Laker's men's basketball topples #2 Ocelots

Laker's men's basketball topples #2 Ocelots
The Lakeland men's basketball team continued it's impressive run with a thrilling  105-101 victory over the NJCAA #2 ranked Schoolcraft College Ocelots at Delta College on Saturday. With the win, the Lakers improve their record to 9-4 while handing Schoolcraft their first loss of the season. The Ocelots are now 11-1. The Ocelots came out firing to start the game and took a quick 10-2 lead. However, Lakeland would settle down and battle back. The two teams would trade baskets for the next 10 minutes. The tide started to change with about 8 minutes to go in the half. Jonny Bowers cut through the lane to bring the deficit back to 6 at 41-35. After a Schoolcraft lay-up, Keith Germain would hit a 3 pointer to make it 43-38.  After trading buckets again, Tyreke Johnson was fouled on a 3 point attempt and then calmly stepped up and hit all three free throws to make it 45-43. After a Schoolcraft miss, Jordan McMillian was fouled and stepped to the line and drained them both to tie it at 45. After trading baskets, Allen Sims drew a charge to stop the Ocelots. CJ Walton would later score on a pass from Bowers to help send the Lakers into the half with a 52-48 lead.
In the second half, Schoolcraft again came out hitting threes and were able to retake the lead.  The two teams stayed close though and the score was tied up at 86 with six minutes to play after two Sim's made free throws. They again traded scores until Mcmillian connected on two free throws giving Lakeland a lead it would not relinquish at 92-91 with just over 3 minutes to play. After an Ocelot miss, McMillian  drove the lane for a layup pushing the score to 94-91. After a Schoolcraft basket, Bowers put away a turn around jumper to make it 96-93 with 2 minutes to play. Johnson later connected on a 3 pointer to make it 99-94 and then the Lakers salted the game away hitting 5 free throws down the stretch.
Lakeland again had a balanced attack as 5 players scored in double digits  and 9 players scored in all. Tyreke Johnson had a game high 25 points for the Lakers while Jonny Bowers was credited with 23. Jordan McMillian scored 17 points and Allen Sims chipped in with 13 points. Keith Germain scored 10 points for the Lakers to round out the double digit scorers.
Player's Perspectives:
      Allen Sims - "We came out and executed the whole game plan for the entire game. Give credit to our coaching staff."  On the upcoming St. Clair game, "We can never take an opponent lightly. We just need to work hard and
      play to our potential. If we do that, we will be be ok."
      Jonny Bowers - "We came out very aggressive and were able to play a full 40 minutes again. Just because they were ranked #2, we weren't going to let that effect how we play. Everyone came out and really played hard and the
      bench really stepped up. We did a good job executing and doing what the coaches asked us to do." On some of his big baskets in crunch time, "Teammates were looking for me. I had confidence and was able to make some shots. It
      really was a good team effort."
      Jordan McMillian - "Schoolcraft is a very good team. For us to beat them we have to play at a higher level. We were able to do that today. We really executed our plays and played together. Our chemistry is building. As that
      grows, we'll continue to get better." When asked about his role in the game and with the team, "As a point guard, it's my responsibility to get everyone else involved first and then myself. I think I was able to do that over the
      weekend - it was a good team effort."
      Tyreke Johnson - "We did pretty good as a team and executed coaches game plan all the way." On hitting clutch free throws down the stretch, "I was confident I could step it up and bring it home. I knew my coaches and
      teammates had confidence in me. It's really not any different then practice though. We work on these situations every day. It was a great team win!"
Bowe's Bytes: "This was a full out team effort. Before the game, we talked about how we prepare both mentally and physically in less than a 24 turn around. Our guys did both and came in ready to play on both ends of the floor. They really took the challenge. I felt we matched them offensively and were able to make some defensive stops. Schoolcraft is a very good team, deep, and well coached. Our plan now is to take a day to rest and then come back and prepare for a Thursday showdown with St. Clair - another good team." 
Next up: The Lakers play host the St. Clair County CC Skippers on Thursday night at 7:30. They are then off for the holiday break. Lakeland will return to action on Wednesday, January 8, when they host Bryant and Stratton at 7:30 pm. Admission to all games is free.