WINONA LAKE – A 33-3 run to open a basketball game is impressive no matter how it’s cut. That’s what Lakeland Christian Academy rolled up against Howe Military Tuesday night in an eventual 92-44 boys basketball victory.
While Howe was clearly overmatched from the start, LCA still had to hit shots and did so with a fury. Josh McDaniel opened the first possession with a nice left-handed layup through traffic just seconds in. Jon Harmon had a hoop and harm, and drilled a pair of threes. McDaniel would bury four threes in the second quarter, scoring LCA’s final eight points of the half. By then, it was 55-13 and all that was left was an ovation for the LCA seniors.
“I thought we definitely came out and played well, and played together,” said LCA head coach Chris Hohm, who got a nice early birthday present with the win. Hohm turns 29 on Wednesday. “We did a great job of creating shots, and we got out running pretty quick. We pulled the reigns back a little in the second half, but we still played pretty good basketball. And that was what I really wanted to see in a game like this.”
McDaniel scored all 18 of his points in the first half, and Harmon wound up leading the club with 19 points and 14 rebounds along with five assists and five steals.
Carter Twombly ended his night with 14 points and three boards. Connor Blum was steady with 11 points and added six boards, but wasn’t asked to shoot much in the second half.
Skyler Harris even got into the act, scoring five points, joining Harmon, Twombly and Blum in their final appearances on the home court.
Jake Harmon added six assists and three boards for the Cougars, which improve to 4-19 to conclude the regular season. LCA earned its third win in its past four games, only dropping a 10-point loss to Oregon-Davis last week. The four wins is also the most LCA has had in three seasons when the Cougars won seven games back in 2012-13.
Howe, which had 17 points from Eric Robinson and 13 points from Trenton Wesley, finish its season 1-13.
“I thought we did a great job of following our gameplan throughout,” Hohm said. “Our defense got a little loose in the second half, but it can be hard when you’re up so much so quickly. It was a good learning experience for us, and we wanted to stay on the classy side of things being on the winning side tonight. We know what it’s like to be on the other side of these scores. I was just happy with our kids all around tonight.”
LCA will now sit back and let the Class 1-A Fort Wayne Blackhawk Sectional unfold a little. LCA drew the bye and will face either the hosts or Lakewood Park Christian in the Friday semi-final. A nice seat to have, according to Hohm.
“It will be a good chance to go and see the teams we will have to compete against without having to worry about preparing for a game,” Hohm said of the sectional. “It will give us a chance to rest up a little more. You are one step closer to a sectional final in our scenario, so you just have to win one game to get to the final.”