Lakeview boys basketball has had its share of ups and downs this season. Tuesday was definitely an up as the Vikings defeated Milford 42-35 on the road in what might be the most impressive win this season.
Senior Thunder Pilakowski helped in the upset victory, scoring 24 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. He shot 10 of 14 from the field and went a perfect 4 of 4 from the free-throw line.
The Vikings (5-9) outscored the Eagles (9-5) by 13 points when Pilakowski was on the court.
Milford came into the game listed as a contender in Class C-1 by the Lincoln Journal Star. The win didn't come easy though, as Lakeview had to overcome a nine-point deficit in the third quarter.
"This was a game in which our kids showed a lot of toughness and competed like crazy for four quarters," head coach Tyler Colvin said. "Once again we struggled offensively, especially early on, but our effort never was in question. The boys did a great job of defending and competing on the glass.
"That kept us in the game until we were able to start making some shots. Milford stretched their lead to nine points in the third quarter but our boys responded and clawed their way back. Once we got the lead we did a nice job of stretching it out a little bit. We hit some big free throws down the stretch that put the game away."
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Adam Van Cleave and Mason Klug each scored five points, Kienan Prorok added four and Cooper Tessendorf and Eli Osten each finished with two.
In total, Lakeview shot 15 of 34 from the field compared to just 11 of 32 for Milford.
The Vikings also out rebounded their opponents 26-17.
"Thunder carried us offensively, and we had some big free throws from Thunder, Cooper, Adam, and Mason," Colvin said. "I am really proud of our guys and the way they approached this game. They kept believing even after a tough stretch of games and a rough first half offensively.
"I'm so happy for them, as they deserved to win the game with the effort they gave and their team-first attitudes. We need to build on this and use it to push us to continue to get better and improve. We have another tough test coming on Friday."
Lakeview is in action next at 8 p.m. on Friday at home against Schuyler (4-7).
Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org