COLUMBUS — Lakeview’s season-ending gauntlet began Tuesday with a visit from Class B’s No. 1 team.
The Vikings knew the challenge of hosting Seward, and head coach Monte Jones thought his team matched up well with the Bluejays (15-3).
However, an abysmal shooting night negated any hope Lakeview (9-9) had of hanging with Seward in a 51-21 loss.
“We held them to 36 percent shooting and we just shot the ball terrible ourselves, so we didn’t take advantage of that,” Jones said.
Seward was able to overcome its poor shooting by pounding the offensive glass. The Bluejays finished with 14 offensive rebounds and 18 more shot attempts than Lakeview.
“I thought Seward rebounded really well on the offensive glass and hurt us,” Jones said.
Bailey Baack scored a game-high 15 points to lead Seward and Kayla Luebbe added 10.
Lakeview, meanwhile, shot just 15 percent from the field (5 for 32) and didn’t make a shot outside the paint all game. The Vikings shot just 5 for 20 in the lane while turning the ball over 25 times.
“Seward packed it in and made it tough on us,” Jones said.
Gracie Borer led Lakeview with nine points, but shot just 1 for 11. The 5-foot-9 junior was a perfect 7 for 7 at the free-throw line.
The Bluejays quickly jumped out to a double-digit advantage, leading 15-2 after the first quarter. From there, Lakeview started to panic a little bit.
“In the first half, we had so many opportunities early and didn’t cash in on any of them,” Jones said. “Then we started pressing a little bit with our shots. That made all the difference.”
Borer scored all seven of Lakeview’s second-quarter points as Seward took a 24-9 advantage into the break.
The Bluejays continued to pull away in the second half, stretching their lead to 40-19 after three quarters.
Jones saw some good things after halftime, though.
“I thought we did a good job of attacking the lane in the second half and got to the line a little bit,” he said.
The Vikings shot 10 free throws in the second half, making six of them.
Jones continues to use these games against top-rated teams as learning experiences.
“They showed us our weaknesses and what we need to work on. That’s what we want,” he said.
The schedule doesn’t let up from here.
On Saturday, Lakeview plays at Class B, No. 8 York. Then next week, the Vikings play three games in four days, including contests against Class C-1, No. 7 Scotus Central Catholic on Tuesday and Class C-1, No. 5 Wahoo on Friday.
“We just have to get back on the horse and go,” Jones said.