We just played dumb.
“It’s very disappointing,” he added. “I just hope our kids can respond to this and make a good tournament run now.”
Lake won the junior varsity game 50-43. Scott Brittenham scored 14 points to lead the Flyers, while Aaron Witt and Adam Kolasinski each added 13 points. Zach Jacoby led Eastwood with 15 points, while Steven Bruning and Noah Smith scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Witt, 0-1-1—4; Rettig, 1-4-2—16; Swartz, 0-0—0; Landis, 2-0—4; Bowen, 2-0—4; Vancena, 7-2—16; Walters, 0-0—0; Pierce, 7-2—16. TOTALS: 19-5-7—60.
Peters, 3-0—6; Sweeney, 7-3—17; Flipse, 0-0—0; Bradley, 3-6—12; Schmeltz, 5-2-4—20; Dierker, 0-1-2—5; Rahe, 0-0—0; Bockbrader, 0-0—0; Faykosh, 0-1—1; Bess, 0-0—0; Leuck, 0-0—0; Hoodlebrink, 0-0—0. TOTALS: 18-3-16—61.
LAKE    15    20    16    9    —60
EASTWOOD    18    12    10    21    —61
Junior varsity: Lake, 50-43.
Last Updated on Saturday, 23 February 2013 01:12

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