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Lake Park's boys basketball team made it immediately obvious that Saturday's second half was going to be a different ballgame.
When Glenbard East inbounded the ball to start the third quarter, the Lancers' Michael Karas converted a steal and basket into a three-point play.
A flurry of forced turnovers quickly followed as an aggressive defensive effort powered Lake Park to a 53-35 DuPage Valley Conference victory over the Rams in Lombard.
Of Glenbard East's 14 turnovers, eight hit the Rams in the third quarter. Lake Park converted nearly all of them while turning a 1-point deficit into a double-digit lead by early in the fourth quarter.
"We've always said we wanted to be aggressive on defense," said Lancers senior guard Sean Moore, who scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter. "Getting those turnovers and then leading into transition, that's how we get easy buckets. As coach says, sometimes we struggle in half-court offense. So anytime we can get transition buckets is great."
There were plenty of transition buckets for the Lancers (14-13, 4-9), who epitomized their intensified defense by forcing Glenbard East into a pair of single-digit quarters in the second half.
Patrick Peterkin scored for the Rams (4-21, 0-13) to tie the game at 26-26 three minutes into the third quarter, but a 10-2 Lake Park run effectively sealed the outcome.
A 13-0 run midway through the fourth quarter ended in a 49-32 advantage for the Lancers, leading to an early night for the starters.
"We'll play a quarter, a half, sometimes three quarters, but something like that always seems to hit us," said Glenbard East coach Scott Miller. "Give Lake Park credit. They played hard on defense and created those turnovers."
Melvin Kimbrough, off the bench, and Connor Vance each scored 9 points for Lake Park. Glenbard East's JaRon Hall tallied 9 of his 11 points in the first half. Freshman Michael Finley finished with 7 points.
In addition to 30 percent shooting from the field, Glenbard East made only 10 of 20 free throws. Lake Park hit a blistering 13 of 22 second-half shots.
"We've just been struggling to score all year," said Lake Park coach Josh Virostko. "We know we have to create our offense off our defense."
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