After building a 22-point halftime lead, the Iowa Lakes men's defense wasn't quite what coach Troy Larson likes to see in his teams.
But the Lakers were never really threatened by the visiting Briar Cliff Junior Varsity in the second half, maintaining around a 20-point lead until a late run made the final score 82-71.
"Sometimes you have these nights where your feet aren't as active," said Larson. "It's tough to keep up the intensity when you have a big lead."
Iowa Lakes’ Mark Miedema (33) wards off a Briar Cliff defender to take this shot on Thursday.
EDN photo by David Swartz
Larson said his team's best stretch of the game was the final 10 minutes of the first half as the Lakers built that 53-31 halftime lead.
The Lakers were 23-of-38 (60.5 percent) from the field including 5-of-9 from 3-point range.
After a total of five fouls was called between both teams in the first half, both teams attacked the basket more in the second half.
The visiting Chargers lived up to their name, attacking the Lakers' interior defense early.
Five minutes into the second half, Iowa Lakes still had a 21-point lead, 65-44. But after watching Briar Cliff get several easy layups, coach Larson replaced all five starters. The reserves struggled to score while the visitors scored four points over the next couple minutes. Ben Shellim was inserted back into the lineup and immediately hit a 3-pointer and then converted a 3-point play. A layup by Tae Harmon followed by another 3-pointer from Shellim gave the Lakers their biggest lead of the second half at 76-50.
The starters came back into the game, but time was running out for the visitors.
Shellim led the Lakers with 25 points while Josh Schaben finished with 16, Kelly Madison had 12, Deondre Parks had 11, Harmon had six, Kevin Larson had five, Mark Miedema had four and Colton Neff had two.
"I thought Ben and Josh both played well and Mark gave us some good energy," said coach Larson. "Dre (Parks) also had a good first half."
Madison, Schaben and Neff each had seven rebounds. Madison and Parks each had four assists and Parks had two steals.
Iowa Lakes extends its winning streak to 10 games. The Lakers (16-4 overall, 7-1 in the conference) are home against Southwestern Community College on Saturday. Game time is 3 p.m. following the women's game.
Southwestern is responsible for the Lakers only conference loss of the season and is responsible for their last loss.
"Our fans have shown us great support this season and we are excited to have another great crowd saturday, our guys are very excited to play saturday and it should be a great college basketball game," said Larson.