Evans’ hot start lifts Lakeview over Girard

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Dianna Oatridge Lakeview’s Drew Munno, right, goes up for a shot over Girard’s Mark Waid during their game Friday in Cortland. Lakeview won, 64-57.

CORTLAND — Junior guard Daniel Evans came out on fire, leading Lakeview to a 64-57 victory over Girard Friday night in Cortland.

Evans was like a video game, hitting three 3-pointers in the first quarter and another in the second. Evans finished with 21 points on the night.

“It was a good team win. We moved the ball well, and we executed on defense,” Evans said.

After one quarter, Lakeview had a 19-12 lead. That seven-point margin would remain the same in the end as the two teams played an even game for the remaining three quarters.

“It’s a great win anytime you can beat Girard,” Lakeview coach Ryan Fitch said. “We grinded one out. I told these kids I wasn’t sure if we were a group that could grind one out. Tonight they proved probably a lot of people wrong.”

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Dianna Oatridge Girard’s Anthony Backus (3) dribbles past Lakeview’s Jeff Remmick during their game on Friday.

Lakeview outscored Girard by one in the second quarter to take a 33-25 halftime lead. Girard came out tough, with defense, to start the second half. It took Lakeview four minutes to get its first basket of the quarter. By that time, Girard had cut the deficit to four. Lakeview regrouped and managed to extend its lead to 10 entering the fourth quarter.

After falling behind by 12, Anthony Backus and Austin Claussell got Girard within three late in the fourth. The pair of sharp shooters combined for four 3-pointers in the final quarter. The senior, Backus, scored 11 and junior guard Claussell had a team-high 16 points for the Indians.

Three traveling calls, in a row, against Girard, really hurt its cause down the stretch. As time was running down, Girard was forced to foul to try to stay alive. Lakeview hit its free throws and held on for the win.

“It was a good game back and forth,” Girard coach Craig Hannon said. “I thought it was two pretty evenly matched teams. They just made a couple more plays than us down the stretch.”

“They are very well coached over at Girard. I think Craig is one of the best in the area. He does a lot with his kids,” Fitch said.

Senior captain TJ Lynch had a nice game for the Bulldogs, scoring 14 points. However, his aggressive play on defense got him in foul trouble and limited his minutes.

“We came out strong in the first half,” Lynch said. “As the second half rolled around, we kind of died down in the third. We came back in the fourth, but it was tough because a lot of us were in foul trouble.”

Girard falls to 3-6 with the loss.

Lakeview will enter 2018 with a record of 5-3.