Lakes stays hot with OT win over Carmel

After starting off the 2022-23 season slowly, the Lakes boys basketball team has really been on a roll lately.

Tuesday night, the Eagles got the new year started off on the right foot as they pulled out an exciting 61-57 nonconference overtime victory over host Carmel Catholic to extend their winning streak to eight games now.

The contest was pretty much of a dogfight from start to finish as Lakes (10-4) built an early 12-3 lead over the Corsairs (6-12) only to see Carmel cut the lead to 23-20 at halftime.

At the end of regulation, Lakes turned the ball over with 7.6 seconds to play. A long 3-pointer at the buzzer by Carmel junior Jacob Chajet forced the extra session tied at 45-45.

A driving basket by Carmel's Noah LaMora in overtime cut Lakes' lead to 58-57 before the Eagles got a free throw from 6-foot-7 senior Brock Marino with 23.7 seconds to go boost the lead to 59-57.

With four seconds to play, Chajet missed on a drive and Marino grabbed the rebound. Marino did not fold under pressure as he hit both free throws with 3.4 seconds left to seal the exciting victory.

In an early-season meeting at the Centralia tournament, Carmel had rolled to a 73-49 victory over the Eagles on Nov. 23.

"The key was just putting in a consistent 110 percent effort, and we were able to come out with the win in the end," said Marino, who scored 15 of his team-high 23 points in the second half. "We started off a little slow (this season), but everyone is filling in their role, and we tightened it up on defense."

The Corsairs were led offensively by junior Kaleb Jackson with 19 of his game-high 24 points in the second half while teammate James Dwyer hit double figures scoring with 12 points. Jackson and Chajet both hit 3-pointers in the final 1:07 of regulation to help force overtime.

Tyson Dewey scored 10 points for Lakes while teammates James Kania and Tyler Anderson scored 8 points each.

Chajet and junior teammate Mark Zitella scored 7 points apiece for Carmel.

"It was a good battle, and after a layoff it was a good way to start the year with a win on the road," said Lakes coach Chris Synder, whose team led 48-43 with 3:50 left in regulation. "I thought we did a good job of making some plays when we needed to like Cooper (LoPriore) saving the ball, and we want to keep it going."

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