Game slips away from Lakers in final minute
JASONVILLE -- The Lakers couldn‘t manage the clock in the final minute Saturday night, and visiting Riverton Parke managed to pull out a 51-48 win over Shakamak.
The Panthers (8-11) led 51-46 with 48.5 seconds on the clock when Lane Gilbert was fouled on a three-point attempt. He sank the first two free throws, and the third bounced off the rim and went out of bounds to Shakamak (7-12)
Avery Briddick stole the ball, though, and Gilbert was forced to foul him with 22.0 ticks left. Briddick missed the free throw, but the Lakers didn’t try a shot until Rylee Landry drove for a layup with about four seconds remaining. He missed and the Panthers escaped with the victory.
“It’s just like I told the kids at the end,” said Shakamak coach Nate O’Neall. “When the kid missed the free throw the fault was myself. I had two timeouts I could have called to set something up. Poor clock management, poor coaching on my side at the end of the game. Those are the big things.”
The coach also said the Lakers need to shoot the ball better from three-point range. They hit 2-11 threes (18.2 percent) while hitting nearly 50 percent of two-point tries.
“We have to shoot the ball better,” O’Neall said. “Those gaps have got to be closed.”
Gilbert led Shakamak with 23 points and Landry tallied 12. O’Neall said Drew Crane is getting back in the swing of things after missing nearly a month with a foot problem.
Jonathon Virostko led Riverton Parke with 19 points and Avery Briddick added 12. O’Neall said Briddick had been averaging about 20 points a game.
O’Neall said the Lakers played good defense, holding the Panthers to 51 points while they usually score more than 55. He noted Shakamak’s opponents have been averaging about 47 points per game.
“We didn’t play bad defense, but we struggled to score from time to time,” O’Neall said.
The Panthers jumped on Shakamak for a 16-9 lead after one quarter. Brandon Hazzard scored both of his field goals and Virostko nailed a deuce and a trey.
The Lakers cut into the lead in the second quarter and trailed 30-27 at the break. Gilbert scored nine in this quarter.
Shakamak struck Gould early in the third quarter as John Gould made two layups, but the Panthers scored seven to go up 37-31. Gilbert then ignited an 9-0 run. He drove for a layup, set up Landry for his trey, turned his steal into another layup, and capped the run with a short bank shot.
Briddick fed Garrett Lawson for a basket and scored himself to give the Panthers a 41-40 advantage heading into the final period. The teams fought to a 44-44 tie; then the Panthers reeled off five unanswered points as Briddick converted an old-fashioned three-point play. He and Gilbert swapped layups to set up the finale.
“It’s like I told the kids,” O’Neall said. “We’ve got to keep grinding and get ready for Feb. 27 (the date of the sectional) and whoever we play.”
Shakamak came from behind to win the junior varsity contest 31-22. The Lakers took a 7-4 lead in the first quarter, but the Panthers rallied to lead 12-10 at the break. They still clung to that two-point lead, 18-16, when the third stanza concluded, but Shakamak outscored the Panthers 15-4 in the fourth to take the win.
Brevon Fulford led Shakamak with 10 points, followed by Levi Helt, eight, Nick Kinnett, six; Coda Keller, five; and Jadyn Samm, two.
The Lakers next swing into action at 6:00 p.m. Friday when they host Eastern.
R. Parke 16 14 11 10 -- 51
Shakamak 9 18 13 8 -- 48
RIVERTON PARKE (51)
Hazzard 2 1-1 5, Sanders 1 0-0 3, Briddick 5 1-2 12, Virostko 8 0-1 19, Powell 0 0-2 0, Steelsmith 3 0-0 6, Kirchoff 2 0-0 4, Harrison 0 0-2 0, Lawson 1 0-0 2, TEAM 22 2-8 51
Landry 4 2-2 11, Stienstra 0 1-2 1, Dicus 1 0-0 2, La. Webb 0 0-0 0, Gilbert 8 6-9 23, Gould 4 0-0 8, Pilant 0 0-0 0, Crane 1 1-2 3, TEAM 18 10-15 48
Three-Point Shooting: Riverton Parke 5 (Virostko 3, Sanders 1, Briddick 1), Shakamak 2 (Landry 1, Gilbert 1). Fouls: Riverton Parke 14, Shakamak 11.