Lakeview High School boys basketball fought through slow starts during both halves with long scoring runs and earned a third-place finish in the annual Columbus Holiday Tournament with a 57-36 win over Schuyler on Friday afternoon.
Four different Vikings scored in double figures led by Cadge Janssen with 11. Jaden Johnson, Thunder Pilakowski and Camern Drozd each added 10 for a Lakeview squad that was an effective 6 for 14 from 3-point range and found a way to leave a tough ending from the night before in the past.
The Vikings led Twin River at the half in Thursday's opening round game by six but allowed the Titans to build momentum early in the third quarter, gave up the lead right after halftime then missed crucial free throws with less than a minute remaining in the contest.
Less than 24 hours later, coach Tyler Colvin wasn't completely confident which group would show up Friday afternoon. Though it took a while for that answer to reveal itself, by the time the final seconds ticked away it was a resounding answer and a 21-point win.
"You're always worried about how you're going to bounce back after a disappointing finish like we had last night, but I thought our kids responded pretty well and showed up with the right mindset," Colvin said. "We did a lot of good things today."
Lakeview turned a one-point first quarter deficit into an eight-point advantage at halftime thanks to 12-0 start to the second quarter sparked by a steal from Drozd.
After Janssen hit a 3 to open the frame, Drozd deflected a Schuyler pass, picked up the loose ball and headed the other direction for a running layup. He sank a 3 on the next trip down then helped facilitate a Jaden Johnson make and a Kienan Prorok offensive rebound and putback.
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Schuyler opened the third quarter with the first four points, cut the deficit to 24-20 and drew the ire of Colvin who asked for a timeout immediately after a giveaway and a Warrior bucket.
Whatever was said in the huddle during the break were the exact words the Vikings needed to hear. They scored the net 13 in a row starting with five straight points from Thunder Pilakowski and essentially put the game away.
"Our third quarters have been really sketchy all year. We've tried to get them out of the locker room earlier, we've kept them in longer, we've talked more, we've talked less...but you just can't let that happen," Colvin said. "We gave them some life to start the half. We've got to do a better job than that because it's really hurt us."
Lakeview improved to 3-6 with the win and is next in action on Jan. 3 at home against Douglas County West before a road game the very next night at Grand Island Northwest.
"Definitely wish we were playing for the championship, but we've just got to keep learning from the mistakes and ensure they don't happen again," Colvin said. "When things are working and we're doing things the right way, we've got to keep doing it.
"Sometimes we lose focus and make the wrong read or take the wrong shot and that's all a team needs to feel like they're back in the game."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.