By ANGELO VELOTTA
For the Star Beacon
SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP —
The Lakeside Dragons put it all together Tuesday night, torching the visiting Cardinal Mooney Cardinals, 75-63.
After a 15-15 first quarter, Lakeside (5-11, 3-7 in the Premier Athletic Conference) came back in the second quarter and breaking from a 25-25 deadlock, used its ability to get rebounds, momentum-shifting steals and fast-breakpoints to go on a 7-0 run before halftime, building a 32-27 lead.
The Cardinals continued to show their prowess at rebounding off the glass as Doug Caputo knocked down a double-double with points and boards before the game even got to halftime.
The Dragons maintained that edge — and built on it — in the second half, cruising to the victory.
“We talked about playing aggressive with intensity and up tempo,” Lakeside coach Mark Taylor said. “Everybody played good team basketball.”
Jaeden Jones led the way for the Dragons with a team high 17 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 assists.
“I felt everyone came together, we came to play,” Jones said. “We’re tired of losing... we are a winning team.”
Emonte Parks scored 14, including three 3’s, had 4 assists and 2 blocks for Lakeside, Kyle Downs scored 12 points, Marcell Ballenger scored 8 points, 3 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists and 2 blocks and Lorenz Sistrunk provided some energy with 8 points.
“Lorenz is an Energizer Bunny, he is the fastest kid in the school,” Taylor said. “He’s a spark plug.”
“Five or six losses in January by 10 or less, guys persevere and (are) so tough.
“(It’s a) feel-good win... very uplifting. I really enjoyed it.”
Caputo led the way for the Cardinals with a double-double effort of 23 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks, Joe Cunningham scored 12 and had 9 steals, Andrew Armstrong scored 9 and had 12 rebounds, and Joey Kleen scored 9 points all for the Cardinals.
“In general, you gotta execute, five players together as one, then do some things,” Mooney coach Ryan Danilow said. “Breakdowns... you have problems.
“Terrible free-throw shooting, a lot of empty possessions with turnovers. (We) broke down on D.”
Velotta is a freelance writer from Concord Township.