Portage Northern shook things up in the SMAC West after their overtime victory against their cross-town rivals. Lakeshore took the open door, imposed their will, and can now call themselves the outright 2020 SMAC West Champions following their 53-27 victory over Portage Central.
Before the Huskies upset victory over Portage Central, the final SMAC West contest looked like a Lakeshore win would be needed to at least share the West Division Championship. St. Joe nearly added to the showdown before the Mustangs used another fourth quarter comeback to turn a deficit into a Central victory last Friday night.
Tonight against Lakeshore, the Mustangs were outscored in three of the four quarters, and the Lancers used a balanced attack to control the game while holding Portage Central to single digit scoring per quarter for most of the contest.
Dylan Clem‘s 11 points led Lakeshore with Ja’Kobe Young and Ben Brower each adding eight points,. Rounding out the attack, JJ Bushu netted six points, and Grant Ruddel and Ben Anderson each finished with four points.
Unlike the first meeting, Portage Central never led the game inside Lancer Gym while Lakeshore’s largest lead ballooned to 30 points. Ja’Kobe Young and Ben Brower were monsters on the board with eight each.
Although Lakeshore struggled from downtown, hitting just one of its 17 three-point attempts, the Mustangs offense could not get untracked to close the gap. Portage Central went 10-41 on the night and 2-15 from three-point range. The Mustangs also had twice the turnovers as Lakeshore (20 to 10).
Lakeshore now heads into the post season as the District #2 seed where they will face Portage Northern in Round 1 at St. Joseph High School on Monday, March 9th. Tip-off is at 5PM. If the Lancers advance, they will face Mattawan on March 11th at 5PM in the Bear Den. The opposite side of the bracket boasts #1 seed Kalamazoo Central facing Portage Central at 7PM on March 9th. St. Joseph would face the winner of that contest on Wednesday, March 11th at 7PM.