Battle of the Bulldogs

No. 4 Lakeview upends No. 1 Poland in district

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Dianna Oatridge Lakeview’s TJ Lynch drives to the basket between Poland defenders Mike Diaz, left, and Daniel Kramer, right.

BOARDMAN — Lakeview had its obstacles.

There was top-seeded Poland.

Then, Braeden O’Shaungnessy’s game-high 39 points.

Lakeview overcame both as it held off Poland 56-53 and advanced to the Division II Boardman District Final on Saturday.

“We’ve been wanting this forever,” said an enthusiastic Lakeview player, AJ McClellan. “I think it was 2009 since the last time we beat them so this is one of the biggest wins we’ve had in our program.”

Special to Tribune Chronicle / Dianna Oatridge Lakeview’s Jeff Remmick, center, fights off a double team from Poland defenders Braeden O’Shaughnessy, left, and Stephen Bannon, right, during Wednesday’s game in Boardman.

Lakeview took its first lead of the second half following back-to-back 3-pointers to end the third quarter by senior TJ Lynch and McClellan.

The Bulldogs continued their 8-0 until Daniel Kramer layup ended the drought for Poland with 6:37 left in the game and cutting the lead to two.

After an O’Shaungnessy triple to tie things up at 44, Lakeview went on a 9-3 run with Lynch scoring five straight to give the Bulldogs their biggest lead since 9-2 in the opening quarter.

O’Shaungnessy would not be stopped, scoring the final 16 points of the game for Poland. He ended the run with a three from the top of the key to cut the lead to three with just under 50 seconds remaining in the game.

But Lynch and McClellan got the job done on the free-throw line late, knocking down 7-of-10 from the stripe to hold off Poland.

Poland had a last chance to tie things at 56 following a missed free throw by McClellan, but O’Shaungnessy shot from just inside of half court bounced off the front of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

Lynch scored 11 of his team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter to maintain the Lakeview lead late in the game.

McClellan joined lynch in double-figures with 16 points and senior Drew Munno finished the night with 10 points.

“We don’t need heroes,” Lakeview coach Ryan Fitch said. “We just need people to play their roles and do the things that they can do. This was a result of a group of guys that our buying into what we’re doing.”

The game was close throughout with neither team holding a lead larger than five points after Poland trailed 9-2 to start to the game.

“They’re defense is swarming at times and they get a lot of points off of turnovers and scores in transition,” Fitch said. “We talked at halftime to try and limit that and take our chances playing half court defense. Playing in a half court game defiantly favored us. If that game gets to the 70s I’m afraid Poland comes out on top.”

Poland relied heavily on O’Shaungnessy for offense as he accounted for 73.5 percent of their points and knocking down 5 threes on the night. The next highest scorer on the team finished with 6.

“I think we depended to much on him,” Poland coach Ken Grisdale said. “Our scoring is normally more balanced, we have two primary scorers but we needed a little more out of the other guys and its not their fault. The bottom line is Braedon had a great game and they [Lakeview] did enough to contain us and beat us.”

Lakeview takes on the winner of tonight’s district semifinal between Howland and Struthers on Saturday at Boardman High School for a trip to the regional semifinals. Saturday’s game is scheduled for 4.