Lakers Men’s Basketball Team Starts Off Season 1-0
By Ian Jackson
The roar of the crowd intensified, the atmosphere between players of their respective teams was insane with pumping each other with every score and time out by the opposing team. It was a fight to the finish as the Roosevelt Lakers Men’s basketball team beat the East-West University Phantoms 85-83 in their first game of the season.
Jake Ludwig scored a game-high of 19 points; Korey Ryan added 17 and Joshua Dillingham had a double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers.
Coach Joe Griffin pitched in on what worked and what needed to change between the first and second halves in order to get the win and how strong of a tone does this win set for the team this season.
“It was a huge win, we wanted to set the tone and we didn’t set it the way we wanted to so we did not set the tone yet, […] so hopefully we can do that in the next few games coming up,” Griffin said. The Phantoms came out swinging in the first half shooting 60 percent from the field which led to them leading over the Lakers 52-39.
“They shot the lights out on us especially 7-13 from three, they drove past us, they were scoring in the post, they were red hot and they really punched us in the gut in the first half” Griffin said. During halftime, the Lakers switched gears and made huge run in the second half to come back and win the game.
“We needed a change in mentality, pick it up on defense and rebound at a much higher level than we did in the first half in order to win the game” Griffin said.
Senior Guard Jason Markus said the important things during half time in order to make that strong push to come back and win.
“Stay calm and stay with the process. It was our first game so we needed to focus and we could win this game” Markus said.
Senior Guard/Forward Damian Zalewski gave his viewpoint on what was the most important thing the team needed to do in the second half to make that huge run.
“Jason helped us keep our calm into the second half. For the past three years I have been here Jason showed us his leadership out there to help us win,” Zalewski said.
This win was a good way to start off the Lakers season for a nation tournament bid but it was not the way Markus wanted it to go down.
“It’s always good to win and everything but there was higher standards for us so we know we could have done better because we know we could have done better so we can try to push for the national tournament” Markus said.