Instead of building momentum off their third place finish at the county tournament, the Lakers were unable to make their way past visiting North Daviess here Friday night.
The Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference co-leaders handed Brett's squad a 61-50 setback dropping them to 5-7 overall and 1-3 in league play.
"It could've come down to the end, but I thought that end was determined as much in the first half as it was late in the game," Brett said. "We missed layups and free throws in the first half and gave up uncontested three's to a guy that we knew could shoot three's."
The Cougars finished the night connecting on 6 of 9 attempts from distance. That tally included a pair by Nick Crays and three more from Alex Wittmer.
"The three's that they got all night long, maybe one was contested," Brett said. "Maybe two of them."
Poor shooting and a buzzer beating 3-pointer by Crays in the second quarter was the most glaring thing about the loss.
Shakamak spent half of the frame trying to find the same success they had put up in the first quarter when they were able to stay with the Cougars and post a 12-12 deadlock.
But in the second quarter they suddenly went cold from the field missing five straight shots before Brodie Crowe finally found the bottom of the net.
By the time his shot went down, the Courgars had reestablished a lead pushing the gap to 22-12 before Crowe's hoop.
After that Shakamak found themselves chasing trying to cut into the lead, which the did for the most part. That is until Crays drained a trey from midcourt as the halftime buzzer sounded.
"That one that Crays put down at the buzzer was a big one," Brett said. "He's a good player but we've got some good players, too -- they just need to start making plays."
Crays' long distance bomb pushed the gap from eight points back to double-digits and proved to be a quiet slap to the Lakers' chances, especially when you consider the two teams were even on the scoreboard over the final two quarters -- despite the final margin.
"We've got enough guys that can play, we just need to start making plays," Brett said. "Making stops on the defensive end, we didn't do a very good job of doing that when we needed to -- we've got to toughen that up."
Brandon Morin and Crowe gave the Cougars all they could handle offensively, but the same could be said for Crays and Wes Lengacher on the other end of the floor.
Crowe finished with a game-high tally of 24 points and while Morin had arguably his best performance of the year draining 14 points and securing four rebounds.
"Brandon played probably his best game all year," Brett said. "He was scoring inside with some nice moves and stuff. He finished a lot better than he has all year.
"He played like we thought he was capable of playing all year -- we just need to make sure that he keeps it up."
The duo were joined in double-digits by Patrick Green who ended up with 10 points and a team-high five boards.
Crays nearly matched Crowe's game-high tally with 20 points of his own while Lengacher added 14 for a North Daviess scoresheet that also included 11 points from Alex Wittmer.
"They're well coached and a good basketball team," Brett said. "We're not very far from being as good a basketball team as they are -- we just don't have the wins to show it."
North Daviess also claimed the junior varsity contest by a score of 54-29.
Christian Burris led the Lakers JV with 10 points followed by Jake Walters with seven while Griffin Terrell, Braden Scott, Samuel Messmer and Jeff Bessling all added two.
The Lakers return to action Saturday (tonight) when they take on Marshall, Ill. in a 6 p.m. contest.
NORTH DAVIESS (61) -- Wes Lengacher 5-6 4-5 14, Adam Wagler 2-6 0-0 5, Kelby Byrer 3-4 1-2 7, Nick Crays 6-9 6-6 20, Nick Woodruff 0-0 0-0 0, Dusten Cook 0-1 0-0 0, Alex Wittmer 4-5 0-0 11, Tyler Hostetter 2-2 0-1 4, Drew Lengacher 0-0 0-0 0, Austin Buehler 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-33 11-13 61.
SHAKAMAK (50) -- Brodie Crowe 8-19 5-6 24, Brandon Morin 7-11 0-0 14, Patrick Green -10 1-5 10, Kyle Schubla 0-0 0-0 0, Mark West 0-2 0-0 0, Braden Cox 0-0 0-0 0, Jeff Bessling 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 20-45 6-11 50.
North Daviess 12 20 15 14 -- 61
Shakamak 12 9 16 13 -- 50
3-point shooting -- North Daviess 6-9 (A. Wittmer 3-3, Crays 2-2, Wagler 1-3, Cook 0-1), Shakamak 4-16 (Crowe 3-12, Green 1-2, Collins 0-2). Rebounds -- North Daviess 21 (Byrer 5), Shakamak 17 (Green 5). Steals -- North Daviess 3 (Crays, Wittmer, Byrer), Shakamak 4 (Morin 3). Blocks -- North Daviess 1 (Cook), Shakamak 1 (Crowe). Turnovers -- North Daviess 11, Shakamak 5. Total fouls -- North Daviess 24, Shakamak 15. Fouled out -- Schubla. Technical fouls -- none. Junior varsity -- North Daviess 54, Shakamak 29.