There's still plenty of season left, but the 10th-ranked Iowa Lakes squad has a little reason to celebrate after completing the regular season sweep of Kirkwood with a 57-55 victory over the Eagles on Saturday.
The Lakers won the first meeting 67-64 in overtime on Dec. 15.
Saturday's victory wasn't easy.
The Lakers trailed 53-49 with 4 minuets left. Two free throws and a basket by Deondre Parks tied the game at 53-53 with 2:38 left.
Kirkwood, which struggled from the free-throw line (5-of-12), retook the lad with a pair of free throws from J.C. Fuller, but Parks answered again with a basket to tie the game with 1:55 remaining.
Both teams had opportunities to score in the final two minutes but it was two free throws by Kelly Madison that gave Iowa Lakes the lead with 43.9 seconds remaining.
Kirkwood continued to miss had had three shots in the final 5 seconds before Madison secured the rebound as the buzzer sounded.
"There's not many games you win after shooting 30 percent," said Iowa Lakes assistant coach Jason McKinney. The Lakers were 19-of-59 from the field for 32.2 percent while Kirkwood was 21-of-46 for 45.7 percent.
Both teams struggled in the early going with the Lakers taking a lead, 16-14, on a 3-pointer by Tate Harmon with 10:24 left in the first half. A basket by Colton Neff and another 3-pointer by Harmon gave the hosts a 21-14 lead with 8:32 remaining.
But the Lakers suddenly went cold allowing the visitors to put together a 15-1 run together over the next f5 minutes. Madison ended the drought with a 3-pointer at the 3-minute mark as the Lakers finished the half with a 7-2 run to close the gap to 31-29.
In the second half, the Lakers tied the game at 37-37 within the first 5 minutes and briefly held their biggest lead at 45-40 after four straight points from Josh Schaben.
While Neff came up with a couple key offensive rebounds and putbacks to score the next four Laker points, the Eagles tied the game at 49-49 before taking the lead with a pair of layups.
"We had good efforts from both Tate and Colton off the bench," said McKinney.
Madison led the Lakers with 20 points while Parks had 10, Schaben had nine, Neff and Harmon each had eight and Diamontae McKinley had two. Madison had six rebounds while Parks had four assists and two steals. Kevin Larson had two assists and two steals.
Iowa Lakes (12-4 overall, 5-1 in the conference) hosts Iowa Central (12-8, 2-3) on Wednesday for homecoming. Game time is 7:30 p.m. The Lakers also are home against Clinton (5-11, 1-4) at 1 p.m. next Saturday.