These ’Dogs can shoot
Lakeview nails 11 3-pointers in rout of Hubbard
CORTLAND — Lakeview coach Ryan Fitch pulled his team aside during a timeout and told them, “Dry your hands off. They ought to be wet.”
Maybe they weren’t, but Fitch made his point during Tuesday’s 73-45 victory over Hubbard.
The Bulldogs responded, ahead by 10 points, with a 10-0 run to end the second quarter — holding the Eagles without a basket in the last 4:52 of the half.
Lakeview had a propensity to shoot 3-pointers and the Bulldogs (11-3, 5-2 All-American Conference White Tier) didn’t disappoint with nine of them in the first 16 minutes. Daniel Evans, who had five 3-pointers, scored all of his 17 points in the first half.
It seemed all was falling Lakeview’s way, but it wasn’t by accident as the Bulldogs moved the ball around the arc and found openings through the 3, driving or passing inside. No shot, no worries. There were a handful of offensive rebounds, giving Lakeview more opportunities.
You could say Fitch’s words capped what was a Bulldog-dominated half as they led 43-21.
“These guys take my sarcasm pretty well,” Fitch said. “Seems like we were fumbling the ball around a little bit. I just wanted to make my point, drive it home.”
Hubbard coach Justin Townsend said he just told his team to get dressed after the game. Not many words could be said for a game that is nothing more than a forgotten memory today.
“We’ve got to get ready for Friday,” said Townsend, whose team next plays at Edgewood. “We can’t dwell on it. We’ve got to move forward. It wasn’t our night in any phase of this game tonight.”
Lakeview shot 30 of 49 from the floor and 11 of 18 from 3, while Hubbard was 18 of 49 from the floor and 6 of 25 from 3.
Townsend knew the Bulldogs could shoot the 3 and move the ball.
“We got lost and left shooters open,” said Townsend, whose team drops to 6-7, 4-4. “We did not do a good job. All credit goes to them. They executed perfectly.”
Fitch said he was happy how his players waited for their shots in the first half.
“We try to get a good shot every time down,” he said. “We get a little focused on taking 3-point shots. There were a couple stretches of the game where we had bad shots. We wanted to make sure we got good shots every time down the floor each possession.
“Our kids did a really nice job of executing our slips and getting layups. Obviously, that opens up 3-point shots once you score some buckets inside, that opens up the 3-point line a little bit.”
There were plenty of second-chance opportunities in the first half. Fitch said his team does drills at practice to make sure they are accountable to their teammates, crashing the boards.
“Sometimes you can win games by getting second-chance points and outscoring them in that category,” he said. “I thought we did a nice job, especially the guys inside getting on the glass.”
That said, the Bulldogs were up by 20 at the break, but Hubbard started to chip away. Fitch knew Townsend’s team wasn’t going to back down.
“Those kids could be down 50 and they’re going to play as hard as if they were down 1,” Fitch said. “That’s a credit to him. He’s been like that ever since he started coaching.”
Hubbard won the first couple of minutes, but Drew Munno, who had all but four of his 17 points in the second half, added 11 points in the third quarter to push Lakeview securely ahead.
“Our kids showed a lot of resiliency and character and battled right back,” Fitch said.
This is Lakeview’s ninth-straight victory. Just like the first half of Tuesday’s game, the Bulldogs success is by-product of following what this team learned in practice and executing it during the game.
“When we shoot the ball like we are and play together like we’ve been playing all season, that’s the type of product that gets put out there sometimes,” Fitch said.
Friday, Lakeview is at Poland, against whom Lakeview suffered its last loss, 56-45, on Dec. 15.