Spartan boys sink Seaford, St. Thomas More

MAGNOLIA — Lake Forest boys’ basketball head coach Dion Miller knew it would happen sooner or later.
Following a 0-7 start to the season, however, the Spartans’ leader was hoping it would be the former once his team was back on the court after winter break.

Turned out it was, as Lake gave its coach and itself a late Christmas present on Jan. 9 when the Spartans defeated Seaford 66-61 in a back-and-forth contest that resulted in their first win of the season.

“Absolutely, it was a weight off our chest,” said Miller following season win No. 2 last Monday at St. Thomas More. “Seaford was up by seven with three or four minutes left and we ended up pulling that out.”
Lake Forest basketball
Monday’s 59-51 win versus St. Thomas More unfolded in slightly different fashion.
Trailing by five after a slow start to the game, junior Dominique Griffith drained a buzzer-beating three from mid-court to help the Spartans end the opening quarter down just 13-11.

With momentum on its side, Lake seemingly broke the game open in the second when it outscored the host Ravens 25-10, leading to a 13-point halftime advantage.

Sophomore Cameron Lewis paced Lake during the second quarter outburst, as he scored 10 of his 22 points during the stretch.

“That (Griffith) shot definitely gave us some momentum,” Miller said of the heave. “We finished the half strong. They fed off that shot.”

But after the break the Spartans slowed some and by the end of the third quarter St. Thomas More was within three possessions of the lead.
The Ravens, however, wouldn’t close the gap much more, as the Spartans opened their advantage up to 57-43 with 2:30 remaining in regulation before coasting to the win.

“We’ll take the win, we just have to do a better job closing out at the end,” Miller said. “We just have to do a better job taking care of the ball and executing down the stretch.”

Closing out games has been the story of Lake’s season so far. Four of the Spartans’ eight losses – the team fell to Woodbridge last Thursday – were by two possessions or less and in most of those games Lake held second half leads.

Making it happen, though, is a puzzle Miller said he is still working on.

“We’re working on it, but it has to be the guys (on the floor) that make it happen,” Miller said. “They’re definitely capable.”

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