Tigers grind out a victory
LAKEWOOD 58, REGIS JESUIT 53
aurora» Both Lakewood and Regis Jesuit entered Friday night looking to regain early-season momentum. The boys basketball Class 5A No. 7 Tigers were coming off back-toback losses to No. 4 Cherokee Trail and No. 1 ThunderRidge, while the Raiders lost two of three games in an out-of-state tournament.
And in a nonconference battle that went down to the wire at Guy Gibbs Gym, it was Lakewood that emerged victorious — and with some fresh mojo — thanks to a poised second half that gave the Tigers (5-3) a 58-53 win.
“We needed to bring more energy to the floor in those past two games — we didn’t come out strong enough — but tonight we did that, and we came together down the stretch,” Lakewood senior Dallas Bailey said.
Both teams came out firing in the first half, trading blow for blow from behind the arc — with some fastpaced transition play interspersed in between — and by the time sophomore Jamil Safieddine hit a shot from downtown to give Regis Jesuit a 24-23 to end the first half, it was the clear the game was going to be an early-season pressure test.
“That’s kind of our style — we’re kind of a run-and-gun type of offense with a lot of threes,” Lakewood senior forward Jacob Storey explained. “And we’ve definitely (fed the post) a lot more this season — last season we just put up a ton of threes, and we’re doing that this year too, but we’ve also added that inside presence, which is helping us all around.”
The lead continued to change throughout the second half, but the Tigers, with coach Daryl Johnson charged up on the sideline, started to hit key shots and get key stops. Storey (15 points) made his presence felt on both ends of the floor, and Bailey (24 points) and Kolton Peterson (13 points) also played big.
Regis Jesuit (2-4) came out strong to open the fourth, tying the game at one point, but the Tigers were able to limit turnovers in the face of the Raiders’ full-court press — as well as hit crucial free throws — to pull away for the win. Junior Sam Bannec led the Raiders with 20 points.