With the game tied at 33 at the half, yesterday’s contest between the Oswego Lakers and the Potsdam Bears appeared to be on pace for a shootout but a 16-0 run midway through the second half put the Bears firmly in front for the remainder of the game.
The Lakers were without Junior starting guard Liam Sanborn for a substantial amount of the game. He left the game with just under a minute left in the first half due to an awkward landing on a drive that resulted in an ankle injury. Freshman Jeremiah Sparks took over the majority of the ballhandling duties after Sanborn went down. His absence was certainly felt from his teammates. “That’s our point guard, he runs our offense…. he’s a big leader on defense as well” Sparks said.
The difference in the game came during the second half. The Lakers only made 9 shots in the second half and shot 28 percent from the field while Potsdam made 17 shots and shot an efficient 54 percent from the field. “We were doing a good job of scoring in the first half, it’s a little easier to play transition defense when you’re scoring,” Coach Jason Leone said when asked about what went wrong during the second period. “We just went a little cold from the field, credit their defense.”
The story of the night was the outstanding performance by Potsdam’s sophomore Isaiah Brown who was their only player in double figures. He exploded for 42 points and pulled down 15 rebounds as well. He went into the game fresh off a 33 point performance the night before against Cortland and as the Bears leading scorer, averaging 23 points on the season. The common message between Gartland, Sparks and Leone, “he’s a really great player.” Freshman bigman Tyrese Baptiste also added 8 points along with 9 rebounds.
After clinching a playoff berth on Friday, the next step for the Lakers is to close out the final three regular season games strong. They face conference opponent Oneonta on Tuesday and they understand the importance of putting this loss behind them and focusing on what’s next. “We got three games left in the regular season, if we win, we could possibly move up in the rankings. We’re trying to get a home game as well, so that’s a big thing too,” senior Brandan Gartland said following the loss.
Oswego will close out two of their final three games at home, including senior day vs Brockport on Saturday February 22nd at 4 pm and then will turn their attention to the postseason.