Lakeview advances, beating Hubbard

CORTLAND — Lakeview advanced to the district level of tournament play for the first time since 2009 with a 50-40 win Friday night over Hubbard in a Division II sectional bracket final.

With play described as “terrible” by coach Ryan Fitch in the first half, the Bulldogs went into the locker room at halftime down 7 points.

“These kids have shown a lot of character and a lot of perseverance this year,” Fitch said. “I told them at halftime that we played terrible in the first half. We missed layups, we had done things that we hadn’t done all year, weren’t executing on offense at all and I told them that we’re gonna be fine, just got to come out and play with a little more passion.

“I thought we were a little lacking early, with some soft passes and I think at halftime they just realized that if we don’t do that, and we don’t start doing the little things, the fundamentals, our season’s gonna be over.”

The second half is where the Bulldogs kicked things off. Lakeview put up 35 points in the second half and held a 20-6 point differential in the third quarter.

The offense for the Bulldogs was spread around with three players scoring in double digits: Drew Munno (17), Jeff Remmick (13) and Daniel Evans (10). Munno and Remmick grabbed nine and 10 rebounds, respectively.

“I was looking at the stats and we have like four guys that are averaging around the 11-12 point range,” Fitch said. “It’s been a balanced scoring attack all year so I didn’t expect anything different.”

Davion Daniels led the Eagles with 14 points, eight of which came in the first half, giving the Eagles an early lead. Shannon Slovesko came off the bench for the Eagles and put up eight points of his own in the fourth quarter. Jared Southern led the Eagles in rebounds with five and Daniels had four on the night.

“Tonight, in the first half, we played the best defensive game that we’ve played all season,” Hubbard coach Justin Townsend said. “We knew that was the effort we were gonna need if we wanted to get out of here tonight, we held their 3-point shooters to no points in the first half.

“Unfortunately, in the second half when they made their run, we didn’t respond, and we lost them a little bit. That was the key. Tonight’s game kind of exemplified our season as a whole. Inconsistent. Just never able to put it all together all season long, and the 12-12 record shows that.”

The Bulldogs square off against Poland in a district semifinal at Boardman High School on Wednesday, with the winner heading to the district final to face the winner of Struthers and Howland.

“Poland is a very good basketball team,” Fitch said. “They’ve got some really nice players and they are very, very well-coached. We played them twice during the year, I thought we played them tough twice, we lost by 11 at home and lost by nine in Poland.

“I know these kids are gonna be ready, we’re gonna make a few adjustments from the first time that we played them, and we’ll go give it a shot in Boardman.”