PAINESVILLE, Ohio – The Lake Erie College men's basketball team was in action on Thursday (Feb. 22) night at the Osborne Center. The Storm was victorious by a score of 67-60.
"I give our guys a lot of credit for the way they played tonight," said Storm head coach Kyle Conley. "They didn't panic and stayed composed throughout the game, including the times we made our runs. We got stops and made the right plays down the stretch."
Gabe Kynard (Toledo, Ohio / St. John's) and Erron James (Westerville, Ohio / Westerville Central) scored the first two baskets for the Storm but the Storm trailed 5-4 at the under 16 minute media timeout. Lamont Rhodes (Bedford, Ohio / Bedford) scored four points on a 6-0 run for Lake Erie as the Storm gained a 10-7 advantage. The Cavaliers cut the lead to one before Ennis Thomas (Westerville, Ohio / Westerville South) converted a three point play with a free throw. One minute later, Lake Erie pushed the advantage to seven with a layup from Rhodes and a three pointer from Brogan Scott (Wadsworth, Ohio / Wadsworth). James gave the Storm a 25-15 lead with a three pointer seconds before the under eight minute media timeout. Walsh used a 6-2 run over the next two minutes as they trimmed the Storm's lead to six. With 3:12 left, Michael Morris (New Palestine, Ind. / New Palestine) forced a Cavaliers timeout with a driving layup. Morris scored five points of a Lake Erie 7-2 run, giving the Storm a 34-23 lead. Walsh used a 9-0 run as they pulled within two with 34 seconds left in the half. Kynard nailed a three pointer with six seconds left, giving the Storm a 37-32 lead at the intermission.
Lake Erie stormed out of the break with a 9-0 run over the first three minutes. James scored five points on the run as Jordan Humphrey (Columbus, Ohio / Westerville South) and Kynard added baskets on the run. Lake Erie led 46-33 with 17:05 left. The Cavaliers battled back with a 7-0 run in the next two minutes, as Walsh trailed 46-40. After four straight Storm free throws, Walsh tied the game at 50 with a run prior to the under eight minute media timeout. Walsh opened a five point lead, 57-52 with 5:56 left. Over the next two and a half minutes, Kynard scored all seven points on a Lake Erie 7-2 run. Kynard gave the Storm a 59-58 lead with a layup with 4:15 remaining. With a two point lead, Morris drilled a three pointer from the corner for a 63-60 Storm lead with 1:03 left. Rhodes locked up the Storm's victory with a put back with 16 seconds left. The Storm won the contest, 67-60.
Conley added, "We felt we needed to extend the lead out of the half as we got away from defending and rebounding late in the half. Late in the game, our guys made some huge plays, including threes by Gabe [Kynard], and Mike [Morris]. Lamont's put back was absolutely key for us closing this one out."
The Storm was led by Kynard as he had a team leading 16 points, and grabbed four rebounds. James set a career high in points with 14, and snatched four rebounds. Rhodes led the Storm in rebounds with eight, and was active on the offensive glass as he had four offensive boards.
"Erron has had three really good games in a row for us. He's playing with confidence and with the right energy level that we need right now," closed Conley.
Lake Erie will conclude the regular season with Senior Day on Saturday (Feb. 24) afternoon against Malone at 1:00 PM.