Sometimes you need a little luck.
While the 19th-ranked Iowa Lakes men led most of the second half against visiting Ellsworth, the Lakers could never quite put the Panthers away.
But an offensive rebound a putback in the final second by Justin Sloter helped the Lakers come away with a 79-78 victory on Wednesday.
Iowa Lakes assistant coach Jason McKinney congratulates Justin Sloter (33), who hit the game-winning shot in Wednesday’s game against Ellsworth. Teammate Deondre Parks (11) is all smiles after the win. To see more photos, go to cu.esthervillenews.net.
Photo by David Swartz
"It was pretty and we made numerous mistakes," said Iowa Lakes coach Troy Larson. "But you just have to find a way to win those games."
The Lakers led by as many as 10 in the second half, but the Panthers just wouldn't go away.
Iowa Lakes still led by eight, 70-62, after two free throws by Deondre Parks with 3:40 left in the game.
Ellsworth star Robert Lee got the Lakers to foul him 10 seconds later. He made two free throws and then after an empty Laker possession, came down and converted a 3-point deficit to cut the deficit to three.
After the Lakers again came up empty, the Panther's Tonnie Collier knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game at 70-70.
The Lakers went to Diamontae McKinely who drive in for a basket. The Lakers got the ball back and this time Latrell Love was fouled on a putback. He converted the three-point play to give Iowa Lakes a 75-70 advantage.
But four free throws later, the visitors were back within a point with 55 seconds left in the game.
McKinley again scored to put the Lakers up by three. But Lee came right back with a layup with 18.5 seconds left in the game. Fouled on the play, he stepped to the line and missed the free throw, which for a brief moment appeared to give the Lakers the best chance to win when the whistle blew. But it was Love called for a foul while boxing out. Collier stepped to the line and made both free throws to give the visitors the 78-77 lead.
With 18 seconds left, the Lakers gave the ball to Parks to try to get the win. He ended up shooting a contested 3-pointer from the right wing. The ball came off and landed in Sloter's hands, who quickly put up a floater from about 10 feet out in the lane. The ball swished through the net with a tenth of a second still showing on the clock. With no time to catch and shoot the ball, the Lakers on the floor mobbed Sloter in celebration.
The Lakers had lost to Ellsworth 79-70 a week ago in Iowa Falls. In that contest, over half the Panthers' points had come from the free throw line where they made 42-of-46.
The visitors still shot more free throws than the Lakers, but were just 24-of-35 compared to 16-of-22 by the home team.
Parks led Iowa Lakes with 20 points while Love finished with 18, Sloter had 11, Colton Neff had 10, McKinley had eight, Emmanuel Golong had six, Brandon Boggs had five and Bill Makris had one.
Iowa Lakes led much of the first half as well with their biggest lead at 26-19 after a basket by Colton Neff with 7:36 left to play. But the visitors stormed back to get within one, 34-33, with the Lakers getting a free throw from Neff and a bucket by Love to lead 37-33 at the break.
In the second half, the Panthers took a lead on a 3-pointer by Bobby L'Ge at 50-48. The lead changed hands twfour more times over the next couple minutes. A technical foul was called on the Ellsworth coach Troy Muillenburg after he protested a no-call around the 11-minute mark. Sloter made one of the two free throws but then hit a 3-pointer from the corner on the ensuing out-of-bounds play to give the Lakers a 62-54 lead. A basket by Brandon Boggs gave the hosts their biggest lead at 64-54.
Iowa Lakes (15-6 overall, 6-2 in the ICCAC) is on the road against Iowa Central in Fort Dodge today. Thee Lakers are home against North Iowa Area Community College on Wednesday.
Lakers cruise past Southwestern
CRESTON - The Iowa Lakes men had little trouble with Southwestern Community College on Saturday.
The Lakers led 28-10 at halftime and cruised to a 64-40 victory.
Latrell Love came off the bencth to lead Iowa Lakes with 14 points and seven rebounds. Deondre Parks finished with 11 points while Diamontae McKinley had 10, Tate Harmon had nin, Emmanuel Golong had four, Parker Bailey, Brandon Boggs, Justin Sloter and Jake Janssen each had three points and Colton Neff and Bill Makris had two points. McKinley and Nathan So each had three assists.
Iowa Lakes was 21-of-50 from the field (42 percent) including 7-of-17 (41.2 percent) from 3-point range. The Lakers were 15-of-22 (68.2 percent) from the free throw line.
Southwestner was held to 31.8 percent (14-of-44) from the field. Jared Theis led Southwestern with 16 points.