ADRIAN – Colin Lake scored a team high 21 points Saturday, including a couple of key second half three-pointers, as his North Park University Vikings downed previously undefeated Adrian College, 73-70.
Lake made six of his 10 shots – including five of eight three-pointers – as he led North Park in scoring for the second straight game in its 2-1 start to the season.
“It was definitely cool to come back to play in front of people I know,” Lake said. “It’s really cool to have a game this close. Most of our games are like four hours away.”
Lake, a 2014 Whiteford graduate, is no stranger to Lenawee County, having played four years of varsity basketball at Whiteford where he was a scoring sensation. Lake is the all-time leading scorer in Tri-County Conference history and scored 1,925 career points for the Bobcats.
He settled on North Park University, located in downtown Chicago, and was an immediate starter as a freshman last year, averaging 11.6 points in 34 minutes a game. Through three games in 2015-16, Lake is averaging 15 points a game. Saturday’s 21 point game was two points shy of his career high.
“He’s why we played here,” North Park coach Tom Slyder said. “It was nice to give Colin a chance to come here and play, close to his home.
“He played big,” Slyder continued. “We hoped he would have a good game coming back home and playing in front of a lot of people. He’s really playing well in terms as shooting the basketball. What you saw tonight is the Colin Lake we know.”
Adrian started the season 5-0 with its closest game being a 10-point win at Carthage on November 14. Playing just its second home game of the season, however, the Bulldogs fell behind by scores of 5-0, 12-4 and 19-11 before slowly beginning to climb back into the game.
Rickey Jackson Jr.’s hit a couple of field goals as the Bulldogs pulled within 29-26. With 4:23 left in the first half, Travon Johnson made it a 29-29 game. Jackson briefly gave the home team a 32-31 lead, then baskets by Devonte Harris increased that lead to 38-33 before Lake hit a three-pointer just before the first half buzzer to pull North Park within two at the half.
North Park grabbed the lead quickly in the second half before a three-pointer by Ben Rodak gave the Bulldogs a 58-57 lead with 8:35 left in the game. During that stretch, Lake hit a nifty shot in the lane with his left hand.
Adrian hung in the game but couldn’t gain the momentum.
“We showed some resiliency,” Adrian coach Mark White said. “We fought back.”
With the score tied at 60-60, North Park’s Lake buried a three-pointer to make it 63-60, hit another with 2:09 left to make it 69-65, the hit a free throw to make it 70-67 with 1:16 remaining. Lake’s two free throws with 1.8 seconds left made the final margin 73-70.
“He made some big plays,” White said of Lake. “We had a defensive plan for him, we didn’t execute it. He’s a good basketball player and he made plays.”
Lake and his North Park Vikings will play Defiance College on December 29 and 30.