12/4/2012 8:00:00 AM Lakeland boys notch key conference win at Antigo Hot shooting Thunderbirds take down reigning GNC champions
Tom Bruckner (33) takes a shot from the middle of the Antigo 1-3-1 defense during Friday’s game on the road. Lakeland shot 57 percent from the field to defeat the Red Robins 57-47. Laura Harvey photograph
Despite committing 29 turnovers Friday night, the Lakeland Union High School boys’ basketball team came out of Antigo with a 57-47 win. Lakeland (2-0, 1-0 conference) shot 57 percent from the field including going 8-for-16 from the free throw line. “I wouldn’t think you could go into a game and commit 29 turnovers and win a game,” coach Rich Fortier said. “But when you shoot 57 percent from the field, that makes it possible. And if you come out and play good defense. Right now we are playing good defense.” Fortier said his team will make more turnovers this season because of the style of play he is asking the T-Birds to play. “Those turnovers, yes the guys are out there and they need to execute, but those turnovers are on me,” Fortier said. “We are asking them to push the tempo, so there will be more turnovers.” And pushing and controlling the tempo was key for Lakeland’s win Friday against Antigo as the Thunderbirds took the early lead. “We went into the game with the mindset that if we played hard, we could play with this team,” Fortier said. “That is a very good team in Antigo. But our guys did not back down.” In fact, Lakeland took the early lead as they had a 27-24 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, Lakeland’s defense clamped down, allowing the Red Robins just five points as the T-Birds built their lead to 41-29. With the game in hand, Lakeland put the contest away in the fourth quarter. “We went 4-for-4 from the field in the fourth quarter and we went to the free throw line 10 times,” Fortier said. With Lakeland still shooting well, the Thunderbirds put the final touches on the win and came away with the 57-47 victory. Matt Hartzheim led the team in scoring with 15 points, while Dylan Lerdal and Bryon Andrews each had 10 points. Michael Fossen added six assists to lead the Thunderbirds in that category. Lakeland will return to action Tuesday when they travel to Wausau West for a non-conference tilt. Bryan Rose may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.