Lakeside's performance against Harlem on Tuesday was one the team had been waiting for.
The Panthers boys didn't light up the scoreboard, but they enjoyed one of their better shooting nights in dispatching the Bulldogs, 43-31.
Lakeside coach Ryan Morningstar said the Panthers' lack of size makes shooting well a necessity to compete in Region 3-AAAA. Lakeside drained 10 3-pointers, including five from senior Cody Marsh, who finished with 19 points.
"I think you can win on the defensive side," Marsh said. "But it helps a lot when we're shooting like that."
The shots weren't falling for the Panthers against Evans the Friday before. And when Lakeside guards tried to drive, Evans' size stymied them.
It was a different story Tuesday.
The Panthers coasted into halftime with a 32-19 lead and didn't need to do much more during the final two quarters. Harlem was without standout guard Cedric Boatner for much of the game. Bulldogs coach Kim Chambers said Boatner came to him before the game started with back problems.
"I tried to tell him not to go at all," Chambers said. "He thought he could help us a little bit going half speed."
But it was soon obvious Boatner would not be able to continue to play. Harlem also lost guard Joseph Deuber for the game with an ankle injury.
The Bulldogs' loss came on the heels of a near-miss at Evans. But Boatner scored 25 points during that game. Without its leading scorer, Harlem limped to its lowest point total of the year.
"That ain't real great," Chambers said. "But 12 points (deficit). I'm not upset with them."
Lady Bulldogs still making headlines
When Harlem's girls basketball team entered the visitors' locker room at Lakeside on Tuesday, they were greeted by newspaper clippings on the walls.
Some of the news was about Harlem, and the Bulldogs thought Lakeside coach Maureen McCormack had used them to motivate her team.
"It was like they were following us and scouting us out," Harlem senior Nicole Wells said.
But McCormack said she used the clippings only to keep tabs on area teams, not as a psychological tactic.
There has been plenty of good news out of Harlem this season, and the Bulldogs continued to roll with Tuesday's 54-31 win over the Panthers.
The cushion gave Harlem coach Amy Slagle the opportunity to play everyone in the second half, and the play was sloppy at times. But Wells said the Bulldogs need that experience moving forward.
"We want to try to play consistent," Wells said. "Against a better team, they're going to capitalize when people have to go out and other people look scared."
The Panthers were able to hang for a while. McCormack's young team has tried to offset its lack of size with a pressure defense this season, but has had trouble against some of the region's top teams.
Lakeside was more successful during the second half, but guard Carolyn Hennecken said the team needed faster starts.
"We just got to come out strong," she said. "We get down early and it's hard to come back."
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