But unlike last week Friday, when Spring Lake couldn’t close out in the fourth and lost to Grant, the Lakers found a way to persevere at Orchard View, pulling away late for a 57-51 victory.
Spring Lake improves to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in Lakes Eight Conference play while Orchard View remains winless at 0-3.
“We just kind of went cold and had a couple turnovers, and they went into the bonus because of a couple touchy fouls,” said Lakers’ senior Michael Zietlow, whose team led 41-35 entering the fourth, only to see the Cardinals score the first eight points of the final stanza.
Lakers’ center Logan Pellegrom scored inside to end the Cardinals’ run, then Adam Clauss and Zietlow hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put the Lakers on top, 51-49. Zietlow’s shot came after a pump fake that sent a Cardinals’ defender flying out of bounds. He then calmly sank the triple from the corner.
Orchard View quickly tied the game on Jordan Alexander’s runner in the lane, but Zietlow found teammate Austin Johnson wide open on an inbounds play for a layup moments later, and the Lakers never surrendered the lead over the game’s final three minutes.
“We finished this week,” Zietlow said. “We didn’t finish against Grant. We know the conference is tough this year, and we needed this road win.”
Zietlow finished with 10 points for the Lakers. Austin Johnson led the way with 18 despite struggling to get baskets to drop most of the night. He was relentless going to the rim, and made 5-of-6 free throws.
Erik Johnson added eight points, including four points in the third quarter alone. Clauss and J.P. Batts each scored seven.
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