The Lakeland men's basketball team improved to 2-1 with a 85-83 tourney opening victory over the Delta College Pioneers. The game was essentially a tale of two halves – of each half. In the first half, Delta led 9-2 less than 3 minutes into the game. At the 11 minute mark, they were up 15-4. With 8 minutes to play in the half, the Pioneers were ahead 22-8. Allen Sims was then hit 2 free throws and Lakeland went on 21-2 tear playing tenacious defense. Emmanual Sunnyway was key as he came in and provided high energy on defense and important contributions on offense. The Lakers kept forcing turnovers and bad Pioneer shots and went into the half with a 33-30 lead.
The second half was eerily similar for the Lakers as they went ice cold to begin the half. Delta came out driving hard to the basket and making some close range baskets mixed in with a couple of 3's to put them back ahead 49-35 with 12 minutes to play. Again the Lakers turned up the defensive pressure. They forced turnovers and hit their shots and then took a 60-58 lead after two Tyreke Johnson free throws with 6:47 to play. Over the next 6 minutes, Lakeland controlled the play as Johnson hit 3 more free throws, Chris Richardson hit a couple of buckets, and Jordan McMillian hit a three, had a steal and a lay-up , and then two more free throws in succession. From there Lakeland just let the game run out to take the victory. Jordan McMillian and Tyreke Johnson led the way offensively with 22 points each.
Bowe Bytes: " In the end of both halves, we played some good defense and that got us where we needed to be. Once we learn how to play 40 minutes, we'll be a good basketball team. We know we have to continue to play better as we have a tough opponent tomorrow in Columbus State."
Next up: Tourney schedule
11 am Erie CC vs Delta College
3 pm Columbus State CC vs Lakeland CC