Lakers make ‘hustle’ plays to defeat NIACC – Iowa Lakes seals win with free throws
ESTHERVILLE — Win or lose, coaches often describe games as ‘ugly.’
Wednesday’s men’s game between Iowa Lakes and North Iowa Area Community College could’ve been termed that, but the Lakers came up with the hustle plays and the free throws in the closing minutes to wrap up a 76-64 victory.
“The last six minutes, we did some tough things that helped us win the game,” said Iowa Lakes coach Troy Larson.
With about 6 1/2 minutes remaining, Iowa Lakes trailed 56-53 when Cornelius Vines knocked down a couple jumpers.
The play of the night came after a missed free throw by Bill Geelan when teammate Joe Knoer dived to the floor to snag the loose ball, got it to a teammate who passed to Jackson Parr cutting to the basket for a layup.
After a defensive stop, Parr scored on a baseline drive and Iowa Lakes led 62-56 with four minutes remaining.
Knoer came back with an offensive rebound and basket to push the lead to seven at 64-57.
Knoer was fouled on the next possession. He made the first and Parr was fouled going hard for the miss. He knocked down both free throws for a 67-58 lead.
The Trojans came back with a couple layups to cut the lead to five at 67-62, but only managed two more points the rest of the way while sending the Lakers to free throw line the rest of the way.
“We had been making strides in the right direction before tonight,” said Larson. “But the guys showed maturity in the last six minutes that was enough for us to win.”
The Lakers actually started quickly, jumping out to a 12-3 lead.
“Everything was on on the perimeter and it was easy. I think the guys thought it be that way all night and it contributed to our lack of focus,” said Larson.
NIACC rallied and kept the game within a few points, however both coaches substituted liberally looking for the right combination.
A Vines 3-pointer made the score 28-20 with six minutes left in the half. The Lakers suddenly went cold as the visitors went on a 12-0 run.
Knoer ended the drought with a basket inside and Vines knocked down a 3-pointer as the Lakers led 33-32 at the break.
Vines led all scorers with 28 points. Mitch Bain had 12 points while Parr ended with 11 points, including 7-of8 from the free throw line. Also David Fox had 10 points in the post.
Iowa Lakes (11-3, 2-1) host Southwestern Community College on Saturday. Game time is 4 p.m.
Iowa Lakes 76, NIACC 64
Iowa Lakes (76) – Jimmie Marshall 0 0-0 0; Bill Geelan 2 1-2 6; Mitch Bain 4 2-2 12; Cornelius Vines 7 9-13 28, Mike Betts 1 0-0 2; Zach Fenceroy 0 0-0 0; Jackson Parr 2 7-8 11; Joe Knoer 3 1-2 7; Jeremy Winters 0 0-0 0; David Fox 5 0-0 10.
Halftime score — Iowa Lakes 39, NIACC 38; 3-pointers – 8 (Vines 5, Bain 2, Geelan). Rebounds – n/a. Assists – n/a. Steals – n/a. Blocked Shots – n/a. Turnovers – n/a. Total Fouls – 18. Fouled Out – Marshall. Technical Fouls – none.