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BOYS BASKETBALL: WOLL uses strong second half to cruise to victory over Franklin Road Christian

Game Info

Basketball - Boys - 12/20/2013 

Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes 79
Novi Franklin Road Christian 65

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WATERFORD — The Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes boys basketball team closed out the first half with strong defense and used good offensive spacing, and a variety of scorers, in the second half to defeat Novi Franklin Road Christian 79-65 Friday night.

The Lakers (2-3) held a lead for most of the first half, but coming out of a timeout with 3:30 to play in the second quarter Franklin Road (1-2) sophomore Austin Hearns hit a triple to tie the game at 21. Hearns snagged a defensive rebound on the next possession, and his outlet helped spring fellow sophomore Micah Charlick for a fast break layup, giving the Warriors their only lead of the game.

The lead was short lived, because the Lakers answered with a triple from Zac Collier and turned up the defensive pressure, not allowing another Warrior bucket for the two minutes remaining in the half. Lakes built a 30-23 lead by the break.

“We’re trying to become a good defensive team,” Lakes head coach Paul Robak said. “They’re giving us good effort. That was the difference. We came out of there, and buckled down on defense and tried to make them uncomfortable. That’s a term we use, ‘let’s make them uncomfortable.’ We did that. Our offense was created, really, from defensive stops.”

In the second half, the Lakers found an offensive rhythm and balance that allowed them to break most of the pressure defenses the Warriors tried to apply.

“Offensvely, we just had better spacing (in the second half),” Paul Robak said, “and that really made the difference. Offense is spacing and spacing is offense. I thought in the second half we had much better offensive spacing. I thought our defense was much better in the first half than the first half, but it’s a process. The guys are working hard, and I expect them to get better.”

The Lakers got big offensive contributions from a number of players. Senior Vinny Puma led the team with 19 points, and was able to get his teammates involved with seven assists.

“All week they’ve been telling me to drive more, and get aggressive with the ball,” Puma said. “I keep getting rebounds and be able to pass when I drive. I pretty much just drive and kick it out to Nick (Robak) when he’s open.”

Junior Nick Robak gave the Lakers a nice lift early in the game with eight of the Lakers 11 first quarter points. He finished the game with 17 points and five rebounds.

“It’s always nice to come out and hit some buckets, obviously,” Steve Robak said. “We’ve been getting that from him (Nick Robak) all year. I don’t expect it to change.”

Nick Robak said extra work in the gym helped him to hit those early buckets.

“I’ve been working on my shot all week,” he said. “It was off last game, so it was my main focus.”

Senior Zac Collier scored 13 of his 16 points in the second half while grabbing seven rebounds in the game.

“We always say we don’t care who’s making the shots, that’s the guy we’re going to get the ball to,” Robak said, “and I think we proved that in the second half. The guy that got the hot hand, we kept getting him the ball. That’s a step in the right direction, as far as basketball IQ goes.”

Franklin Road only has one senior in its starting lineup and three of the six sophomores on the roster started on Friday, including the talented Austin Hearns who finished the game with 18 points.

“(Hearns) is still young,” Franklin Road head coach Renardo Brown said. “He’s got a lot to work on. He’s very talented. He’s only a sophomore. He’s got to go through the ups and downs. He brings a lot because he’s one of the most talented players we’ve got.”

The leading scorer on the night was Franklin Road senior Scott McSweeney who had 21 points. Brown will be looking to McSweeney, who is recovering from a minor leg injury, to give his young team some senior leadership as the season moves on.

“(McSweeney) is our senior, our leader,” Brown said. “We’ve just got to keep playing and get ready for January.”

Lakes has two more non-conference games scheduled, including playing on December 26 against Southfield Bradford Academy in the Birmingham Detroit Country Day tournament. The Lakers will begin play in the Catholic High School League Intersectional I Division on January 7.

Franklin Road will also open league play on January 7. The Warrior’s first Michigan Independent Athletic Association Red Division game this season will be on the road at Rochester Hills Lutheran Northwest.

Last Updated: 12/20/2013 11:12:20 PM EST

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