Free throws proved to be decisive in Lake Land’s 88-79 loss to Parkland in Champaign on Saturday night.
Parkland took twice as many attempts from the line (34-17) and converted 25 to Lake Land’s 10. The Lakers were called for 27 fouls, nearly twice as many infractions as Parkland.
“The free-throw disparity was surprising to me,” Lake Land coach Brandon Colvin said. “There was plenty of contact on both sides, the type of fouls being called resulted in the free-throw advantage. I told the guys we have to start getting our arms out wide instead of dropping one arm, which is an easy call and (that) we have to bully through contact on offense so when we don’t get foul calls we we are able to still get the score.”
Lake Land had relied on a tenacious defense to go ahead 26-19 midway through the first half. Parkland remained close, though, by dominating under the basket, grabbing rebounds on six successive possessions that resulted in 13 points, mostly on put-backs.
Overall, the Cobras snared 42 rebounds that often enabled more second-chance baskets.
“Rebounding was a worry going into this game,” Colvin said. “We knew they went hard after the offensive glass and, if we did not box out and have five guys crash. we would pay for it. Which we did. It was a mix of not getting bodies on guys to just lack of effort by all five guys on the court to go get the rebound.”
Trailing by three points, Lake Land’s Nick Cohorst took a pass from Jevon Morris to make a layup and close the score to 40-39 to start the second half. But Lake Land never challenged afterward, falling behind by as many as 12 points midway through the half.
The Lakers had made 50 percent of its shots in an opening half that featured four lead changes and two ties. Parkland, though, relied on its rebounding prowess and free-throw advantage to compensate for shooting 39 percent. The Cobras took seven shots more than Lake Land in the half.
Morris scored a team-high 19 points and had four rebounds for Lake Land. Freshman Isaiah May scored 16 on 6-of-9 shooting and 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Sophomore Adam Price scored 14 with four rebounds and three assists.
The Cobras (4-2) were led by Carter Jeffries with 21 points, while teammates Brunard Williams and Joey Saracco both had double-doubles, Williams getting 18 points and 10 rebounds and Saracco getting 13 and 11.
Lake Land (2-2) begins region play at home on Wednesday night against Lincoln Trail College (5-0). The women’s game will tip off at 5:30 p.m., and the men follow at 7:30.
To download PDF of complete box score, click here.