COLUMBUS — For the first time since 2014, the Lakeview boys will play in the championship game of the Columbus Holiday Tournament.
The Vikings made 5 of 6 free throws in the final 30 seconds Thursday to hold off Schuyler in a 50-46 victory at Dowd Activity Center.
“I was really proud of our guys for how we were able to grind out the win today,” Lakeview head coach Bryce Roth said.
Lakeview got the win despite trailing most of the game and struggling to shoot the ball, finishing just 1 for 10 on 3-pointers and 34 percent overall.
“Coming out of the moratorium break, sometimes things are a bit sloppy and inefficient on the offensive end,” Roth said. “But I thought we rolled up our sleeves and settled in on the defensive end.”
Schuyler didn't have those offensive issues as the Warriors came out firing in the first half.
Mason Kovar knocked down a pair of 3-pointers to give Schuyler an early 8-5 lead. Lakeview took a brief 9-8 advantage before Kovar struck again with his third trey of the first period to give the Warriors an 11-9 edge after the opening quarter.
Tyler Kohl started the second quarter the way Kovar finished the first with a 3-pointer. Auston Hall and Jakub Langemeier also knocked down treys for the Warriors in the first half as they took a 23-19 lead into the break.
Schuyler leaned on Hall in the second half and the 6-foot-5 big man responded with 12 of the Warriors' 14 points in the third quarter. He finished with a team-high 19 points.
“We couldn't stop Hall at all today, but give him credit, he's a heck of a player,” Roth said.
The Warriors grew their lead to as many as six points, the last time coming on a bucket from Hall to make it 33-27. Five straight points from Lakeview's Cameron Drozd sliced the deficit to one.
Sean Donnelly’s basket in the closing seconds of the third period pulled the Vikings back within one, at 37-36, heading to the final quarter.
After Lakeview tied the game at 37-all, Noah Beebe scored five quick points for Schuyler to give the Warriors a 42-37 advantage.
When Hall picked up his fourth foul midway through the fourth quarter, Lakeview was finally able to get over the hump. The Vikings went on an 8-0 run to turn the five-point deficit into a 45-42 lead, their first since the first quarter.
Free throws down the stretch sealed the victory. Lakeview knocked down 12 of 19 attempts from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
While Lakeview was able to hits its free throws, Schuyler didn’t. The Warriors were 0 for 8 at the line in the second half and 1 for 12 in the game.
Luke Rollman finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and a handful of blocks for the Vikings, matching Hall step for step in a battle of big men.
“Luke obviously played lights out tonight controlling the paint,” Roth said. “He gave us a huge lift on both ends.”
Isaac Dreifurst added 11 points for Lakeview.
After he knocked down three treys in the first quarter, Lakeview took Kovar out of the game. The Schuyler senior scored just two points the rest of the way and finished with 11.
“Cameron Drozd did an outstanding job limiting Kovar,” Roth said.
Lakeview (2-5) has won back-to-back games after losing its first five to open the season. The Vikings face the winner of Thursday night's game between Scotus Central Catholic and Twin River in Friday's holiday tournament final.
Schuyler (2-4) plays the loser in Friday's consolation game.