Lake Park pulls away from Addison Trail in 2nd half
Wednesday night's first Class 4A Naperville North boys basketball regional semifinal between Lake Park and Addison Trail was anybody's game during the first half.
It became Lake Park's game during the second half and the Lancers went on to win, 48-33.
Lake Park (22-7), seeded fourth in the Class 4A Bartlett sectional, takes on host Naperville North for the regional title on Friday night. The Huskies beat Naperville Central 46-32 on Wednesday.
"There are areas we can improve upon. We had too many turnovers down the stretch," said Lancers coach Billy Pitcher. "Our defense was really solid tonight. We held Addison Trail to three points in the third quarter and that was key."
Addison Trail's Jacob Daniels sank a basket at the buzzer to put the 13th-seeded Blazers (13-17) to within one of Lake Park, 11-10, at the end of the first quarter.
Daniels and Luke Smith each led Addison Trail with 12 points each.
The Lancers' advantage grew to seven in the second quarter courtesy of Sebastian Blachut's two-pointer that made it 20-13. But two 3-pointers from Daniels and Smith sandwiched around a bucket from Lake Park's Matt Zakic made it a 23-19 halftime score in favor of the Lancers.
Zakic scored 13 points and earned praise for his offense and defense from Pitcher.
"He was a key defensive stopper. That led into his offense and he was really in the flow," said the Lake Park coach.
Tommy Rochford's two 3-point baskets gave the Lancers a 35-22 lead at the end of the third quarter. Addison Trail did whittle the lead down to 10 midway through the final stanza.
The Lancers made four of six free throws in the game's final moments to put the finishing touches on the victory.
Vito LaGloia led Lake Park with 14 points. Blachut had 10.
"I think there were two keys, defense and taking care of the ball. When we faced full-court pressure, we stayed strong and moved the ball around," LaGloia said.
Nathan Johnson was game-high rebounder, grabbing eight for the Blazers.
"In the first half, we had our half-court defense. The game was not up and down," said Addison Trail coach Brendan Lyons. "In the second half, our defense suffered and there was nothing on offense. Lake Park closed up the lanes. A 10-point lead by Lake Park is like an 18-point lead by other teams."
It's on to another challenge for the Lancers.
"The playoffs are on a different level. We're giving our best and the other team is giving their best. It's a high level of play," Zakic said.