Biedke leads Conant's comeback at Lake Park
Conant's Bradley Biedke showed very little emotion throughout Tuesday's nonconference road game against Lake Park.
The 6-foot-5 sophomore guard sparked the Cougars with his fiery shooting, but managed to keep a stone-faced, focused expression throughout a tense second half.
Even after burying three 3-pointers in the second half to help the Cougars erase a 7-point deficit, Biedke remained under control.
Nor did his solid defense on Lake Park high-scoring junior guard Camden Cerese cause him to break character.
But Biedke, a budding prospect who oozes next-level potential due to his height, playmaking, athleticism and shooting, did manage to quietly sneak in a brief celebration. After hitting the first of a pair of free throws with 64 seconds remaining in regulation, Biedke slightly pumped his fists to celebrate an impressive comeback.
Led by Biedke's four 3-pointers and a team-high 20 points, the Cougars posted an 66-54 come-from-behind victory over the Lancers.
Sticking to his team theme, Biedke credited his teammates for working together on both ends to notch a big nonconference road win.
"We were so happy to get this game and we wanted to get this win," Biedke said. "We keep working hard every day and all the hard work in practice showed today."
Not only did Biedke provide a huge contribution on the offensive end, but his aggressive defense on Cerese was vital in the second half. Cerese scored a game-high 29 points, including tallying 16 of Lake Park's first 18. But Biedke's size and athletic ability bothered Cerese when he was switched on him in the second half.
"I felt defense was the hardest today because we take pride in our defense," Biedke said. "I've been working hard everyday to get better. We all worked together really well."
The Cougars (11-9) scored a season-high in points thanks to a sizzling second-half shooting performance, especially from beyond the arc. Biedke might have been the star of the game on both ends of the court, but the Cougars relied on a collective effort to outscore the Lancers 38-19 in the final 12 minutes after trailing 35-28 following a 10-0 run by the Lancers (13-8).
The Cougars had four players finish in double figures to illustrate their team approach, with Camden Lathos and Austin Potocnic both tallying 13 points and Yusaf Cisse finishing with 11 points. Junior guard Jacob Kulig added two key 3s to end with 6 points.
Conant coach Matt Walsh gained family bragging rights in the win. His son, Michael, is a junior guard on the Lancers. Walsh said Biedke showed his vast two-way potential against the Lancers.
"I'm really proud of our guys," Walsh said. "We've been playing well lately but lost some really close games to some really good teams. Tonight, we were able to find a way to win. Bradley is oozes with potential. He's an extremely hard worker and bought into the team. He played very well tonight.
"I know Camden really well. He's such a tough matchup because he's so skilled and can score in many ways. Yusef Cisse is an incredible defender, but we wanted to put someone with more length and size on Camden. Yusef and Camden played well. I thought Austin Potocnic was huge. He was one of our leaders tonight and played with a lot of heart."
Lake Park coach Billy Pitcher heaped praise on Conant's execution, especially passing and shooting in the final 16 minutes.
"We played a pretty good three quarters, but our problem is not putting together four quarters," Pitcher said. "Conant is such a tough physical good defensive team. They really stepped up and knocked down some great shots. They shot it really well, but they were wide open looks. Give them credit, they were patient and unselfish and made the extra pass."