MONTEVIDEO - The Dawson-Boyd boys basketball team beat Lakeview by a combined margin of 94 points in two regular-season meetings. The Lakers knew it would be a tall order to defeat the top-seeded Blackjacks in Saturday's Section 3A-North quarterfinal game in Montevideo, but win or lose, they wanted to make sure to put forth a more respectable effort than those first two games.
The Blackjacks won Saturday's game 74-47, but they certainly weren't given the win by Lakeview. The Lakers played solid defense in the first half and kept the game's tempo at a slow pace, and the team received a standing ovation from its fans when it went into the locker room down 30-19 at halftime.
But in the second half, Dawson-Boyd exerted more pressure on the defensive end, forcing several turnovers and creating easy scoring opportunities to pull away for the 27-point victory.
"That was our weakness this morning was the fact that we turned the ball over way too many times, especially too many unforced turnovers," said Lakeview head coach Dan Hoffman, whose team ended the game with 29 turnovers. "You can't afford to do that against a team like Dawson.
"But our guys fought hard. Dawson had to work to get those points today. We kept it within 20 points for a long time, and in the past it would be over at halftime."
Dawson-Boyd had four players score in double figures Saturday. Sophomore guard Joey Lee posted a game-high 17 points with six rebounds and four assists. Evan Robertson put up 13 points with eight rebounds, and forward Zach Stelter and guard Nathaniel Huot each added 11 points.
Derek Larsen 1 2-2 5, Jamie Unke 1 6-6 0, Jordan Breyfogle 3 1-1 7, Daniel Bakker 2 2-4 7, Spencer Larsen 2 2-4 6, Jonah Dovre 5 3-5 13. Totals 14 16-22 47. Three-pointers 3 Rebounds 28 (Dovre 5, Unke 5, Breyfogle 5) Assists 11 (Unke 4, D. Larsen 3) Steals 5 (S. Larsen 2) Blocks 0 Turnovers 29 Total Fouls 13.
Nathaniel Hout 4 1-1 11, Zach Stelter 4 2-2 11, Joey Lee 6 5-6 17, Kyler Collins 1 0-0 2, Evan Robertson 5 3-4 13, Michael Lee 3 0-0 6, Jack Hansen 3 0-0 7, Cody Aafedt 1 0-0 3, Jon Tensen 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 12-14 74. Three-pointers 4 (Huot 2) Rebounds 32 (Robertson 8, Stelter 6, J. Lee 6) Assists 15 (Huot 4, J. Lee 4) Steals 17 (Huot 4, Stelter 3, Robertson 3, M. Lee 3) Blocks 1 Turnovers 11 Total Fouls 17.
Halftime Score: Dawson-Boyd 30, Lakeview 19.
Freshman center Jonah Dovre led Lakeview with 13 points and five rebounds, guard Jamie Unke added nine points and four assists, and Daniel Bakker and Jordan Breyfogle each scored seven points.
It wasn't the prettiest of wins for the Blackjacks, who shot just 19 percent (4 of 21) from three-point range. At any rate, it was indeed a victory.
"It's tournament time and sometimes, whether it's a clean win or a sloppy win, you're going to take it any way you can get it," said Dawson-Boyd head coach Cory Larson.
"I thought in the first half we made a few poor decisions that led to empty possessions or turnovers when we could have made a ball fake or an extra pass to get a better shot. We needed to try a little harder to turn those good shots into great shots, which is what I thought we did a better job of in the second half."
The Blackjacks (23-2 overall) advance to face No. 5 seed Lincoln HI at 6 p.m. Thursday at Southwest Minnesota State University. Lakeview finishes the year with a 6-19 mark.
Dawson-Boyd got its first double-digit lead (18-8) with 10:20 left in the first half after a long two-pointer from Huot. Lakeview, however, locked in and refused to let the Blackjacks run away with the game. The Lakers started matching Dawson-Boyd almost shot for shot, and a three-pointer by Derek Larsen cut the Blackjack lead to 27-19 with 1:31 left in the half.
Feeling good about its first-half effort, Lakeview struggled to start the second half. Facing a full-court press from the Blackjacks, the Lakers turned the ball over in each of their first five possessions and Dawson-Boyd started to create more breathing room. Stelter scored six points in the first 3:31 of the second half, pushing the Blackjack lead to 40-21 after a floater in the lane.
"We knew we had to pick it up defensively from the start of the second half," Stelter said. "Everything starts with rebounding and playing great defense and that helped us get better offensive possessions. We picked it up on defense, got turnovers and got to run and get some easy fastbreak baskets."
Even with their poor start to the second half, Lakeview bounced back and cut the lead down to 12 after a three-pointer by Bakker from the top of the key with 12:26 left in the half. Dawson-Boyd got its first 20 point lead of the game with 5:29 remaining when Lee made a pull-up jumper in transition to give his team a 59-38 edge. The Blackjacks continued to roll the rest of the way.
Despite the loss, Hoffman said he was delighted with how his team finished its season.
"We finished up strong this year, and that's what you want to do as a team is finish strong," he said. "The seniors really took charge, especially against Minneota (a 60-34 Lakeview win in the first round). We knew coming in that this was going to be tough. We held them to a pretty low score for them at halftime, so I'm pretty proud of the boys for doing that. We just turned the ball over way too much."