Inter-Lakes' Dillon Dow drives past Andrew Derosia of Belmont during the Lakers' 68-61 victory on Jan. 28. Dow hit six three-pointers in the second half to lead I-L to the comeback win. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
February 03, 2014BELMONT – For nearly 23 minutes, Inter-Lakes High School guard Dillon Dow had just four points on the road at Belmont High School. It was not a coincidence that the Lakers were trailing by double figures.
But in a flash, Dow came alive. He sank back-to-back three-pointers just 38 seconds apart, and he added two more threes right away to start the fourth quarter. When all was said and done, the I-L sharpshooter drained six threes in the second half alone to lead the visiting Lakers to a big road victory, 68-61, in Division III action over the Raiders on Jan. 28.
"He kept looking over when we were struggling and I just told him to keep playing... you're our guy," said I-L head coach Mike Rathgeber. "You aren't getting a red light from me. It's easy to say after the fact but I truly knew he would get going. You can't keep a great player like him down for 32 minutes. He got on track and carried us."
Dow finished with 22 points, 20 of those coming in the second half. His back-to-back threes to open up the fourth quarter put the Lakers on top 58-54, and while Belmont would tie the game at 58-58 thanks to four straight points from freshman Trevor Hunt, another Dow three with 4:18 left in the fourth gave I-L a 61-58 lead it would never relinquish.
"All the shooter has to do is see one go in," said Belmont head coach Derek Hamilton. "I thought in the first half we did a good job on (Dow) but in the second half, we didn't communicate on screens and he got a couple open looks that he buried. The last thing you want to see is him get hot because it'll stretch the defense and open everything else up for them."
The Raiders got two free throws from Hunt with 2:53 left to close within 61-60, but with freshman Doug Price (21 points) on the bench after being on the receiving end of a tough collision on an illegal screen, Belmont struggled to get into its half court set. Erik Boquist sank a layup with 2:01 left for the Lakers, and Dow drilled a dagger three-pointer with 1:08 left for a 66-60 advantage.
Tyler Rolfe's free throw with 7.8 seconds left pulled the Raiders within five points, but Devante Carter's breakaway layup at the buzzer led Inter-Lakes to the 68-61 win.
"We talked about taking (Belmont) out of their comfort zone and that's playing games in the 30s," said Rathgeber. "We like to press and run so the tempo of up and down was to our liking."
Inter-Lakes' pressure caused havoc on several occasions, especially early on when Boquist scored eight of his 14 points in the first half largely thanks to six steals he totaled at the top of the team's diamond press.
"We committed 31 turnovers so that says quite a bit," Hamilton explained. "We created some turnovers with our defense but for as many turnovers as we created, we gave up just as many open looks it seemed."
Price scored 15 points in the first half for the Raiders, including a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter to get the hosts off and running. The teams were up and down in the opening stanza, and the game was tied at 18-18 after one.
Devante Carter got the Lakers rolling in the second quarter, as he scored six straight points to put I-L up 28-26. Two late threes from Belmont freshman Corey Derosier tied things at 34-34, but Kier Vicente scored the final four points of the half for the Lakers, and despite a Hunt puback with 30 seconds left, I-L led 38-36 at intermission.
The Raiders came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter, with Price draining a three to open it up. Belmont would open the second half on a 14-2 run, with Price adding an old-fashioned three-point play in the run to give the hosts a 50-40 lead with 3:40 left in the third.
"For three quarters, Doug played as well as he has all season," said Hamilton. "We adjusted well at halftime, created some 3 on 2 situations for ourselves and we made good decisions with the ball."
Hunt was also a standout for the Raiders, as he scored 13 straight Belmont points at one point in the second half, finishing with 22 on the night to go along with seven rebounds. Andrew Derosia pulled down six rebounds, while Derosier finished with 10 points.
Boquist and Devante Carter scored 14 points each behind Dow's 22, while Vicente tossed in eight points for the Lakers.
"We had our third quarter meltdown again tonight," explained Rathgeber. "Part of that's on me. We changed our defense up to a full court man. When we went back to our diamond one press to our zone man defense, we were able to create some turnovers."