After taking a 23-point pounding from Rochester on Wednesday, the Lakes were eager to get the new semester’s conference schedule off to a better start at home against Northland on Saturday.
The boys came to play from the get-go, jumping out to a 15-6 lead in the first five minutes, bolstered by a pair of quick threes from Garrett Abner.
They continued to apply the pressure throughout the first half, extending the lead from ten to nineteen, 43-24, with 6:28 to play. Another deep three from Abner as the clock expired gave the Lakes a 57-35 halftime advantage, much to the delight of the supporters, who gave the players a standing ovation as they exited the court. Taylor Richards led all scorers with 13 at halftime.
Northland cut into the lead some during the second half, slowly chipping it down to thirteen, 77-64, with 9:35 left, but that would be as close as they would get. Great Lakes withstood the pressure and launched a run of their own, putting the game beyond all doubt in the final minutes and winning by the decisive scoreline of 104-77.
Kyle Downing, in his return to action, led the Lakes with 20 points and also grabbed ten rebounds. Perri Vaden led the team in rebounds with 11, and scored 19 points of his own. Abner scored 17, Richards ended up with 15, and Jimbo Harvey scored 10 in his first home game this season. Michael Vickers led the team in assists with six.
“It’s always great to see a team play as a team" said coach John Piercefield after the game, "to come off a vacation of three-and-a-half, four weeks… and to turn around and play like this, it’s encouraging.”
Up Next: Great Lakes visit Mid-Michigan Community College on the 22nd, then return home for a four-game stretch against Dayspring, Silver Lake, conference rival Grace Bible College, and Uinoversity of Michigan-Dearborn.
Game Notes: Michael Vickers left the game in the first half with concussion-like symptoms after taking a hit to the head, but was cleared to play at halftime. Coach John and Cindi Piercefield were honoured at halftime and presented with a basketball signed by all players and coaches, a gift for Coach Piercefield’s father.