(PAULA PASCHE – The Oakland Press)
WATERFORD TOWNSHIP >> Experience played a factor in the opening game of the varsity boys basketball season for Waterford Our Lady of the Lakes and Oakland Christian.
The Lakers, returning four starters, came through with a 45-35 win over the Lancers, on Tuesday night at Our Lady of the Lakes.
“This is usually not the way I envisioned the first game, I was hoping to consider ourselves a high-scoring team. We struggled there for a while we couldn’t hit a 3 to save our lives,’’ Lakes coach Marc Summers said.
His Lakers trailed 9-6 at the end of the first quarter, but they took a 17-16 lead with 39 seconds left in the half on a bucket from senior Jacob Thierry.
Then in the third quarter the Lakers outscored the Lancers 14-7 for a 37-30 edge going into the final stanza.
“The one thing I loved about this game the boys were resilient they buckled down, played good D, they did what they had to do to win,’’ Summers said. “That’s the encouraging part is that I didn’t envision the game going this way but they changed the way they played to win the game.’’
Senior Noah Robak, who was 9 of 10 from the free-throw line in the second half, led the Lakers with 20 points. Summers called him a “rock star” at the free-throw line. He had an all-around game too.
“I thought Noah handled the pressure really well, Vince Oliver was a beast down low. Those two — Noah handled the outside, Vnce handled the inside, but it was a team effort,’’ Summers said.
Summers has high expectations for this experienced group.
“Most of our team is back from last year. We lost one senior starter and one other senior,’’ Summers said. “We have an experienced team we know teams are going to be gunning for us, we’ve got a lot returning I have high hopes for these boys.’’