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Harvest Prep vs. Lake Catholic boys basketball: Cougars stumble in second half, fall 85-50

Jan. 21—Lake Catholic had a second-quarter run to close within 10 points against Harvest Prep at the Battle at the Berkey. But the Cougars couldn't carry that momentum into the second half.

The Warriors scored 43 points in the second half to run away with an 85-50 win. They held the Cougars to five points in the fourth quarter.

The Cougars fell to 5-7 and Harvest Prep improved to 13-4.

Harvest Prep pressed all game and that caused problems for Lake Catholic. While the Cougars were able to break it in the first half, the second was a different story.

Coach Matt Vespa saw the Warriors turn up the defensive intensity, and his team couldn't find the openings it did earlier. He did see it as a perfect learning opportunity for when teams press them in the second half of the season.

"They never stop with their pressure and for the most part, I thought we did a good job of not only handling it but also making them pay for it," Vespa said. "We just seemed to never quite be able to get over the hump and they continued to press until the very end so our entire roster got some great reps going against their starters' pressure. While it wasn't an enjoyable experience while it was happening we know it will be something that makes us better."

Peyton Budrys-Rini led Lake Catholic with 17 points while Ace Peterlin and Cross Nimmo had 13 points apiece. Harvest Prep was guided by Khalil Daniels with 20 and Adonus Abrams with 19, and Antwon Pollard added 11.

The Warriors are one of the top Division III teams in Ohio, and Vespa knows that the challenge was going to be big for a young Cougars team. But he viewed it as a positive in the long term.

He saw a good first half from the Cougars and they just need to be able to adjust from half to half.

"With a younger group like we have we are trying to get better as a team every time we're together," Vespa said. "Coach (Mike) Krzyzewski once said 'In order to get better you have to change your limits and when you do that sometimes you're going to fail'. I thought we showed that we can compete with all the D-III teams. We will see in the playoffs but we still have to continue to clean up mistakes and stay together through adversity on the court. It's going to be a tough bus ride home but I really feel this will be something that benefits us later in the season."

Lake Catholic aims to snap its four-game skid with a nonconference trip to Trinity on Jan. 23.

THE SCORE

Harvest Prep 85, Lake Catholic 50