Cats and ’Dogs

Lakeview stays hot, beating Howland

Special to the Tribune Chronicle | Dianna Oatridge Lakeview's AJ McClellan (10) drives to the hoop as Howland's Jordan Sperling (3) defends during the Bulldogs' 59-41 victory in Howland on Friday.

HOWLAND — Lakeview carried its hot streak into the New Year, winning its fifth game in a row and eighth of the season, defeating the Howland Tigers, 59-41, Friday night in a non-conference game.

“We set the tone a little bit early with our defense,” Bulldogs coach Ryan Fitch said. “Our defense was really good in the first half, and it continued in the third quarter. I credit our kids, they bought into everything we tried to do tonight with the game plan and trying to take away Nate (Barrett) a little bit and take away Frankie (Manios) shooting the three a little bit.

“I thought our kids executed defensively. That was one of the best defensive performances I’ve seen us play in a long time.”

A.J. McClellan led the Bulldogs (8-1), scoring 20 points, including 11 in the first quarter. Daniel Evans scored 12 points and pulled down four rebounds.

Jeff Remmick put up a stellar performance for the Bulldogs, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. His coach offered nothing but praise for the senior, noting his impact that doesn’t show up on the box score.

Special to the Tribune Chronicle | Dianna Oatridge Lakeview's Jeff Remmick (21) grabs a rebound in front of Howland's Justin Jones (32) during the Bulldog's 59-41 victory in Howland on Friday.

“Jeff’s really steady,” Fitch said. “He’s a major part of what we do. He plays games where he scores two points and he’s our most valuable player some nights because he does all the little things. Sees the floor really well, plays great defense, gets tough matchups a little bit with physicality and he handles himself very well.

“When you have a guy like that out there, you’re going to have some success.”

For the Tigers, the main issues lie in scoring. It took around four minutes into the game for Howland (4-5) to score its first bucket. The Tigers finished the quarter with eight points.

“We just can’t score right now, it’s that simple,” Tigers coach Dan Bubon said. “We can’t score 41 points and win a varsity basketball game. I loved our effort defensively. They’re a very hard team to guard and we guarded them as well as we could.

“Our lack of rebounding at key times, and just our lack of ever stringing any baskets together prevents us from winning right now.”

Special to the Tribune Chronicle | Dianna Oatridge Howland's Nathan Barrett (40) puts up a shot over Lakeview's Brendon Kilpatrick (14) during the Bulldog's 59-41 victory in Howland on Friday.

Nathan Barrett led the Tigers in points and rebounds, scoring 13 points and getting nine rebounds. Cam Durig scored eight points, and Gage Tomko scored five.

Howland looks to recover against Austintown Fitch. Practice remains the key for the Tigers as they aim to build their offense.

“We’re still trying to piece together combinations of what we want to play together,” Bubon said. “We’re still trying to piece together what kind of offenses we want to run. It’s all disjointed right now, so we just need to keep practicing.”

The Bulldogs move on to face Poland. The two teams have some history, with Lakeview eliminating Poland in last year’s district tournament.

“We hadn’t beat them in a very long time,” Fitch said. “We upset them and knocked them off in the district semifinals last year. I know our kids will be ready and I know for sure coach (Ken) Grisdale will have them ready to roll, so it should be a fun game, I’m looking forward to it.”