SEWARD — Lakeview found itself locked in another tight game Saturday against Adams Central.
And again, the sixth-seeded Vikings (9-8) made plays down the stretch to escape with a 41-37 victory over the seventh-seeded Patriots (8-10) in a Central Conference Tournament consolation game at Seward High School.
“It’s kind of becoming a theme for us,” Lakeview head coach Monte Jones said. “But that’s only going to help us come district time.”
Four of the last six games for the Vikings have come down to the wire, with Lakeview winning three of them.
On Saturday, the teams were engaged in a free-throw contest in the fourth quarter, but neither was having much success.
Adams Central was 4 for 10 from the charity stripe in the period while Lakeview went 6 for 14, knocking down just enough down the stretch to get the win.
“We were fortunate enough to hold on,” Jones said.
It’s a big win for the Vikings, who played without starter Abby Kapels because of an illness.
“With a player on the shelf and coming off the disappointment on Thursday, I was real proud of the way they came out with some energy,” Jones said.
The game was tight throughout. The four-point margin of victory was Lakeview’s largest lead. Adams Central’s biggest advantage was also four points.
With Kapels out, Gracie Borer had to deal with extra defensive attention from the Patriots, but that hardly slowed her down. The 5-foot-9 junior scored a game-high 17 points, including 10 in the second half.
“She picked her spots and we were able to get her the ball in good scoring positions,” Jones said.
Brooklyn Wilke also shouldered a bigger offensive load with Kapels out. The senior finished with 10 points.
“That was big for her,” Jones said. “She cashed in when she needed to.”
Lakeview led 9-8 after the first quarter and 22-20 at halftime. Adams Central came back to knot the game at 31-all going into the fourth quarter.
Through three quarters, nobody would have guessed the free-throw troubles were coming in the final period.
Adams Central was 11 for 15 and Lakeview was 6 for 9 from the line up to that point. The teams combined for 27 made free throws and 24 field goals.
Lakeview’s defense was the difference in the fourth quarter, giving up only six points and one made field goal.
“You look at the fact that they were in single digits,” Jones said. “We had hands up challenging every shot and came down with big rebounds.”
Morgan Samuelson led the Patriots with 15 points, nine of which came from the free-throw line.
Lakeview hosts Class B, No. 1 Seward on Tuesday.