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Lakes' Direll Clark (30) comes up with a steal during the first quarter of Saturday evening's game against Deerfield. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media
Year seven of boys basketball at Lakes High School in Lake Villa is already one for the record books.
And the Eagles aren’t done yet.
Saturday’s 58-56 victory over pesky Deerfield gave Lakes a school-record 21st victory on the season (21-6) overall, and there’s still a lot of basketball to be played.
Lakes has a game at Lake Zurich on Tuesday, and then could win as many as four more games during March Madness before hitting the wall.
Jake Kohler, a 6-4 senior, was the hero on Senior Night at Lakes, as his bank shot from the low post with 4.2 seconds left broke the 56-56 tie.
The final sequence started after Deerfield turned the ball over with 35 seconds left. Lakes ran the clock down to 10 and then took a timeout. From there, Direll Clark (12 points) drove and fed Kohler who banked home the winner.
“We set up a play in the timeout. I was supposed to get the ball in the post from Direll. I put it up and luckily, it went it. We fought tooth-and-nail right to the end. We got the ‘W.’ That’s what matters.”
After Kohler’s bucket, Lakes had several fouls to give without yielding free throws, and committed one near halfcourt with one second left. Deerfield then inbounded to Jack Gurvey, whose fade-away three-pointer fell short.
Andrew Spencer led Lakes with 14 points, six rebounds and five steals. Justin Bergeron had 13 points, and Clark and Kohler scored 12 each.
“It’s pretty darn good to set a program record for wins and do it during the regular season,” said Lakes coach Chris Snyder. “It’s a great group of guys and I’m glad it’s happening to them. They’ve earned it. I’m glad we were able to get the seniors off the homecourt with a win.”
It certainly didn’t come easy.
Deerfield (10-15) led 29-26 at halftime and neither club led by more than five points the entire game.
Eric Porter had a game-high 19 points for the Warriors and was 4-of-7 shooting from downtown. They also got 13 points from Gurvey and 11 from Michael Alfieri.
As a team, Deerfield was 9-of-19 from three-point range.
“I feel like we’re trending up,” said Deerfield coach Dan McKendrick, whose team lost two games this weekend to 20-win teams by a total of three points (one-point loss to Niles North on Friday). “We’ve been on a good run lately. We’ve been competitive with a lot of good teams.”