There was nothing fancy about Spring Lake's game plan late in Tuesday's Lakes Eight Conference showdown against visiting Ludington.
With his primary defender saddled with four fouls, the Lakers wanted the ball in the hands of Austin Johnson. Johnson did the rest.
The Lakers' leading scorer on the season was unstoppable down the stretch on Tuesday, scoring 12 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter as the Lakers toughed out a 51-48 victory.
Spring Lake improves to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in Lakes Eight action, while Ludington falls to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in league play.
The win was especially sweet for Spring Lake since the Lakers lost twice to the Orioles last year.
"Last year, we blew a big lead against them," Johnson said. "We felt like we shouldn't have lost those games, so this time, we really wanted it."
It was Ludington that looked like it wanted the win more early in the fourth quarter. The Orioles scored the first five points of the quarter, including a pull-up 3-pointer by senior forward Jacob Schoon, to lead 38-33.
Lakers' coach Bill Core called a time out and challenged his team to step things up on the defensive end.
"We called that time out to try to stop their momentum and calm us down, but I'm thinking, 'Here we go again,'" Core said following the game. "We knew we were going to need to get some big stops down the stretch."
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