FINDLAY, Ohio – The Lake Erie College men's basketball team was in action today as they were victorious over Walsh in the quarterfinals of the Great Midwest Athletic Conference tournament.
Head Coach Kyle Conley said, "Awesome focus and effort by my team today. Walsh challenges you in so many ways and my guys really answered the bell."
Walsh scored the opening basket of the game, but the Storm responded with a 6-2 run that saw them grab a 6-4 edge early in the game. The run was sparked by Lamont Rhodes (Bedford, Ohio / Bedford) as he had four of the six points for Lake Erie. The Cavaliers answered with a 5-0 run and took a 9-6 lead into the first media timeout of the game. Out of the timeout, the Storm regained a 10-9 advantage with back to back baskets from Gabe Kynard (Toledo, Ohio / St. John's) and Brogan Scott (Wadsworth, Ohio / Highland). Walsh answered back to tie the game at 15 points apiece before Lake Erie went on a 6-0 run with back to back three pointers from Scott and Ryan Middendorf (West Chester, Ohio / Lakota East) to give the Storm a 21-15 edge at the under 12 minute media timeout. The teams traded baskets for the next four minutes, and the Storm led 24-19 at the under eight minute media timeout. The teams continued to battle until the under four minute media timeout as the Storm held a 30-23 edge. Over the last four minutes of the half Walsh trimmed the lead to four, but the Storm led 32-28 at the intermission.
The Storm came out of the locker ready to play as they opened the second half on a 4-0 run and took a 36-28 lead. The run started with a jumper from Kynard, and was capped off by a layup from Scott. Lake Erie rode their momentum to a 42-34 edge at the first media timeout in the second half. The teams battled for four minutes as the Storm maintained a 52-43 edge at the under 12 minute media timeout. Out of the timeout, Walsh went on a 6-0 run and trimmed the Lake Erie lead to 52-49, which forced a Storm timeout. Out of the timeout, the Cavaliers tied the game at 52 points apiece, and the teams entered the under eight minute media timeout deadlocked at 52. After the break, Walsh grabbed a 53-52 lead before the Storm responded with a 10-2 run and grabbed a 62-55 edge. The run was highlighted by a three pointer from Erron James (Westerville, Ohio / Westerville Central). The Storm entered the final media timeout ahead, 65-59. With three minutes to go Walsh cut the lead to four, 65-61. The Storm responded with a flurry and closed out the game. Lake Erie won the game 76-67.
The Storm was led by Kynard as he had a career high 26 points, and three assists. Middendorf added 15 points, as he made five three pointers on the day. Scott led the team in assists with six, and added 11 points. Rhodes hit the glass hard for the Storm as he had 11 rebounds in the game.
Coach Conley concluded, "Kynard played today like one of the league's elite players. I am very proud of my team, and we are excited to have another game on the schedule for tomorrow."
Lake Erie will return to the hardwood (March 2) when they play the winner of Alderson Broaddus and Hillsdale in the Great Midwest tournament Semifinal, with the game set to tip at 5 p.m.