The Lakeshore Lancers and Kalamazoo Central Giants are considered the top programs in the SMAC. The match-up features two highly successful coaches known for establishing top basketball programs when Lakeshore’s Sean Schroeder and Benton Harbor legend, and former Tiger coach, Ramsey Nichols are on the sidelines. A big battle last year took place in Kalamazoo with the Maroon Giants winning a close game, and COVID halted the much anticipated second match-up when the post-season was cancelled.
Tonight, the Lancers traveled to Kalamazoo Central looking to remain unbeaten, and for most of the game it looked like Lakeshore would leave the Kalamazoo with a big win. Unfortunately for the Lancers, the Maroon Giants hit two 3-point shots, and another three shots at the free throw line, to erase a nine point deficit to win 53-52 over the Lancers in the closing seconds. Lakeshore twice had a chance to push the lead back to at least four, but both shots in the lane missed. Kalamazoo Central outscored the Lancers 21-11 in the 4th quarter after being outscored through halftime and deadlocked at the end of three quarters in points scored.
Grant Gondrezick II led all scorers with 22 points including 11 for 12 at the free throw line. JJ Bushu added 11 points with Gavin Foster netting nine points. Hutch Ward led the Maroon Giants, including the dagger shot, with 18 points, and Scott Hughes added 15 points.
The Lancers have a chance to get back in the win column tomorrow night against Mattawan. Lakeshore has a 56-42 win over the Wildcats already this season. Lakeshore travels to St. Joseph Friday night against the host Bears. Then, on Monday, the Lancers will find themselves inside Niles High School to face the Vikings for the second time this season in non-conference action.
Follow @LHSLancerSports on Twitter for game information and updates including scores, Lakeshore Lancer Network coverage (also found on the network Facebook page), and NFHS live stream/video coverage as some schools use YouTube or other services to stream games.