Coming into their first Region 24 game of 2020, the Lakers knew they had to improve on their defensive effort from Saturday’s Lincoln Land game to give themselves a shot.
And Adam Price poured in 41 points on 8-of-17 shooting and 23 free throws to lead Lake Land past Kaskaskia 92-81 in overtime.
Price had hit two free throws in the final seconds of regulation to send the game into overtime.
The Lakers scored the first seven points in overtime. Kaskaskia then cut it to two, but never got any closer.
Price hit four straight free-throws after Richard Robinson was charged with two technicals for the Blue Angels to ice the game.
“I thought Adam showed a glimpse of what he is capable of every night,” said Lake Land coach Brandon Colvin. “He is one of the quickest guards in the region and should be able to get to the line at the minimum eight to ten times a night. He kept attacking and hitting the free-throws, this was one of the first times all season I thought he was truly relentless in going to the rim.”
Ty Waller added 17 as the only other Laker in double figures.
Walker led Kaskaskia with 29 points and 20 rebounds.
The Lakers made nearly three times more free throws, converting 86 percent on 38-of-44 shooting. Price hit 23 of 26 at the free-throw line. Kaskaskia made only half of its 22 attempts.
The Lakers improved to 5-10 overall, 1-6 in Region play. They next play host to Lewis and Clark College at 1 p.m. Saturday.
“I felt like our defense was key for us tonight,” Colvin said. “We just put the zone in a week ago and the guys have bought in and made every effort to make it work. Tonight, they moved well and communicated well, this is a win that should be 100 percent to their credit.”
The first half featured eight ties and eight lead changes.
The Lakers struck first with two free throws from Hunter White, which would foreshadow what was to come as far as going to the line for the Lakers.
The teams traded baskets for most the half, until the Lakers used an 8-0 run over 3:33 to take the biggest lead of the half, 20-12 with 10:24 to go on a Ty Waller corner three. The Lakers had a chance to extend it after a stop; however, a turnover would trigger a 9-2 Blue Devil run, knocking the lead to 22-21 on a Payton Sheen 3-pointer with 6:41 to go in the half.
Kaskaskia took a two-point lead with 1:04 to go after Austin Jarvis hit a 3-pointer at 34-32. A fadeaway shot by White to end the half would tie the game at 34 going into the break.
In the first half, Lake Land shot 41 percent while the Blue Devils hit on 38 percent.
La-Quiem Walker had a huge first half, going 10-of-15 from the field and grabbing 10 offensive boards on the way 21 points and 13 total boards in the first half. His teammates, though, shot 25 percent combined.
The Lakers also forced 10 turnovers to their six, while hitting 9-of-11 free throws.
The second half started as the first ended with the teams trading baskets and turnovers over the first 3:38 with the Lakers finally getting the advantage, 44-43, on a Price field goal with 16:32 to go.
The Lakers extended the lead to seven by the 11:17 mark on two Jason Larson free-throws, making it 53-46. The lead remained between five and seven for the next five minutes, before Walker hit two free-throws to cut the lead to just two, 62-60 with 5:30 to go in the second half. Once again the Lakers would seemingly take control, quickly scoring five points on a Clint Weber layup and a Waller 3-pointer to go ahead by seven at the 4:28 mark.
Just as before, Kaskaskia slowly chipped away at the lead, tying the game on a Richard Robinson 3-pointer with one minute remaining. After a Price turnover, Nico Johnson would get fouled and hit one of two to give his team the 73-72 lead with 30 to go.
On the next possession, Price was fouled attempting a 3-pointer. He then hit two of three free throws to give the Lakers a 74-73 lead with 13 seconds left. Price then fouled Johnson on the final possession, who hit a free throw to send the game to overtime, 74-74.