MILWAUKEE -- Sometimes, all it takes is one shot to fall, and all the rest seem to go down from there.
For Lake Zurich senior Ryan Roach, when his first shot of the second half fell, it quickly led to good things for Lake Zurich.
Roach had missed his first and only attempt in the first half against Johnsburg during the 22nd annual Milwaukee Bucks Prep Basketball Series at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Friday afternoon. His first shot of the second half, though, was good, and it gave the Bears their first lead of the afternoon. They hung on from there to defeat the Skyhawks 46-38.
Lake Zurich got a team-best 11 points and 8 boards from Brad Kruse.
"I wasn't shooting all that well in the first half," said Roach who scored all 10 of his points after halftime. "I made an adjustment to try and go more to the basket and try and get to the line."
Lake Zurich (7-9) trailed most of the first half but used a quick burst to open the second half. A 10-2 run midway through the third quarter, sparked by 4 points from Roach, gave the Bears their biggest lead of the day to that point at 29-24.
"Roach really was the key there for us to start the second half," said Lake Zurich coach Billy Pitcher. "There was about a 2- or 3-play sequence where we got a steal and a layup and put together a few scores in a row that made the difference there."
Johnsburg (6-7) closed the quarter strong behind the play of seniors TJ Sigmund and Mike Conroy. Each had a pair of baskets to pull the Skyhawks even with the Bears at 32-32 into the final quarter. Sigmund led all scorers with 10 of his game-best 14 points coming in the first half as the Skyhawks built a 22-19 halftime advantage. Conroy finished with 9 points, with all but 2 coming in the second half.
From there it was all Lake Zurich. The Bears outscored Johnsburg 14-6 in the final period which included holding the Skyhawks to just 1 field goal over the final four minutes. Additionally, Lake Zurich was almost perfect from the foul line in the final minutes, making 10 of their final 12 attempts.
"We weren't making our shots from 3 so it was nice to see the guys getting into the lane and making their free throws," Pitcher said. "It all came down to us doing a better job in our decision making -- getting to the line and not settling for the first shot we see."