2013-14 Lakeland Community College Men's Basketball Team
Front Row (L-R): Phillip Black, Gary Little, Stephen McNair, Malik Billingsley, Marcus Fleming, Ahmid Williams, Christopher Carter, Muhammed Alli
Back Row (L-R): Michael Davidson, Frank Barber III, Michael Solivan, Derrick Hall Jr., Maurion Johnson, Mario Formichelli III, Rasheed Howard, Kenneth Evans
Lakeland Community College Men's Basketball - RECENT LAKERS WHO MOVED ON TO FOUR-YEAR INSTITUTIONS!
Class of 2013:
Rogers State University (NAIA Division I)
Lourdes University (NAIA Division II)
Mount Vernon Nazarene University (NAIA Division II)
Mount Vernon, Ohio
Robert Morris University (NCAA Division I)
Grand Valley State University (NCAA Division II)
Berea College (NAIA Division II)
Class of 2012:
Fairmont State University (NCAA Division II)
Fairmont, West Virginia
Class of 2011:
Alderson Broaddus University (NCAA Division II)
Philippi, West Virginia
Central State University (NCAA Division II)
Troy University (NCAA Division I)
Eastern Michigan University (NCAA Division I)
Northwest Missouri State University (NCAA Division II)
March 7, 2014 | Fleming, Howard Garner All-Conference Honors
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) and freshman forward Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) were each selected all-conference by opposing coaches in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC). Fleming garnered first team honors while Howard earned a second team selection.
Fleming averaged 15.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.0 steals per game during conference play, leading the Lakers in three of the four categories. He reached double figures in scoring in all but two OCCAC games and finished first in the conference in total steals with 36 in 12 games.
Howard averaged 15.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game during conference play and reached double figures in scoring in all but two OCCAC games. In his first collegiate season, the freshman was fifth in the conference in made free throws and sixth in blocks with 14.
The duo played and started in all 12 OCCAC games, helping the Lakers go 6-6 in the conference en route to a fourth place finish.
Click here for the complete list of the 2013-14 All-OCCAC selections.
March 4, 2014 | Fleming’s Career High 29 Points Propel Lakeland Into District Semifinals
KIRTLAND, Ohio - Sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.), playing in his final home game, poured in 29 points on 12 of 19 shooting to power No. 4 seed Lakeland past No. 5 seed Columbus State in the District XI quarterfinals on Tuesday night. The Lakers (15-13) advance to Friday’s semifinals, to be played at Ohio Christian University in Columbus, where they will meet top-seeded and No. 1 overall Cincinnati State at 6 p.m.
Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) posted a double-double for Lakeland with 14 points and a team-high 12 rebounds while Michael Solivan (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) and Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) pitched in 11 points apiece.
LCC has appeared in three straight district finals and will need to dispatch the nation’s top ranked team on Friday to stretch that run to four.
Box Score | News-Herald Article | Lake County Sentinel Article
February 18, 2014 | Howard, Carter Earn OCCAC Player of the Week Honors
By Nicholas Huenefeld/OCCAC Sports Information
Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) and Kamilah Carter have been named the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Players of the Week.
Howard, a freshman forward for Lakeland Community College, poured in 30 points to help his team nearly upset No. 8 Owens Community College on the road.
Howard finished 11-for-19 from the field for 30 points, nine rebounds, one assist and one block in a 91-86 loss to Owens on Wednesday. He also finished 7-for-9 from the foul line in his team's only game of the week.
Howard is his team's second leading scorer in all games played at 13.8 points per game. In OCCAC play, he is also his team's second leading scorer with 14.2 per game. He adds 4.9 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game in OCCAC play.
Howard and the Lakers are 12-11 overall and 4-4 in OCCAC play. They travel to Cuyahoga Community College for a 7 p.m. matchup on Wednesday.
January 29, 2014 | Huge Second Half Pushes Lakers Past Tri-C
KIRTLAND, Ohio – The Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team erupted for 48 second half points and erased a five-point halftime to deficit to defeat local rival Cuyahoga Community College, 77-66, on Wednesday evening. The Lakers (11-9, 3-2 OCCAC) were led by 18 points from sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) and 17 points from freshman forward Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.).
Tri-C took a 34-29 lead into the break after shoot 31% from beyond the arc in the opening half. Lakeland responded with stellar second half defense, forcing 17 turnovers over the final 20 minutes of play, turning the miscues into 26 points.
Freshman guard Ahmid Williams (Monroe, N.J.) added 16 points while Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) chipped in ten. Sophomore Michael Solivan (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) hauled in a career-high 11 rebounds in the victory.
Lakeland returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Edison Community College for another conference matchup.
January 22, 2014 | Lakers Start Fast, Falter Late Against No. 16 Owens
KIRTLAND, Ohio – The Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team raced out to a 41-26 lead through the opening half against nationally-ranked Owens but surrendered the lead late in the game and ultimately fell 76-72 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) action on Wednesday night. The Lakers (10-8, 2-1 OCCAC) return to action on Saturday when they visit No. 8 Sinclair at 4 p.m. It will mark the sixth game of the season in which Lakeland has faced a nationally-ranked opponent.
Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) posted a double-double in the first half with ten points and ten rebounds, helping LCC balloon the advantage to as many as 19 before taking a 15-point lead into the break. Evans was held scoreless in the second half and finished with 13 rebounds.
After shooting 51% from the floor in the first half Lakeland went cold over the final 20 minutes of play, knocking down just 25% of its tries from the floor and going 1-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Andy Bachmann’s lone 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining in the game gave Owens its first lead (71-70) since leading 4-3 less than three minutes into the first half. After trading baskets, Ahmid Williams (Monroe, N.J.) had a good look from beyond the arc rim out with less than 30 seconds to play and Lakeland trailing by one. Shaakir Lindsey converted a pair of free throws to stretch the lead to three with 18 seconds to go.
Malik Billingsley’s (Twinsburg, Ohio / Twinsburg) game-tying 3-pointer found iron and the Lakers were unable to corral the rebound, giving the Express the opportunity to ice the game at the free throw line with eight seconds to go. Bachmann made the first of two to give Owens its largest and final lead of the night.
The Express shot 44% from the floor during the second half and converted 18 of 28 tries from the free throw line. They enter the weekend as the OCCAC’s lone unbeaten team at 3-0 in league play.
Williams led the Lakers with 16 points while Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) added 12 to go along with three blocks.
January 16, 2014 | Lakeland Men Defeat Lorain County, Bowe Earns 200th Career Victory
ELYRIA, Ohio – Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) recorded a triple-double to power the Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team past Lorain County Community College, 115-65, on Friday evening to give 11th year head coach Terry Bowe his 200th career victory. Bowe becomes just the second coach in the 44-year history of the program to reach the 200-win plateau.
Fleming scored ten points, hauled in ten rebounds, and dished out ten assists in the victory. Sophomore guard Gary Little (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) led seven players in double figures with a team-high 17 points. Freshman forward Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) paced the Lakers on the glass with a career-high 15 rebounds.
Ahmid Williams (Monroe, N.J.) added 15 points and six steals in the win, helping Bowe reach a milestone only one other coach in program history can lay claim to.
In 10 full seasons at the helm, Bowe has guided Lakeland to seven winning seasons, two district titles, and a conference championship while eclipsing 20 wins four times.
Since taking over in 2003, Bowe and the Lakers have achieved unprecedented success. The Lakers won the program’s first District title in 2011 and repeated as champions the following season. That year, Lakeland advanced to the NJCAA Division II national semifinals where they came within two wins of the program’s first National Championship. LCC finished the year 27-9, tied for the second most wins in school history.
In 2013, the Lakers went 11-1 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play en route to the program’s third conference championship and first under during Bowe’s tenure. They would advance to their third straight District Championship game but come up just short of a three-peat.
Bowe has been named OCCAC Coach of the Year three times (2007, 2010, 2013) and is a two-time District Coach of the Year (2011, 2012). Additionally, Lakeland is the only Division II program in the country to have a student-athlete selected First Team All-American in each of the past three seasons.
Currently at 10-7 overall and tied atop the OCCAC standings with a 2-0 league record, Bowe and the Lakers will host conference rival Owens Community College on Wednesday (Jan. 22) at 7:30 p.m.
January 15, 2014 | Balanced Effort Propels Lakers Past Columbus State
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Four players scored in double figures for the Lakeland men’s basketball team, led by 16 points apiece from Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) and Gary Little (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood), in a 90-76 victory over host Columbus State on Wedneday night. Lakeland improves to 9-7 overall and 2-0 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) with the win.
Little and classmate Michael Davidson (Newark, N.J.), who poured in 15 points on seven of eight shooting, provided a crucial spark off the bench and helped the Lakers race out to a 48-36 lead through the opening half. Little connected on five of six from beyond the arc to finish with a career-high 16 points to go along with three rebounds and a pair of assists. Davidson was equally as effective, missing just one shot from the floor while recording four steals and three assists in 25 minutes.
Fleming’s five rebounds and five assists helped Lakeland win in Columbus for the second straight season after failing to leave the state capital with a victory in the six previous meetings.
Freshman forward Louis Cheers (Lorain, Ohio / Lorain) scored a career-high 12 points and hauled in a career-high eight rebounds to pace the Lakers on the glass.
January 12, 2014 | Community College Transfer Thrives in Laker Blue by Jay Bushen
NOTE: The following excerpt comes from an article which appeared in the Grand Valley Lanthorn on Sunday, January 12, 2014. Click on the link at the bottom for the complete article.
GRAND VALLEY, Mich. - It takes the right combination of athleticism, attitude and aptitude to be an authoritative rebounder in the game of basketball.
Grand Valley State University junior forward Chaz Rollins is proving he has all of the above and, since becoming the team’s leading rebounder from the bench, has thrived in the starting lineup as a 6-6 de-facto center.
Rollins, a transfer from Lakeland Community College (Ohio), seems to attack the glass with a chip on his shoulder.
“I was a real good player in high school. I led the state of Ohio in rebounding my senior year,” he said. “I was underrated. I wasn’t getting the offers and the looks from D-1’s and D-2’s like I deserved, so I went to CC and played hard, worked my butt off and stayed positive.”
His persistence was on full display for his family and friends to see when GVSU traveled to take on Walsh University on Thursday night.
January 11, 2014 | Lakers Open Title Defense with Upset Over No. 7 Sinclair
KIRTLAND, Ohio – The defending Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) champion Lakeland men’s basketball team dispatched nationally-ranked Sinclair, 86-82, in overtime to open the league schedule with a victory and improve to 8-7 overall on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.), who played a pivotal role in last year’s title-winning season, poured in a team-high 20 points to guide the Lakers to the win.
Freshman forward Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) scored 15 and hauled in eight rebounds for the Lakers, winners of seven straight over Sinclair dating back to 2011. Ahmid Williams (Monroe, N.J.) and Michael Davidson (Newark, N.J.) chipped in 13 and 10, respectively, for Lakeland.
Lakeland’s upset bid was all but wrapped up in regulation until Sinclair’s Deiontay Walters hit a baseline jumper fading away as time expired to tie the game at 72 and send it into overtime. Fleming scored six of Lakeland’s 14 points in the extra frame and Michael Solivan (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) knocked down a pair of late free throws to put the game away.
January 7, 2014 | Lakeland Men Drop 2014 Opener at Erie
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team struggled from the floor and free throw line on Monday night, falling 79-64 on the road to Erie Community College in the first game of 2014 for both teams. Lakeland shot 35% from the field and connected on just 17 of 42 attempts from the charity stripe to finish with their lowest point total of the year.
The Lakers fall to 7-6 on the season and will take on nationally-ranked Niagara County Community College on Tuesday before opening the conference slate with Sinclair Community College at home on Saturday afternoon.
Freshman guard Ahmid Williams led the way offensively with 12 points. Sophomore forward Michael Solivan (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) chipped in 11 for the Lakers.
December 19, 2013 | Lakeland Men Halt Skid, Run Past St. Clair County in Fall Finale
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) poured in a team-high 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting to propel the Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team to a 96-86 victory over visiting St. Clair County Community College in the final game of the fall semester on Thursday night. The win snaps a four-game slide for the Lakers, who fell on an overtime buzzer-beater at Jamestown Community College just two days earlier.
Howard paced four Lakeland starters in double figures. The freshman forward also contributed three steals and a pair of blocks.
Freshman forward Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) posted his third double-double of the season with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the victory. Sophomore Michael Solivan (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) added a career-high 19 points including a pair from beyond the arc while classmate Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds for LCC.
The Lakers closed the first half on a 21-6 run, turning a three point deficit into a 12-point lead (55-43) entering the break. Lakeland stretched its advantage to 18 (76-58) midway through the second half on a Louis Cheers (Lorain, Ohio / Lorain) layup for its largest lead of the game.
The Skippers responded with a run to pull within ten with seven minutes to go, but the Lakers countered with a 7-2 run of their own to supply some breathing room. Lakeland enters the holiday break with a 7-5 overall record and will travel to New York to take on Erie (Jan. 6) and Niagara County (Jan. 7) before hosting nationally-ranked Sinclair in the conference opener on Saturday, January 11 at 1 p.m.
Last year, the Lakers took a 7-4 record into the break before rattling off 13 straight victories to open the spring semester. Lakeland finished 11-1 in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) en route to the regular season championship.
December 7, 2013 | No. 7 Lakeland Comes Up Short Against No. 19 Mercyhurst North East
KIRTLAND, Ohio –No. 19 Mercyhurst North East held off a second half rally from No. 7 Lakeland to pick up an 85-82 victory in a matchup of nationally-ranked teams Saturday afternoon inside the Athletic & Fitness Center. The Lakers erased a 10-point second half deficit thanks to a perfect shooting performance from sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.), who was 5-for-5 from the floor and connected on all four attempts from the free throw line en route to 14 second half points. He finished with 25 points, which matches his career high set earlier in the season against Erie, along with six rebounds and four assists in the loss.
Lakeland suffered its third defeat of the week and second of the season to Mercyhurst North East, dropping to 6-4 overall days after being ranked seventh in the latest NJCAA Division II poll.
Freshman Maurion Johnson (East Cleveland, Ohio / Shaw) added 11 points and eight rebounds while classmate Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) chipped in 11 points off the bench.
Soutiri Sapnas led the visitors with 25 points, which included 11 from the free throw line. Four of five starters scored in double figures for the Saints (10-1) .
The Lakers have lost three straight for the first time since January of 2011. That year they would close out the season by winning eight of their final ten games to claim the program’s first District Championship.
Lakeland is off next week due to final exams but will return on Tuesday, December 17 when it travels to western New York to face Jamestown Community College at 7:30 p.m.
December 6, 2013 | Late Run Costs No. 7 Lakeland Men
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Visiting Genesee Community College rattled off an 8-2 run over the final three minutes to defeat the nationally-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team, 79-74, on Friday night inside the Athletic & Fitness Center. With the loss, the Lakers drop to 6-3 on the season.
Sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) paced Lakeland with team highs of 19 points and eight assists while freshmen Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) and Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) combined for 23 points in the loss.
Howard’s layup with just over three minutes to go in regulation gave the Lakers a 72-71 lead after trailing for much of the second half. Genesee responded by scoring eight of the next ten points and converting all four of their free throw attempts down the stretch to secure the victory. It was an eerily similar spurt to the one Lakeland put together the last time these two teams met.
Trailing for much of the game, the Lakers went on a pivotal 8-3 run over the final two minutes to steal a road victory over the Cougars and remain unbeaten. Genesee flipped the script on Friday night, where it capitalized on a sizeable (41-26) advantage on the glass to hand the Lakers their second loss in as many games.
Lakeland’s offense never really got going and finished with a season-low 74 points. LCC entered the game as one of the nation’s top scoring teams, averaging nearly 100 points per game through the first eight games of the season.
The Lakers are back in action tomorrow (Dec. 7) when they host their second nationally-ranked team of the week. No. 19 Mercyhurst North East, which defeated Lakeland at the buzzer less than three weeks ago, visits the AFC for a 3 p.m. tip-off.
December 3, 2013 | No. 7 Lakeland Men Fall in OT to No. 10 Niagara County
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Michael Solivan (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) forced overtime with a last second tip-in at the end of regulation, but visiting Niagara County outscored Lakeland 10-5 in the extra period to pick up a slim 92-87 victory in a matchup of top-10 teams inside the Athletic & Fitness Center Wednesday night. The Thunderwolves are one of just two unbeaten teams remaining in the national poll, which was released prior to the start of the game and saw both make big jumps in the rankings. Niagara County went from unranked to No. 10 while Lakeland climbed from preseason No. 17 to No. 7 before Wednesday’s setback.
All five starters scored in double figures for Lakeland (6-2) while six players reached the mark for Niagara County (9-0). Freshman forward Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) posted a double-double for Lakeland with 11 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in the loss.
Classmate Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) added a team-high 18 points on seven of 18 shooting while sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) registered 12 points, six assists, and five rebounds before fouling out near the end of regulation.
Lakeland led 37-35 entering the break but Niagara County responded with a 3-pointer out of the gate from EJ Sandoval to take its only lead of the second half. Howard went on a solo 6-0 run to help the Lakers regain control and the lead, one they would hold until the final minute of regulation.
Niagara County’s Chuka Ikpeze connected from beyond the arc with 50 seconds remaining to tie the game at 80, part of a 9-for-18 showing for the visitors from distance. After a Lakeland turnover, the Thunderwolves converted two free throws for a slim 82-80 advantage. On the ensuing possession, Malik Billingsley (Twinsburg, Ohio / Twinsburg) found himself open on the wing and let fly the potential game-winning 3-pointer. The shot found back iron but Solivan was there for the tip-in to even the score at 82 and send the game to overtime.
The Thunderwolves took advantage of their opportunities from the charity stripe in the extra frame to secure the victory. The Lakers will look to bounce back on Friday when they host Genesee at 7 p.m.
Wednesday was the first top-10 matchup inside the AFC since January 18, 2012 when No. 9 Columbus State narrowly clipped No. 7 Lakeland 76-75.
November 25, 2013 | Howard Earns Player of the Week Honors From OCCAC
By Nicholas Huenefeld/OCCAC Sports Information
Rasheed Howard has been named the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Players of the Week.
Howard, a freshman forward for Lakeland Community College (6-1), averaged 22 points per game last week.
In a 100-98 loss to Mercyhurst North East Community College, Howard produced 32 points, four rebounds and two steals. Then, in a 121-65 win over Westmoreland County Community College, Howard chipped in 12 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Howard is averaging 14.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game this year for the Lakers.
Click here for the full release.
November 23, 2013 | Billingsley Helps Lakers Bounce Back, Cruise Past Westmoreland County
YOUNGWOOD, Pa. – Freshman guard Malik Billingsley (Twinsburg, Ohio / Twinsburg) erupted for a career-high 21 points including five 3-pointers to help the nationally-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team bounce back from a tough loss on Tuesday with a 119-65 victory over host Westmoreland County on Saturday afternoon. Lakeland (6-1 overall) lost at the buzzer on Tuesday night at Mercyhurst North East but responded well on Saturday as 14 players recorded points including seven in double figures in the win.
Billingsley finished six-for-nine from the field including five of seven from beyond the arc. Collectively, the Lakers connected on 12 of 25 attempts from deep. Sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) posted a double-double with ten points and ten assists while freshman forward Maurion Johnson (East Cleveland, Ohio / Shaw) chipped in 15 points and a team-high nine rebounds in the win.
Ahmid Williams (Monroe, N.J.) and Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) also scored in double figures for Lakeland, contributing 12 points apiece.
The Lakers begin a three-game home stand on Tuesday when they host Genesee Community College at 7:30 p.m. Lakeland is undefeated at home (4-0) on the year.
November 20, 2013 | Mercyhurst North East Beats Buzzer, No. 17 Lakeland Men
NORTH EAST, Pa. – Quamir White tipped-in a missed jumper with less than a second remaining in regulation to break a 98-98 tie and send the nationally-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team home with their first loss of the season on Tuesday night. In a game peppered with fouls and free throws, White’s tip-in proved to be the difference. Lakeland entered the game as the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference’s (OCCAC) lone unbeaten team but drops to 5-1 overall after the loss.
The high scoring affair came as no surprise, as two of the nation’s top scoring offenses went head-to-head. Mercyhurst North East (6-1) was ranked third in the nation, averaging just over 110 points per game while Lakeland was sixth at 103 points per game. The two sides combined to shoot 75 free throws, with the Saints holding a sizeable 49-26 advantage from the charity stripe. Nearly half of Mercyhurst North East’s points (41) came from the free throw line, where it shot 83% on the night.
Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) exploded for a career-high 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting for the Lakers. The freshman forward added four rebounds and a pair of steals in the setback. Classmate Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) was seven for nine from the field en route to 17 points off the bench while pulling down a team-high six rebounds. Sophomores Michael Solivan (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) and Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) added 15 and 12 points, respectively.
Freshman forward Maurion Johnson (East Cleveland, Ohio / Shaw) sank a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining to pull the Lakers even, forcing the hosts to go the length of the court for the game-winning basket. White was in the right place at the right time, collecting Marquel Hilliard’s miss and beating the buzzer with a well-timed put back.
The loss snaps the Lakers’ four-game win streak over the Saints dating back to 2006. Lakeland visits Youngwood, Pennsylvania on Saturday at 2 p.m. before returning home to host Genesee on Tuesday (Nov. 26) at 7:30 p.m.
November 19, 2013 | Fleming Earns OCCAC Player of the Week Honors
By Nicholas Huenfeld/OCCAC Sports Information
The OCCAC has named Marcus Fleming of Lakeland Community College and Emily Fite of Cincinnati State Technical and Community College as the OCCAC Player of the Week in men's and women's basketball.
Fleming led Lakeland to a 3-0 record this week while averaging 17 points, six rebounds, four assists and almost four steals per game. He had 12 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals against Genesee Community College on Nov. 12, 14 points, eight rebounds, two assists and four steals against Butler County Community College on Nov. 15 and 25 points, five rebounds, four assists and five steals against Erie Community College on Nov. 16.
"Marcus showed tremendous growth and leadership in leading us to the championship of our tournament," said Lakeland head coach Terry Bowe. "He was relied upon heavily in the second half, scoring 13 points and sending the game into overtime with a jump shot with two seconds left in regulation. He was also named Tournament MVP."
The Lakers are currently 5-0, the last remaining unbeaten team in the OCCAC entering Tuesday's game at Mercyhurst North East.
Click here for the full release.
November 16, 2013 | Fleming’s Career Day Propels No. 17 Lakeland to TJ Memorial Title
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Tournament MVP Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) poured in a career-high 25 points, none bigger than his jumper with two seconds left to force overtime, as the nationally-ranked Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team rallied past visiting Erie Community College to capture the 6th Annual TJ Memorial Classic championship on Saturday night. Fleming spoiled the Kats’ upset bid in the closing seconds with a floater from the top of the key to knot the game at 72 after the Lakers spent much of the second half playing from behind.
Lakeland outscored Erie 12-8 in overtime, with ten of those points coming from the free throw line. The Lakers improve to 5-0 with the win and will visit Mercyhurst North East on Tuesday night as they look to remain unbeaten.
Ahmid Williams (Monroe, N.J.) and Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) were each named to the all-tournament team after combining to score 28 in the title game. Williams finished with 17 and connected on a trio of 3-pointers including one with less than two minutes to play to pull Lakeland within one (68-67). After a Brian Heckstall layup pushed Erie’s lead to three, Maurion Johnson (East Cleveland, Ohio / Shaw) was fouled in the act of shooting and connected on his first attempt. He missed the second, but Evans fought to corral the crucial rebound with 15 seconds to go to set up Fleming’s heroics.
Johnson chipped in 13 points and four blocks while freshman Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) added ten points and six boards in the win.
Erie CC defeats Malone University JV 113-65
Lakeland CC defeats Butler County CC 112-61 | Box Score
Malone University JV defeats Butler County CC 97-54
Lakeland CC defeats Erie CC 84-80 (OT) | Box Score
Marcus Fleming, Lakeland Community College
Kyle Benjamin, Erie Community College
Seth Cook, Malone University
Kenneth Evans, Lakeland Community College
Stefano Osuji, Erie Community College
Cody West, Butler County Community College
Ahmid Williams, Lakeland Community College
November 15, 2013 | No. 17 Lakeland Runs Past Butler County, Into Title Game at TJ Memorial Classic
KIRTLAND, Ohio – The nationally-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team raced past visiting Butler County, 112-61, and into the championship game of the 6th Annual TJ Memorial Classic behind five players in double figures. The Lakers outscored the Pioneers 70-26 in the opening half and were never tested in the second frame, setting up a showdown with Erie Community College on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. for the title.
Ahmid Williams led the way offensively with 18 points in just 14 minutes of action. The freshman point guard also handed out five assists in the victory.
Sophomore guard Marcus Fleming scored 14 points and pulled in a season-high eight rebounds while classmate Michael Solivan added 13 points and eight boards.
Maurion Johnson recorded another solid, all-around game with eight points, 11 rebounds, three steals, and three blocks in 14 minutes. Freshman Kenneth Evans and Michael Davidson chipped in 14 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench.
Cody West led the Pioneers with 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
On Saturday afternoon, Lakeland (4-0) will look to hoist the tournament trophy after a one year hiatus. The Lakers won the title in 2011 but fell in the title game a year ago.
November 12, 2013 | No. 17 Lakers Rally Late at Genesee
BATAVIA, N.Y. – The nationally-ranked Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team used a late rally to defeat host Genesee Community College, 90-84, and remain unbeaten on the young season. The Lakers (3-0) will host Butler County Community College on Friday night at 8 p.m. in the opening round of the TJ Memorial Classic on campus.
The Lakers held a four point lead (49-45) at the break but found themselves trailing with less than five minutes to go in regulation. LCC went on a pivotal 8-3 down the stretch and capitalized at the free throw line to escape with the victory.
Freshman forward Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) led the Lakers with 19 points and six rebounds while classmate Ahmid Williams (Monroe, N.J.) was nearly perfect from the floor en route to 17 points. Williams connected on 6-of-7 attempts from the field and was 5-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Freshman forward Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) and sophomore guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) chipped in 17 and 12 points, respectively.
Maurion Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio / Shaw) flirted with a triple-double and finished with nine points and a team-high nine rebounds in the win.
November 6, 2013 | Balance Guides No. 17 Lakeland Men Past Lorain
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Six players scored in double figures, led by a career-high 25 from freshman forward Maurion Johnson (Cleveland, Ohio / Shaw), as the nationally-ranked Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team cruised past visiting Lorain County, 119-67, on Wednesday night.
Johnson led the way on the offensive end, scoring 25 points on 12-of-17 shooting while pulling in eight rebounds. Freshmen Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) and Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) added 14 and 12 points, respectively. Evans also paced the Lakers (2-0) on the glass, hauling in nine boards in the victory.
Sophomore point guard Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) was perfect from the floor en route to ten points while handing out a season-high seven assists. Freshman guard Ahmid Williams (Monroe, N.J.) added 11 points and connected on a pair from beyond the arc.
In all, 13 players entered their name in the scoring column on Wednesday night. The 119 points are the most for Lakeland since putting up 132 on Butler County Community College on December 1, 2012. Since 2006, the Lakers are 21-1 when hitting the century mark.
The LCC defense picked up where it left off on Sunday, forcing Lorain County into 36 turnovers on the night. Lakeland also finished with a sizeable advantage in points in the paint (83-26) and bench points (57-35).
The Lakers will hit the road on Tuesday (Nov. 12) when they take on Genesee Community College in Batavia, N.Y. at 7:30 p.m. They return home next weekend for the 6th Annual TJ Memorial Classic on Friday (Nov. 15) and Saturday (Nov. 16).
November 3, 2013 | No. 17 Lakeland Men Rout Lourdes JV in Season Opener
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Four players reached double figures in scoring, led by 15 points from sophomore guard Gary Little (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood), as the nationally-ranked Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team raced past Lourdes University JV, 99-51, in the season opener for both teams. The Lakers improve to 11-0 in home openers under head coach Terry Bowe.
Despite a revamped and freshman-laden roster, the Lakers enter the year with a top-20 national ranking for the second straight season. Expectations remain high for a program which has posted two district championships and a conference title over the past three years.
LCC was rarely tested in this one, jumping out to a 15-point lead through the first opening ten minutes of the half before taking a 56-24 lead into the break.
Lourdes never cut the deficit below 30 points over the final 20 minutes, due in large part to a slew of turnovers. The Gray Wolves turned the ball over 25 times leading to 36 Lakeland points.
Rasheed Howard (Elizabeth, N.J.) posted 13 points off the bench while Michael Solivan (Painesville, Ohio / Harvey) and Kenneth Evans (Cleveland, Ohio / Collinwood) added 11 and 10, respectively.
Guards Marcus Fleming (Linden, N.J.) and Ahmid Williams (Newark, N.J.) each handed out four assists in the victory.
Lakeland will return to action on Wednesday evening when it plays host to Lorain County at 7:30 p.m.
October 29, 2013 | Lakers Enter Year as Preseason No. 17
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – For the second consecutive season, the Lakeland Community College men’s basketball team will enter its season opener nationally-ranked. The Lakers, coming off a 24-6 season in which they captured the program’s third Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championship, are ranked No. 17 heading into Sunday’s home opener against Lourdes University.
No. 9 Owens and No. 20 Cincinnati State also made the preseason top-20, giving the OCCAC three nationally-ranked teams.
The new-look Lakers return three players from last year’s title-winning team and must account for the loss of a number of key contributors due to graduation. A strong recruiting class will look to carry the torch as Lakeland pursues its third District Championship in the last four seasons.
About the Poll: The NJCAA will release 14 rankings for Division II Men’s Basketball throughout the season. The poll release dates are: Nov. 13, 20, 27, Dec. 4, 11, Jan. 8, 15, 23*, 29, Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26 and March 5.
Click here for a link to the complete preseason rankings.
July 17, 2013 | Boddie Set to Join Lourdes University
SYLVANIA, Ohio – Sophomore guard Isiah Boddie has inked a national letter of intent to join Lourdes University beginning in the fall. In his two years with at Lakeland, Boddie helped the Lakers go 51-15, win the program’s second district title in 2012, and claim an Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championship in 2013.
The Dayton, Ohio native played in 28 games in his final season in Kirtland and earned a trio of starts. He posted a double-double against Butler County Community College on December 1 with 10 points and career-high 12 rebounds. The 6-2 guard will provide depth in the backcourt for a Gray Wolves squad which went 22-10 last season and posted a 16-6 mark in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC).
"Isiah will provide much needed size and depth to our guard position," said head men’s basketball coach Andre Smith. "His experience playing in a rich tradition at Lakeland Community College will allow him to contribute immediately. Isiah can create for others and get into the paint as well. His physical play will allow us to continue with our defense principals. Having played for Coach (Terry) Bowe at Lakeland, I know Isiah has the toughness and discipline to fit in here at Lourdes," Smith concluded.
Boddie and the Gray Wolves will open the 2013-14 campaign in Grand Rapids, Michigan when they take on Kuyper College on October 29. To follow Lourdes University men’s basketball all season long visit LourdesAthletics.com
July 2, 2013 | Banton Signs with Rogers State University
CLAREMORE, Okla. – Sophomore guard Deran Banton inked a national letter of intent to play at Rogers State University in the fall, adding to a growing list of Lakers who will continue their playing career at the next level. Rogers State is an NAIA Division I institution and member of the Sooner Athletic Conference located just outside Tulsa.
The Hillcats went 21-11 last year and have eclipsed the 20-win plateau in six straight seasons. RSU has had at least one player named NAIA All-American in each of the last five years.
A two-time all-Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) selection, Banton was also recognized as Lakeland’s male athlete of the year as a sophomore. The Jamaica Queens, New York native led the Lakers to their first conference title in 18 years and their third straight appearance in the District Championship game.
As a freshman, Banton helped Lakeland defend its 2011 District Title and advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament. LCC advanced to the national semifinals and finished fourth in the country, undoubtedly the best result in program history.
In his two years in Kirtland, Banton and the class of 2013 went 51-15 overall. They exit Lakeland with the third most wins in program history behind the class of 1987 (55) and the class of 1986 (52).
Off the court, Banton was a dean’s list student in the fall of 2011 and spring of 2013 and was a three-time S.T.A.R. student-athlete. As a sophomore, he was one of just six men’s basketball players in the OCCAC to be named to the All-Academic Team for achieving a 3.3 GPA or higher during the 2012-13 season.
To follow Banton and the Hillcats all year long visit RSUHillcats.com
June 3, 2013 | Barber III Marks Sixth Member of 2013 Recruiting Class
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Head men’s basketball coach Terry Bowe announced the sixth signing of his 2013 recruiting class when Richmond Heights’ Frank Barber III inked a national letter of intent to join the Lakers in the fall. Barber, a 6-5 wing, helped Richmond Heights to three straight Chagrin Valley Conference (CVC) metro division championships (2011-13) and a pair of District IV titles (2011, 2012) during his time with the Spartans while earning a plethora of athletic and academic achievements.
Barber was selected Division IV Honorable Mention All-Ohio recognition by the Associated Press as a sophomore, junior, and senior after guiding Richmond Heights to league titles all three years. He was named second team all-Division IV by the News-Herald and garnered all-conference honors in his final two seasons with the Spartans.
Off the court, Barber was named to the Merit Roll while posting perfect attendance through all four years of high school. He earned the English “straight A” award in 2012. He actively volunteered in both of Richmond Heights’ levy campaigns in 2009 and 2012 and helped with the school’s clean-up crew.
As a senior, Barber averaged 14.2 points, three rebounds, and three assists for the Spartans. The son of Ayesha and Frank Barber, he is undecided on his major.
May 10, 2013 | Men’s Basketball Inks Five Recruits for 2013-14 Season
KIRTLAND, Ohio – On Thursday afternoon head men’s basketball coach Terry Bowe announced the signing of five area student-athletes who will join the program in the fall of 2013. Phillip Black, Louis Cheers, Mario Formichelli, Montell Goodwin, and Harry Sykes each inked their national letter of intent inside the Athletic & Fitness Center, marking the first signings of Bowe’s 2013 recruiting class.
Phillip Black played three years of varsity basketball at Maple Heights High School. The 6’1” guard helped the Mustangs win a conference championship and go 47-18 during his tenure. As a senior, Black averaged 21.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He set the school for 3-pointers in a game (9), 3-pointers in a season (72), and points in a season (572). He was named first team all-conference and Lake Erie League MVP while also earning special mention Ohio all-district accolades. The son of Altrica and Randall Black, Phillip plans to major in marketing at Lakeland.
Louis Cheers attended Lorain High School in Lorain, Ohio where he set a school record for points in a game. He earned team MVP and most improved honors while being named to the honor roll as a junior and senior. The 6’5” forward was selected third team all-district, first team all-county, and first team all-conference. Additionally, Cheers was a two-time Chronicle-Telegram player of the week. The son of Linda Cheers, Louis plans to major in criminal justice at Lakeland.
Mario Formichelli attended West Geauga High School where he was selected most improved player as a junior. The 6’8” forward was named to the Merit Roll for three years while also playing a year of baseball for the Wolverines. The son of Anne Formichelli-Wargelin, Mario plans to major in computer science at Lakeland.
Montell Goodwin was named team MVP and first team all-Lake Erie League at Warrensville Heights High School where he helped the Tigers to a district championship as a senior. The 6’2” wing was also named Plain Dealer player of the week and was a member of the merit roll. The son of Norma McClain and Michael Goodwin Sr., Montell will major in criminal justice at Lakeland.
Harry Sykes was a Senate League all-star at Glenville High School where he helped the Tarblooders to a league championship as a senior. He was named an all-star by 3rd Coast Hoops and the Greater Cleveland Coaches Association in his final season at Glenville. The son of Vanessa and Rickey Sykes, Harry is undecided on his major at Lakeland.
May 10, 2013 | First Team All-American Charles Oliver Signs with Robert Morris University
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Sophomore guard Charles Oliver has inked a national letter of intent to join Robert Morris University for the 2013-14 season. The First Team All-American and Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Player of the Year will have two years of eligibility remaining.
Oliver was Lakeland’s leading scorer this season and helped guide the Lakers to their first conference title in 18 years. The standout guard poured in a career-high 36 points in the regular-season finale at Sinclair, a game which clinched the outright OCCAC title for Lakeland. He averaged 19.3 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game for the Lakers, who finish 24-6 overall and 11-1 in the OCCAC.
Head Coach Terry Bowe understands how much of an impact Oliver had on the team. “Charles is our third straight First Team All-American and the first to come from the guard position,” Bowe said. “His ability to score from the perimeter ranks among some of the greats who have come through this program and that I have seen throughout junior college in the last 15 years.”
He was named a S.T.A.R. student-athlete following the fall semester - his first at Lakeland – and will graduate with an Associate of Arts degree. “His work ethic in the classroom and on the court enabled him to achieve his goals,” added Bowe. “I’m looking forward to watching him continue to grow and develop over the next two years.”
Robert Morris University is an NCAA Division I institution located just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Colonials went 24-11 last season and were 14-4 in Northeast Conference (NEC) play en route to a regular season title. RMU entered the conference tournament as the top overall seed before losing to Mount St. Mary’s in the semifinals.
The Colonials earned a bid to the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) where they upset defending national champion Kentucky in one of the marquee games of the college basketball season.
RMU loses five players to graduation but returns its leading scorer in Karvel Anderson as well as third team all-NEC guard Lucky Jones. To follow Oliver and the Colonials all season long visit www.rmucolonials.com
April 8, 2013 | Oliver Selected First Team All-American by NJCAA
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sophomore guard Charles Oliver (Scotch Plains, N.J. / Scotch Plains) has been selected First Team (Division II) All-American by the NJCAA, becoming the seventh player in program history to earn national honors. Oliver joins select company as just the fifth Laker to earn first team honors in the 43-year history of Lakeland men’s basketball. Oliver also marks the third straight first team selection after Ray Chambers and Brendan Cooper earned the award in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Lakeland is the only program in the country to post three consecutive First Team All-Americans dating back to 2011.
The national honor is the most prestigious in a long list of individual awards for the sophomore transfer. Oliver was named Player of the Year in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) after leading the Lakers to their first conference title in 18 years. He was also selected First Team All-Region XII in late March.
He was named to the all-tournament team at the 5th Annual TJ Memorial Classic and also at the District 11 tournament in Cincinnati at season’s end.
Click here for a complete list of the 2012-13 NJCAA Division II All-Americans.
March 26, 2013 | Oliver Earns First Team All-Region 12 Honors
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Sophomore guard Charles Oliver (Scotch Plains, N.J.) has been named first team all-region 12 after leading Lakeland to its first conference championship since 1995 and their third straight District 10 championship appearance. With the award, Oliver will be considered for All-American honors with a chance at becoming the third consecutive Laker to earn the national award.
The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 19.3 points per game this year after transferring from Rider University, an NCAA Division I program in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. He ranked in the top-50 nationally in scoring, free throw shooting, and 3-point shooting this season en route to Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Player of the Year honors.
Oliver marks the third straight first team all-region 12 selection from Lakeland men’s basketball program and fifth straight overall. Brendan Cooper and Ray Chambers earned the award in 2012 and 2011, respectively, before being named first team All-American by the NJCAA. Nate Barnes was a second team all-region selection as a freshman in 2009 and again a year later as a sophomore.
Region 12 includes 26 junior college programs from Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana and is the largest in the NJCAA.
March 8, 2013 | Lakers Upset in District Championship to End Season
CINCINNATI, Ohio – No. 2 seed Owens used a late second half run to pull away from No. 1 seed Lakeland, 99-84, and win the Region 12, District 11 Championship on Saturday night. With no at-large bids in NJCAA Division II, the loss ends the Lakers’ season.
Charles Oliver led four players in double figures with 27 points. Chaz Rollins added 15 while Marcus Fleming and Deran Banton chipped in 13 and 10, respectively.
One day after a sluggish start in the semifinals, Lakeland raced out to a 10-0 lead and led by as many as 11 in the opening minutes of the title game. Owens quickly closed the gap before taking a 51-44 lead into the break.
Lakeland closed the gap to three (69-66) with eight minutes to go in the second half and was poised for a comeback before the Express countered with the game’s most decisive run to push their lead back to nine (85-76) with four minutes left.
The Lakers entered the District Tournament having won two straight titles for the first time in program history. They finished 24-6 overall and 11-1 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play en route to their first league title in 18 years.
March 7, 2013 | Lakers Survive Cuyahoga 66-64, Move Into District Finals
CINCINNATI, Ohio – The nationally-ranked and No. 1 seed Lakeland men survived a slow start to hold off Cuyahoga and move into the District 11 Championship game for the third straight year. The Lakers will take on No. 2 seed Owens at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday with a berth in the 2013 NJCAA Division II National Tournament at stake.
Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) player of the year Charles Oliver led all scorers with 22 points and was a perfect 14-of-14 from the free throw line. All-conference forward Richard Smith chipped in six points, nine rebounds, and a game-high nine blocks in the victory.
Lakeland, the two-time defending district champions, found itself in a very early hole when the Challengers jumped out to an 18-2 lead midway through the first half. The Lakers fought back and pulled within ten at the break (38-28) but Cuyahoga stretched the lead to 51-34 in the second half, its largest advantage of the game. Lakeland responded by outscoring Tri-C 32-13 the rest of the way, improving to 24-5 overall with the win.
Josh Reagan led Tri-C with 15 points and 11 rebounds before fouling out with five minutes to go in the game. Lakeland took advantage of the opportunity, grabbing its first lead of the game with three minutes to go on a Marcus Fleming layup.
Cuyahoga held a 44-31 advantage on the glass while Lakeland recorded 15 blocks on the night.
The Lakers will face the only OCCAC team to take a game from them this season when they take on Owens tomorrow night. Each team won on the other’s home floor and will meet for third time on the region’s biggest stage.
March 7, 2013 | OCCAC Honors Pour in for Lakeland Men
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Days after clinching its first Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) title since 1995, the national-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team picked up five individual honors including conference player and coach of the year. Sophomore guard Charles Oliver was named the OCCAC’s top player while Terry Bowe earned Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his ten year career at Lakeland.
Sophomores Richard Smith, Deran Banton, and Martell Medley each garnered second team all-OCCAC honors after helping Lakeland to a 23-5 record including an 11-1 mark in the league play during the regular season.
Oliver, a newcomer to Lakeland and the OCCAC after a year at Rider University (NCAA Division I), started in all 12 conference games and led the Lakers in scoring by averaging 20 points per game. He poured in a career-high 36 in the regular season finale at Sinclair on March 2, a game which clinched an outright conference title for LCC.
Richard Smith will undoubtedly go down as the greatest shot blocker in the 43-year history of Lakeland basketball. The sophomore forward already holds the single game (15), single season (114), and career (195) records and currently averages an NJCAA-best 4.6 per game. In conference play, Smith averaged 9.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 4.8 blocks per contest.
Medley also started and played in all 12 conference games, averaging 13.9 points, 5.2 assists, 4.9 rebounds, and 2.2 steals along the way. The sophomore guard tied a career high with 25 points at Edison on February 23, a game which clinched the top overall seed and a first round bye for Lakeland in the upcoming District 11 Tournament in Cincinnati.
The versatile Banton averaged 16.4 points and 5.2 rebounds in 12 league games. He recorded a double-double in the regular season finale at Sinclair with 20 points and ten rebounds and scored a career-high 29 points at Cincinnati in mid-February.
Tenth year head coach Terry Bowe was recognized as the league’s top coach for the second time during his tenure. Bowe earned the same honor in 2010, when Lakeland finished second in the OCCAC and 19-12 overall.
This season, Bowe’s Lakers led the conference in points per game (93.1), steals (10.7), and blocks (7.2) while posting the best perimeter defense in the league, holding teams to 30.6% shooting from beyond the arc.
No. 1 seed Lakeland takes on No. 4 seed Cuyahoga at 8 p.m. in the semifinals of the District 11 tournament on Friday night. The winner advances to Saturday’s title game where it will face the winner of No. 2 seed Owens and No. 3 seed Cincinnati at 6:30 p.m.
Lakeland is the two-time defending champions at the tournament and seeks an unprecedented third straight title and NJCAA National Tournament appearance.
March 2, 2013 | Lakers Rally Past Sinclair, Cut Down Nets as OCCAC Champions
DAYTON, Ohio – No. 10 Lakeland rallied past host Sinclair in the regular season finale on Saturday afternoon, clinching an outright Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) championship for the first time in 18 years. The Lakers enter the District 11 tournament as the top overall seed and will receive an automatic bye into the semifinals (March 8) against the winner of Tuesday’s game between fourth-seed Cuyahoga and fifth-seed Columbus State.
The nationally-ranked Lakers improve to 23-5 overall and wrap up the conference slate with an 11-1 record. LCC’s only setback in the OCCAC was a 71-69 loss to Owens in mid-February.
It was a tale of two halves on Saturday, as Lakeland found itself trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half before slowly chipping away over the final 20 minutes. The Lakers finally took the lead with less than 20 seconds remaining on a Deran Banton free throw to make it 95-94. Charles Oliver corralled a defensive rebound on the ensuing possession before Martell Medley extended the lead to three with a pair from the line with eight seconds to go.
The hosts had an opportunity to pull even in the waning seconds but came up empty in the game’s final possession. The 2013 District 11 Tournament, used to determine which team will earn a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament, will begin with quarterfinal games on Tuesday (March 5) night. In addition to Cuyahoga hosting Columbus State for the right to play the top-seeded Lakeland, third-seed Cincinnati State will host sixth-seed Edison for the right to play Owens on Friday night.
The Lakers have won back-to-back District Championships but find themselves in unfamiliar territory as the top overall seed entering the tournament. Last year, LCC entered as the four seed and upset the top-seeded Columbus State in the semifinals before a 20-point win over Owens in the final.
Saturday’s OCCAC title is the first for 10th year head coach Terry Bowe, who has already made program history with a pair of district titles during his tenure.
February 23, 2013 | No. 11 Lakeland Men Clinch First Conference Title Since 1995
PIQUA, Ohio – With a 100-79 victory at Edison on Saturday afternoon, the nationally-ranked Lakeland men clinched at least a share of the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) title for the first time since 1995. The Lakers, who can win the conference outright on Saturday (March 2) when they travel to Sinclair, hold a one game lead and the tiebreaker over second-place Owens with one game to go in the regular season. LCC also secured the top overall seed and a first round bye in the upcoming District 11 Tournament in Cincinnati, which will determine who advances to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in mid-March.
|Lakeland can win the conference outright with a victory over Sinclair in the regular season finale on March 2.|
The conference title is the third in program history and ends an 18-year drought. Despite a pair of district championships and NJCAA national tournament appearances during his tenure, an OCCAC championship has remained elusive for 10th-year head coach Terry Bowe. That all changed on Saturday when the Lakers (22-5, 10-1 OCCAC) rolled past the Chargers behind a standout performance from sophomore guard Martell Medley (Euclid).
Medley shot 11 of 16 from the floor and finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Sophomore forward Chaz Rollins posted a double-double off the bench with 12 points and ten rebounds while classmate Daishon Robinson added 13 points of his own.
Lakeland has just one blemish since January, which came in the form of a two point setback to Owens on February 13. LCC has won 14 of its last 15 games and has not lost a game by more than eight points all season long.
The season’s most important stretch lies ahead as the Lakers prepare for the district tournament with the regular season finale in Dayton. In NJCAA Division II basketball, teams earn a trip to the national tournament solely by winning their respective district.
District 11, comprised of all the teams in the OCCAC, has been won by Lakeland for the past two seasons. This year’s tournament will be hosted by Cincinnati State Technical & Community College, with the semifinals on Friday (March 8) and the championship game Saturday evening.
Lakeland and Owens are locked in as the district’s top two teams while the remaining schools will battle into the final weekend to determine their seeding.
February 20, 2013 | No. 11 Lakeland Celebrates Sophomore Night with 106-80 Victory Over Tri-C
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Charles Oliver’s 24 points led six players in double figures as the nationally-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team cruised past visiting Tri-C in the final home game of the regular season. The Lakers move to 21-5 overall (9-1 OCCAC) and are just one win away from clinching at least a share of the conference championship for the first time since 1995. Lakeland can win the conference outright by closing out the season with two straight victories but will have to go on the road at Edison (Feb. 23) and Sinclair (March 2) in order to do it.
Oliver finished 10 of 14 from the floor and did most of his damage in the first half, scoring 18 points over the opening 20 minutes of play. Chaz Rollins and Daishon Robinson provided a spark off the bench, finishing with 18 and 11 points, respectively.
Richard Smith nearly posted another triple-double, finishing a block shy on the night. The sophomore forward scored 14 points, pulled in 11 rebounds, and denied nine shots to help Lakeland to a 48-36 advantage on the glass. Classmate Martell Medley added 13 points and dished out nine assists while Deran Banton scored 16.
Prior to tip-off Lakeland’s nine sophomores were recognized for their hard work in the classroom and on the court. This year’s class has posted a 48-14 record to date and has a chance to graduate with the most wins in the 43-year history of Lakeland basketball.
The Lakers take on Edison at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
February 20, 2013 | Sophomore Night Marks Regular Season Home Finale
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Nine sophomore men’s basketball student-athletes who have elevated the program to unprecedented heights will be recognized prior to tonight’s game against Cuyahoga as a part of sophomore night at Lakeland. Since arriving, the group has helped the Lakers achieve their highest national ranking in program history (No. 3), win their second district championship, advance to the NJCAA Final Four, and finish with the highest national ranking (No. 4) in the 43-year history of Lakeland basketball. To date, the sophomore class has posted 47-14 overall record.
Tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. against the Challengers, with a victory helping the Lakers inch closer to their first conference championship since 1995. Lakeland needs just two wins in its final three games to ensure a share of the OCCAC title and can win the conference outright with three straight wins to close out the regular season.
February 13, 2013 | Owens Edges No. 8 Lakeland, Snaps Lakers’ 13-Game Win Streak
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Visiting Owens held off nationally-ranked Lakeland, 71-69, on Wednesday night, handing the Lakers their first defeat since December and first loss in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) to date. After splitting the season series, the Lakers (20-5, 8-1 OCCAC) and Express (19-7, 8-1) find themselves tied for first place in the conference with three games to play.
Both teams now control their own destiny towards claiming an OCCAC title. If both win their last three games, they would be honored as co-champions of the conference and would need to go to a coin flip to determine seeding for the Region 12, District 10 tournament in Cincinnati in early March.
Richard Smith flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and nine blocks in defeat. By denying nine shots, Smith set the Lakeland record for blocks in a single season with 96. The sophomore forward, who will undoubtedly go down as the greatest shot blocker in Lakeland history, now holds the single game (15), single season, and career (177) records.
Sophomore guards Martell Medley and Daishon Robinson added 14 and 13, respectively, while classmate Chaz Rollins chipped in 11 points and seven boards.
Both teams struggled on the offensive end, posting season-lows in points. Lakeland shot just 35% from the floor and 26% from beyond the arc while Owens posted similar numbers at 37% and 25%, respectively.
The Express won the battle of the boards and finished with 58-45 advantage on the glass including 25 offensive rebounds. Three players recorded double-digit rebounds for the visitors, led by Chris Wilson’s 11 off the bench.
Owens’ Joe Retic II led all scorers with 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting while sophomore forward James Kelly added 15 points and eight boards.
Lakeland returns to action on Wednesday (Feb. 20) when it hosts local rival Cuyahoga at 7:30 p.m.
February 13, 2013 | Lakers, Express Meet with Conference Title at Stake
KIRTLAND, Ohio – On Wednesday night, the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference’s (OCCAC) top two teams face off when first-place Lakeland hosts Owens at 7:30 p.m. The nationally-ranked Lakers, winners of 13 straight, welcome an Express team which has dropped just one game in 2013 – a three point setback to Lakeland in mid-January.
The Lakers (20-4, 8-0) have a chance to put a stranglehold on the conference title race with a victory tonight, moving them within a single win of the OCCAC crown with three games to go. A win for the Express (18-7, 7-1) would be equally rewarding, enabling them to pull even with Lakeland at 8-1 in league play.
Despite back-to-back District championships and NJCAA Division II National Tournament appearances, Lakeland has not cut down the nets as champions of the OCCAC since the 1994-95 season. Similarly, Owens is in search of a conference title for the first time since back-to-back championships in 2000 and 2001.
LCC enters the game 4-1 against Owens in the last five regular season matchups including the only blemish on the Express’ OCCAC record this year. In the last meeting, Lakeland erased a six point halftime deficit by outscoring Owens 54-45 over the final 20 minutes en route to a 97-94 victory.
Lakeland Team Statistics | Owens Team Statistics
February 11, 2013 | Lakeland Men Reach 20 Wins for Third Straight Year
KIRTLAND, Ohio – The No. 11 Lakeland men’s basketball team held off Malone University JV, 93-84, on Monday night to improve to 20-4 overall and reach the 20-win plateau for the third straight season under head coach Terry Bowe.
Sophomore forwards Chaz Rollins and Chris Jefferies posted double-doubles while classmate Daishon Robinson poured in a game-high 27 points in the victory, the Lakers’ 13th in a row.
Rollins finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds while Jefferies (pictured, right) added 13 points and a career-high 12 boards in 10 on the offensive end.
Michael Turman chipped in seven points, six rebounds, and five steals in the win, setting the stage for a huge showdown with Owens Community College on Wednesday night (7:30 p.m.) inside the Athletic & Fitness Center.
Owens comes to Kirtland riding a four game win streak. The Express are 7-1 in OCCAC play, falling to visiting Lakeland by three (97-94) in mid-January for their only blemish of 2013.
February 9, 2013 | Banton, Oliver Push Lakers to 12th Straight Victory
CINCINNATI, Ohio – Deran Banton (29 points) and Charles Oliver (25) both matched career-highs in scoring to help the nationally-ranked Lakeland men remain unbeaten in conference play with a 107-97 victory at Cincinnati State on Saturday afternoon. The win is the first-place Lakers 12th straight and moves their overall record to 19-4 (8-0 OCCAC).
Banton finished nine of 16 from the floor and connected on 10 of 13 attempts from the free throw line. The sophomore guard also pulled down six rebounds and recorded three steals. Classmate Martell Medley chipped in 20 points, hitting his first eight shots from the floor including all four tries from beyond the arc.
Chaz Rollins came off the bench to contribute 21 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks in just 23 minutes of action.
Lakeland will host Malone University JV on Monday night (7:30 p.m.) before welcoming second-place Owens on Wednesday with a shot at moving within one win of its first conference championship since 1995.
• The 12th straight victory marks Lakeland’s longest win streak under tenth year head coach Terry Bowe.
• Offensively, the Lakers are ranked fifth in the nation in scoring (93.9 ppg), shooting percentage (51.4%), and three-point percentage (42.1%).
|Smith already holds the single game and career blocks record and is on pace to set the single season mark by the end of the year.|
February 6, 2013 | Smith Sets Career Blocks Record as Lakers Hold Off Cougars
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Sophomore Richard Smith denied five shots, breaking a 21-year old school record in the process, as the No. 11 Lakeland men’s basketball team held off a late charge from visiting Columbus State to pick up a 79-72 victory on Wednesday night. The Lakers (18-4, 7-0 OCCAC) have won 11 straight, tying last season’s record for consecutive wins under 10th year head coach Terry Bowe.
The second year forward came into the game as the nation’s second leading shot blocker, averaging 4.5 per game. After recording 81 blocks as a freshman, Smith has already registered 86 as a sophomore with five games still remaining in the regular season. His 167 blocks surpass Steve Hanek’s mark of 166 set from 1990-92. Smith is also in range of Ray Chambers’ single season record of 94 blocks, which was set during the 2010-11 season.
The nationally-ranked Lakers looked to be well on their way to a victory, taking a 40-31 lead into the half and extending the advantage to 21 points (68-47) with just over ten minutes to play in regulation. Columbus State responded with a 24-8 run over the ensuing nine minutes, pulling within five points with 90 seconds to go on a Jorian Hudson jumper. Hudson scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the second half.
Martell Medley connected on three of four attempts from the charity stripe down the stretch to help ensure Lakeland would remain unbeaten in 2013. The sophomore guard finished with 16 points, five assists, and five rebounds in the victory.
Charles Oliver paced Lakeland with 17 points while Chaz Rollins (14) and Deran Banton (10) also reached double figures. Smith finished with a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with nine points.
Lakeland will shift its focus to two of the conference’s top teams in the coming week. LCC travels to third-place Cincinnati State on Saturday (Feb. 9) at 3:00 p.m. before hosting second-place Owens on Wednesday (Feb. 13) at 7:30 p.m.
• Richard Smith is on the cusp of becoming the greatest shot blocker in the 43-year history of Lakeland basketball. Already the record holder for most blocks in a single game (15) and a career (167), the sophomore forward needs just eight more to set the single season mark with 95.
• By sweeping the regular-season series, Lakeland has now recorded three straight wins over Columbus including last year’s District 10 semifinal victory.
Box Score | News-Herald Article
February 2, 2013 | Bench Production Powers Lakers to Tenth Straight Win
KIRTLAND, Ohio – No. 12 Lakeland posted a 47-15 advantage in points off the bench on its way to a 92-73 victory over visiting Edison on Saturday afternoon. The win moves the Lakers to 6-0 in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play and marks the midway point in the conference schedule.
Charles Oliver led all scorers with 19 points while three other Lakers, all coming off the bench, reached double figures. Sophomore forward Chaz Rollins chipped in 18 points and seven rebounds in just 18 minutes while Daishon Robinson and Chris Jefferies added 12 and 10 points, respectively. The hosts held a 47-15 advantage in bench points and held the Chargers to 37% shooting on the afternoon.
Lakeland (17-4, 6-0 OCCAC) opened the game with a 9-0 run and never looked back, taking a 53-43 lead into the half before holding Edison to 29% shooting over the final 20 minutes. Brandon Ervin led the Chargers with 17 points but needed 19 shots to get there.
Richard Smith posted another complete game for the Lakers, finishing with seven points, six rebounds, and five blocks. Second in the nation in blocks per game, Smith is just 13 shy of Ray Chambers’ single-season record of 94. The sophomore forward is averaging nearly five per game.
The Lakers host Columbus State (13-8, 2-4) on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. inside the Athletic & Fitness Center.
• Lakeland is one victory away from tying its longest win streak under 10th year head coach Terry Bowe.
• Charles Oliver is 12th in the nation in three point shooting percentage, connecting on 49.5% of his tries from beyond the arc.
• Lakeland has won seven straight against Edison, last falling to the Chargers on February 14, 2009.
Box Score | News-Herald Article | Lake County-Sentinel Article
January 30, 2013 | Lakers Finish Unbeaten in January with Win at Cuyahoga
HIGHLAND HILLS, Ohio – No. 12 Lakeland closed out the month of January with a 96-76 win over Cuyahoga - its ninth straight win to open 2013 and first on the road at Tri-C since 2009. The win snaps a four game regular-season losing streak against the Challengers and moves the Lakers to 15-4 overall and 5-0 in OCCAC play.
Charles Oliver poured in a team-high 23 points, connecting on five of nine attempts from beyond the arc, to go along with three assists. Four others reached double figures for the visitors including Chaz Rollins (17), Deran Banton (15), Martell Medley (14), and Richard Smith (12).
Medley tied his career high in assists for the third time this season, finishing with eight on the night.
Lakeland spotted the hosts an early advantage but clawed back to take a 46-45 lead into the locker rooms before outscoring Cuyahoga 50-31 over the final 20 minutes of play.
Oliver found his touch early in the second half, drilling three straight from distance to help Lakeland pull away. The sophomore guard is shooting 50% from beyond the arc, good for 11th in the nation.
Smith added four blocks in the victory and posted a highlight reel dunk in the opening five minutes of play.
Already off to the best start in the conference during the Terry Bowe era, Lakeland remains one game ahead of second place Owens (15-7, 4-1) in the race for the title. On Saturday, LCC will host Edison at 3:00 p.m. to mark the midway point in league play.
• Lakeland’s current nine-game win streak is two short of tying the record under head coach Terry Bowe. The 2011-12 team opened the season with 11 straight victories, climbing to a No. 3 national ranking in the process.
• The Lakers lead the conference in scoring, averaging 93.6 points per game in five OCCAC contests. LCC is averaging 101.6 points in its last three league games.
|Lakeland is second in the nation in blocks, averaging just over seven per game so far this season.|
January 28, 2013 | Lakers Continue to Roll, Drop Sinclair 112-76
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Nationally-ranked Lakeland raced out to a 20-4 lead in the opening five minutes and never looked back, cruising to a 112-76 victory over visiting Sinclair on Saturday afternoon to improve to 14-4 overall and 4-0 in conference play. The perfect start to the OCCAC slate marks the best ever under tenth year head coach Terry Bowe.
The win, coupled with a loss by Edison on Saturday afternoon, gives Lakeland sole possession of first place in the conference.
The No. 12 Lakers carried a 59-38 lead into the break and led by as much as 45 in the second half. Deran Banton led the way with a career-high 29 points in just 17 minutes of action. The sophomore guard picked up where he left off on Wednesday, connecting on 10-of-12 attempts from the floor to go along with a team-high eight rebounds.
Lakeland outscored Sinclair 71-29 in the paint and held a 52-38 advantage in bench points thanks to 17 and 14 from Daishon Robinson and Michael Turman, respectively.
Sophomores Charles Oliver and Martell Medley combined for 26 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who have won seven straight and ten of their last 11. Richard Smith, already one of the nation’s top defenders, denied five shots in the win.
Drew Moore led Sinclair (15-7, 1-3 OCCAC) with a season-high 31 points off the bench while Charlie Byers and Gavin Schumann added 15 and 14, respectively.
Lakeland heads to Butler, Pennsylvania on Monday (Jan. 28) for a non-conference tune-up at Butler County CC before traveling to local rival Cuyahoga CC on Wednesday.
• Lakeland is third in the nation in scoring (92.8 ppg) and seventh in field goal percentage (50.7%).
• Defensively, the Lakers are second in the nation in blocks per game (7.2) and eighth in steals (13.9).
Box Score | News-Herald Article
January 23, 2013 | No. 12 Lakeland Rallies Past Owens, Stays Unbeaten in OCCAC
TOLEDO, Ohio – The nationally-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team used a 15-2 run midway through the second half to erase a 12 point deficit en route to a hard fought 97-94 victory over host Owens in Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) action Wednesday night. The Lakers improve to 13-4 overall (3-0 OCCAC), tying their best start in league play since the 2006-07 season.
Charles Oliver poured in a team-high 25 points to go along with season-highs in rebounds (6) and assists (5). Deran Banton went 9-for-10 from the floor en route to 20 points while Chaz Rollins (13), Daishon Robinson (12), and Martell Medley (10) also scored in double figures for LCC.
James Kelly led the way with 26 points and 16 rebounds for the Express, who also benefitted from Tony Boykins’ 24 points and six rebounds.
The Lakers’ second half run helped them seize the advantage for the first time since leading 16-14 at the 14:29 mark of the first half. The two sides continued to trade baskets and were deadlocked at 80 with just under five minutes to play. Lakeland responded with a 10-2 run over the ensuing three and a half minutes to take a 90-82 lead with a minute left.
The Express battled back in the closing seconds, pulling with two (96-94) with 11 ticks to go. Robinson made one of two from the free throw line to put the visitors on top by three and freshman guard Marcus Fleming sealed the victory with a steal on Owens’ final possession of the game.
Despite Kelly’s hefty numbers, the Lakers held a sizeable advantage in points in the paint (60-36) while outscoring the express 30-13 in points off turnovers.
After three straight road games, Lakeland finally returns to the Athletic & Fitness Center this Saturday (Jan. 26) when it hosts Sinclair at 3 p.m.
• Prior to tip-off, Lakeland moved up five places in the latest Division II national poll to the No. 12 spot – their highest ranking since occupying the same position on November 13.
• A win over visiting Sinclair on Saturday (Jan. 26, 3 p.m.) afternoon would give Lakeland a 4-0 record to open OCCAC play, their best start under 10th year head coach Terry Bowe.
• A slew of close losses during the non-conference slate have proven to be invaluable for Lakeland through the early stages of conference play. After losing four games by a combined 18 points in the first half of the season, the Lakers have secured three league wins by an average margin of victory of 2.6 points per game.
Smith Garners OCCAC’s First Player of the Week Honors of 2013
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Sophomore forward Richard Smith (Cleveland, Ohio / Lutheran East) helped the Lakeland men’s basketball team open Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) play with a win over nationally-ranked Cincinnati State on Saturday (Jan. 12) afternoon. For his efforts, Smith was named conference player of the week for the week ending Jan. 13.
Smith tied a career-high with four assists while scoring 13 points and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds in an 80-79 victory over the No. 13 Surge. The sophomore forward added five blocks and a steal in the win and did not commit a turnover or a foul in 29 minutes of action. He is currently ranked 3rd in the nation in blocks, averaging 4.5 per game.
This is the first player of the week selection for Smith and marks the second straight year the OCCAC’s first weekly honor has gone to Lakeland. Future first team All-American Brendan Cooper similarly earned conference recognition after last year’s victory over Cincinnati State.
January 17, 2013 | Lakeland Holds Off Columbus State in Matchup of Nationally-Ranked Teams
COLUMBUS, Ohio - There are no off days in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference. One of the most competitive leagues in the country showcased its strength on Wednesday night when No. 15 Lakeland visited No. 19 Columbus in the state capital. Both teams entered the game nationally ranked and in pursuit of a 2-0 start in the conference for the second consecutive season. Lakeland led nearly start to finish and iced the game with four straight free throws in the closing seconds to pick up a hard fought 82-78 win and improve to 11-4 overall. Columbus State drops to 12-5 overall with the loss.
One game removed from nearly blowing a late lead against Cincinnati State by failing to convert from the charity stripe, the Lakers showed poise by shooting 86% from the free throw line on Wednesday night. Sophomore guard Daishon Robinson went 6-for-6 on the night and drilled all four attempts in the final minute to ensure the victory.
Tied at 76 with less than a minute to play, Martell Medley nailed a jumper to give Lakeland a slim two point lead. Columbus State came up empty on the ensuing possession and Lakeland secured the defensive rebound. Robinson was fouled immediately and converted both attempts to give the visitors a four point cushion. The Cougars cut the deficit in half with a bucket on the other end but left Robinson unguarded on the inbounds pass. After being fouled, the second year guard calmly put the game away with two more from the line to give Lakeland its final four point cushion.
Medley tied a season-high with 21 points including a trio of three pointers to go along with six rebounds. Robinson finished with 18 points on the night, reaching double figures for the seventh time this season. Charles Oliver and Deran Banton added 16 and 11, respectively.
Sophomore forward Richard Smith put together another solid all-around game with nine rebounds, seven points, and five blocks in the victory, Lakeland’s fourth straight and seventh in its last eight games.
The Lakers take a break from the conference slate this weekend when they take on Spire Institute on Friday (Jan. 18) before another tough road test on Wednesday (Jan. 23) when they travel to Owens Community College at 7:30 p.m. The Express were on the cusp of a national ranking last week and face Cincinnati State on Saturday afternoon. A win on Saturday would all but ensure a top-20 ranking and provide Lakeland with its third straight game against a ranked team to open OCCAC play.
January 12, 2012 | Lakeland Knocks Off Nationally-Ranked Cincinnati State in OCCAC Opener
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Charles Oliver poured in 22 points, Richard Smith added a double-double, and the Lakeland men’s basketball team upset No. 13 Cincinnati State 80-79 in the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon. The Lakers (10-4 overall) begin conference play with a victory over the Surge for the second straight season and will travel to Columbus State (12-4, 1-0) on Wednesday (Jan. 16) evening.
Oliver led all scorers with 22 points including 11 of Lakeland’s first 15 to give the hosts a five point lead in the early stages of the first half. Deran Banton added 21 points while Smith scored 13 to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds. The sophomore forward also tied a career high with four assists.
Daishon Robinson provided a spark off the bench, making his first four shots including three from beyond the arc. Robinson finished with 14 points on five of eight shooting from the floor. Classmate Martell Medley tied a career high with eight assists for Lakeland.
Devonte Smith and O’Brien Hobbs led the Surge with 18 and 15 points, respectively, off the bench.
The Lakers took a 46-41 lead into the locker room and never trailed in the second half, though the Surge made a late push and had an opportunity to escape with a win in the closing seconds. With Lakeland ahead by one and two seconds remaining, Robinson missed a pair of free throws to give the ball back to Cincinnati State. Kevin Marshall corralled the rebound after the second miss but was unable to control it enough to get off a full court shot as time expired.
Lakeland returns to action at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday and will look to avenge a pair of regular season losses to the Cougars last year. The two teams met three times last year, with Lakeland pulling off the biggest win of all – a 76-68 victory in the semifinals of the District 10 Tournament. The Lakers would go on to win the championship and advance to the NJCAA Division II National Tournament for the second straight season.
• Richard Smith finished the game with five blocks, moving his season average to 4.4 blocks per game. He currently ranks fourth in the nation in that category.
• Lakeland and Cincinnati have split the regular season series in each of the last three seasons.
• The Lakers assisted on 83.3% of their made field goals (25 of 30) on the afternoon. It was the highest assist percentage of the season for LCC.
Box Score | Lake County-Sentinel Article
January 10, 2013 | Preview: Lakers Prep for Nationally-Ranked Cincinnati State in Conference Opener
KIRTLAND, Ohio – After 12 games and two months’ worth of preparation, the Lakeland men’s basketball team finds itself just days away from its first Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) game of the 2012-13 season. The conference opener features a matchup between a preseason nationally-ranked team in Lakeland (8-4) and the nation’s current No. 13 team in Cincinnati State (13-3). The game will be Lakeland's fourth against a nationally-ranked team already this season.
Lakeland and Cincinnati State split the series last season, with each team winning on the “road.” In the first meeting, the Lakers defeated the host Surge, 81-73, behind a near triple-double from future first team All-American Brendan Cooper in the conference opener for both teams. All five starters reached double figures for Lakeland, which improved to 14-2 with the victory.
Just over one month later, Cincinnati would visit Lakeland on a neutral court at Notre Dame College’s Keller Center. The Lakers took a 38-32 lead into the halftime break before being outscored 42-24 over the final 20 minutes of play. The loss was the second of three straight in February for nationally-ranked Lakeland. The Lakers would respond in crunch time by winning seven straight games to advance all the way to the NJCAA Division II Final Four in Danville, Ill. before falling to eventual national champion Mott Community College.
Both teams have shown the value of a balanced approach on the offensive end as Cincinnati boasts five players averaging double figures to Lakeland’s four. Sophomore guard Tom Jackson leads the surge with 15.1 points and 6.1 assists per game while sophomore guard Charles Oliver is averaging a team-best 17.9 points per game for the Lakers.
High Scoring Affair
Both teams enter the game ranked in the top ten nationally in points per game. The Surge are currently third (94.5 ppg) and have eclipsed the 100-point mark in five games. Meanwhile, Lakeland is ranked sixth (92.2 ppg) and has topped the century mark three times.
Lakeland and Cincinnati have shown the ability to turn the other team over, evidenced by a top-five national ranking for both teams. The Lakers are fourth in the nation with 14.6 steals per game while the Surge hold the benchmark, averaging 18.7 steals per game.
Though the Lakers hold the title of back-to-back district champions, an OCCAC title has remained elusive. The pursuit of the program’s first conference championship since 1995 begins on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. inside the Athletic & Fitness Center.
Lakeland Statistics | Cincinnati State Statistics
December 8, 2012 | Smith Breaks School Record as Lakers Run Past Henry Ford
DEARBORN, Mich. - Richard Smith shattered a school record by denying 15 shots in an 83-63 win over host Henry Ford on Saturday afternoon. The previous record was held by Steve Hanek, who’s ten blocks against Sinclair on January 1, 1991 were the benchmark for over 21 years. Smith came within a point of his second consecutive triple-double, finishing with nine points to go along with ten rebounds off the bench.
Chaz Rollins added 22 points and 13 rebounds off the bench to lead five players in double figures. Martell Medley chipped in 17 points including a trio from beyond the arc. Charles Oliver, who has scored in double figures every game this season, kept the streak alive with 11 while Marcus Fleming and Deran Banton had ten each.
The nationally-ranked Lakers improve to 7-3 overall with their third straight win. On Saturday (Dec. 15) Lakeland will look to avenge one of its three losses when they host Niagara County at 3:00 p.m. inside the Athletic & Fitness Center.
December 7, 2012 | Smith’s Triple-Double Fuels Lakeland Men
PORT HURON, Mich. – Sophmore forward Richard Smith recorded a triple-double and helped the nationally-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team defeat host St. Clair County 89-82 on Friday night. Smith finished with ten points, 11 rebounds, and ten blocks on the day, tying Steve Hanek’s school record for blocks in the process.
Sophomore guards Daishon Robinson and Martell Medley led the way offensively with 19 and 17 points, respectively, while classmates Charles Oliver and Chaz Rollins added 14 apiece. Lakeland (6-3) shot 58% from the floor and was six of ten from beyond the arc.
Freshman guard Marcus Fleming chipped in three steals and three assists in the victory.
November 17, 2012 | Nationally-Ranked Lakeland Men Finish Second at TJ Memorial Classic
KIRTLAND, Ohio – The No. 12 Lakeland men’s basketball team opened the 5th Annual TJ Memorial Classic with a decisive 111-81 victory over Mercyhurst North East before falling, 94-91, to No. 8 Monroe Community College in the title game.
The Lakers, who won last year’s tournament championship and hadn’t lost at home to a non-conference foe in over a year, cruised past the Saints in the opener behind 24 points from sophomore guard Charles Oliver. Oliver was six for 11 from the floor including five for six from beyond the arc while classmates Chaz Rollins and Martell Medley added 19 and 18 points, respectively. Rollins added a team-high 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double in as many games.
The tournament championship was a matchup of nationally-ranked teams that lived up to its billing. Charles Oliver led five Lakeland players in double figures with a game-high 24 points. Chaz Rollins chipped in 21 points and 13 boards off the bench who the hosts, who fell to a nationally-ranked team for the second time this year.
Lakeland used a 16-0 run midway through the opening half to turn a two point deficit into a 14-point advantage behind hot shooting from Daishon Robinson and Martell Medley. The sophomore guards finished with 12 points apiece. The visitors responded with a run of their own, rattling off 11 unanswered points to pull within three with just over six minutes to play in the half. Monroe took a 47-40 lead into the break after scoring seven of the final nine points to close out the half.
The Tribunes extended their second half lead to as much as 17 points (73-56) with 11 minutes to go in regulation before the Lakers began to chip away. Trailing by eight with two minutes to play, Charles Oliver converted a conventional three point play to pull the Lakers within five. Medley and Rollins converted layups on back-to-back possessions, trimming the deficit to one with 38 seconds left.
Lakeland forced a turnover on the sideline with 21 seconds to go and elected for the final shot with the game on the line. Daishon Robinson’s three-pointer nearly won it for the Lakers but fell off the rim in the final seconds. Charles Oliver and Chaz Rollins earned All-Tournament selections after averaging 24 and 20 points, respectively, over the weekend.
Monroe CC defeats Erie CC 73-71
Lakeland CC defeats Mercyhurst NE 111-81
Erie CC defeats Mercyhurst NE 94-91
Monroe CC defeats Lakeland CC 94-91
Ta-Quan Zimmerman, Guard, Monroe Community College
Shannon Haynes, Guard, Erie Community College
Charles Oliver, Guard, Lakeland Community College
Chaz Rollins, Forward, Lakeland Community College
Damon Jones, Guard, Mercyhurst North East
Tashawn Desir, Guard, Monroe Community College
Arnold Fripp Jr., Forward, Monroe Community College
• Charles Oliver (20.2 ppg) and Chaz Rollins (20.0 ppg) are both ranked in the top-50 nationally in scoring average.
• Rollins is currently second in the nation in rebounds per game, averaging 13.4 through the first six contests.
First Round Game Box Score | Championship Game Box Score
5th ANNUAL TJ MEMORIAL CLASSIC
Friday, November 16
(click on a team for more information)
Mercyhurst North East (Women)
Monroe Community College (Women)
MNE 55, MCC 94 | Preview
Erie Community College (Men)
Monroe Community College (Men)
ECC 71, ,MCC 73 | Preview
Lakeland Community College (Women)
Lake Erie College JV (Women)
LEC JV 99, LCC 49 | Preview | Boxscore
Lakeland Community College (Men)
Mercyhurst North East (Men)
LCC 111, MNE 81 | Preview | Boxscore
Saturday, November 17
Mercyhurst North East (Women's Consolation)
Lakeland Community College
MNE 79, LCC 54 | Boxscore
Erie Community College (Men's Consolation)
Mercyhurst North East
ECC 94, MNE 91
Monroe Community College (Women's Championship)
Lake Erie JV
MCC 85, LEC JV 75
#12 Lakeland Community College (Men's Championship)
#8 Monroe Community College
MCC 94, LCC 91 | Boxscore
November 15, 2012 | 5th Annual TJ Memorial Classic Preview
KIRTLAND, Ohio - The TJ Memorial Classic features eight teams from throughout the area competing in a two-day tournament in memory of the infant son of head coach Terry Bowe and his wife Monica. In this, the fifth year of the tournament, Lakeland welcomes Erie Community College (men), Lake Erie College JV (women), Mercyhurst North East (women & men), and Monroe Community College (women & men) to the Athletic & Fitness Center beginning on Friday, November 16. Admission to the tournament is free throughout the weekend.
This year’s men’s field is arguably the strongest in tournament history. Nationally-ranked Monroe Community College (No. 8) and Lakeland Community College (No. 12) are joined by Erie Community College (2-2) – which received votes in this week’s national poll – and Mercyhurst North East (3-3).
Game One: No. 8 Monroe Community College (4-0) vs. Erie Community College (2-2) | 4 p.m.
An undefeated start to the season has catapulted the Tribunes from preseason unranked to a top-10 team thanks to balanced scoring. Five players are averaging double-digit points, led by Dallas Gary’s 18.3 ppg. Ta-Quan Zimmerman is the Tribunes’ top rebounder (6.8 per game) and is averaging 4.5 assists per contest.
Erie Community College was ranked No. 8 in the preseason poll but opened the year with a pair of losses at the Cole/Brennan’s Tournament. The Kats responded with consecutive victories over Butler County and Northern Virginia CC to even their record heading into the Classic. Keron Briggs comes into the tournament averaging 19.5 points per game to pace Erie.
Game Two: No. 12 Lakeland Community College (3-1) vs. Mercyhurst North East (3-3) | 8 p.m.
Nationally-ranked Lakeland hosts Mercyhurst North East in a rematch of last season’s first round clash. Behind 28 points from then-freshman Chaz Rollins, the Lakers held off the Saints 89-86 before taking care of Glen Oaks CC a day later to win the title. Lakeland has won three straight since falling to then-No. 13 Danville Area CC in the season opener and will look to repeat behind the return of 2011 all-tournament selections Rollins and Richard Smith.
Mercyhurst North East evened its record on Wednesday night thanks to a big win over Butler County CC. Anthony Jones, who was named to the all-tournament team last year, is averaging 15.6 points and 8.6 rebounds while Damon Jones and Justin Martin are tied for the team lead in assists per game with 4.6.
November 12, 2012 | Balance Powers No. 5 Lakeland Past Lourdes in Home Opener
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Deran Banton (Jamaica, N.Y.) and Charles Oliver (Scotch Plains, N.J.) scored 17 points each while Martell Medley (Cleveland, Ohio / Euclid) added 17 off the bench to help the nationally-ranked Lakeland men’s basketball team defeat visiting Lourdes University 76-55. The Lakers improve to 3-1 overall and are now 10-0 in home openers under head coach Terry Bowe. Lakeland went 10-0 against non-conference opponents at home last season and picked up right where they left off to open the 2012-13 season.
Banton finished five for seven from the floor and converted seven of 11 tries from the free throw line while Oliver drilled three of six from beyond the arc. Daishon Robinson (Woodbridge, N.J.) added nine points, Richard Smith (Cleveland, Ohio / Lutheran East) pulled in a game-high 11 rebounds, and Isiah Boddie (Dayton, Ohio) dished out a game-high five assists for Lakeland.
Oliver scored six of the game’s first eight points to give the Lakers an early 6-2 lead. Leading 15-8 with just over 12 minutes to play, Lakeland would rattle off a 14-0 spurt over the next two minutes to build a 19-point advantage. Robinson and Medley proved instrumental off the bench, accounting for all 14 points without missing a shot during the run.
The hosts led by as much as 20 points during the first half and took an eleven point lead (41-30) into the locker rooms.
Lourdes would chip away at the deficit throughout the second half and pulled within two with 11:20 to play on a layup by Ron Dukes. The Graywolves would not get any closer as Lakeland responded with a 16-2 – highlighted by dunks from Smith and a pair from Medley – to take a 64-49 lead with five minutes remaining.
The Lakers will host Mercyhurst North East on Friday at 8:00 p.m. in the opening round of the 5th Annual TJ Memorial Classic. Last year, Lakeland defeated the Saints 89-86 in the first round before ultimately winning the tournament title.
• Lakeland has never lost a home opener under head coach Terry Bowe, outscoring opponents by an average of 22 points per game in 10 victories.
• Lakeland’s last loss to a non-conference opponent inside the Athletic & Fitness Center came on January 15, 2011 – an 83-74 setback to Niagara County Community College.
• Sophomore guard Charles Oliver is shooing 60% (9-of-15) from long distance this season.
• Lakeland held a 33-16 advantage in bench points.
Box Score | Upcoming Schedule | Lake County-Sentinel Article
October 25, 2012 | Lakeland Men’s Basketball Ranked Preseason No. 5 by NJCAA
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – On the heels of a second straight District Championship and NJCAA Division II National Tournament appearance in 2011-12, the Lakeland Community College men’s basketball program will open the season as the nation’s fifth ranked team according to the preseason poll released today by the national office.
The Lakers lost just one player from last year’s 27-9 team which advanced to the Final Four before falling to eventual national champion Mott Community College in the national semifinals. Lakeland will have to fill the hole left by the departure of sophomore All-American Brendan Cooper (Parma, Ohio / Parma), who will be a key member of the men’s basketball program at Fairmont State University (NCAA Division II) this season.
Lakeland returns nine players from last year’s squad including four starters while also welcoming six new faces to the program. The Lakers will be tested from the very beginning when they open the season against No. 13 Danville Area Community College at the Triton College Tournament on Friday, November 2 at 5:00 p.m. (EST).
Mott Community College will open the season as the nation’s top ranked team while fellow Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) member Owens Community College is ranked 17th after falling to Lakeland in the district finals last year.
Click here for the full preseason poll.
July 11, 2012 | Former Lakeland Point Guard Darrel Lampley Earns All-MAC Honors at Eastern Michigan
YPSILANTI, Mich. - Former Lakeland point guard Darrel Lampley (Linden, N.J. / Linden) has been named third team All-Mid American Conference following the 2011-12 men’s basketball season. Lampley, a senior at Eastern Michigan University (NCAA Div. I), played in all 32 games in led the Eagles to the fifth seed in the MAC Tournament before falling to Northern Illinois.
Lampley’s final collegiate season was highlighted by a career-high 37 points in a 74-70 loss to Colgate in early December. Days earlier, Lampley was the only EMU player to score in double figures when he poured in 19 at No. 3 Syracuse. The former Laker paced the team in scoring, averaging just over 13 points per game while handing out a team-best 105 assists.
Click here for the full release.
May 16, 2012 | NJCAA All-America Cooper Signs with Fairmont State University
FAIRMONT, W.Va. - Fairmont State men's basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun today announced the signing of 6-7 forward Brendan Cooper. Cooper, a first team National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) player for Lakeland (Ohio) Community College last season, will have two years of eligibility remaining for the Falcons.
|Cooper became the sixth Laker in program history to earn All-American honors.
“I can’t put into words how excited I am to have Brendan Cooper in our family,” said Calhoun. “We feel he is a program-changing player, a perfect fit for our campus, community, and basketball team.”
Cooper averaged 17.5 points, nine rebounds, four assists, and two steals per game this season for the Lakers and head coach Terry Bowe last season. He recorded 17 double-doubles and was named the team's MVP at the end of the season.
“He played for a great junior college program and a great coach, Terry Bowe,” Calhoun said. “Coach Bowe does a great job getting guys ready for the next level both on and off the court. When guys come out of Coach Bowe’s program, they’re ready to play. We expect Brendan to come in and make a major impact right away.
“He can do it all, and his versatility is one of the reasons so many Division I and II schools were after him” Calhoun continued. “He’s an exceptional athlete, but he’s also extremely skilled. He can pass it, and for a 6-7 guy he can handle the ball extremely well. He has great fundamentals, and when you combine that with his elite athleticism and his work ethic, you put up the kinds of numbers that he has throughout his career.”
|Fairmont State University is a member of the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC).|
With Cooper leading the way, the Lakers put together the best year in program history. They finished the season 27-9 and won the NJCAA Division II Region 12, District 10 championship. Lakeland opened the season with 11 consecutive wins, finished the year ranked fourth in the country and advanced all the way to the national tournament before falling in the consolation game.
“Brendan is a winner,” said Calhoun. “Obviously his numbers are impressive and his accolades speak for themselves, but it’s the things he does that don’t show up in the box score that I like the most. He’s a tremendous leader and consistently makes winning plays. Whatever it takes to win, he gets it done.”
Cooper joins a roster that has been bolstered in recent weeks by several additions. He is the sixth member of Calhoun’s first recruiting class.
“This is a great addition to our program,” Calhoun added. “Brendan was one of the best junior college players in the country, and we already have one of the best returning players in the country in (senior guard) Isaac Thornton. Both of those guys are potential All-Americans, I truly believe that.”
Cooper, a native of Parma, Ohio, was the Northeast Ohio Conference Player of the Year and League MVP as a senior at Parma High.
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Release courtesy of Fairmont State University Sports Information.
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News-12 WBOY | West Virginia Metro News (with highlights) | Charleston Gazette
April 30, 2012 | Lakeland Recognizes Student-Athletes at Year-End Banquet
As a part of the Athletic Awards Reception and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Sunday afternoon, the following team awards were given out by Head Coach Djuro Peric.
Team Most Valuable Player – Brendan Cooper, sophomore
Newcomer of the Year – Chaz Rollins, freshman
Defensive Player of the Year – Deran Banton, freshman
Coaches Award – Isiah Boddie, freshman
Champion Award – Paul Zachlin, Faculty Academic Liaison
April 10, 2012 | Cooper Named First Team All-American by NJCAA
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Sophomore forward Brendan Cooper (Parma, Ohio / Parma) has been selected First Team (Division II) All-American by the NJCAA, becoming the sixth player in program history to earn national honors. Cooper joins Ray Chambers (2011), Jonathan Burge (2001), and Kevin Hampton (1998) as the only first team selections in the 42-year history of Lakeland men’s basketball.
Cooper led the Lakers to their second straight Region 12, District 10 Championship and NJCAA National Tournament appearance, where they advanced to the Final Four before losing to eventual-champion Mott Community College 84-73 in the national semifinals. Cooper and the Lakers finished the season 27-9 overall and fourth in the nation, the best result in program history.
Cooper averaged 17.7 points and 9.6 rebounds per game this season, good for second on the team in both categories. He led the team in assists (4.2) and steals (2.1) per game and recorded 17 double-doubles on the year, including a pair at the National Tournament.
The First Team All-Conference and First Team All-Region 12 selection helped the Lakers open the season with 11 straight wins, including an upset at then-No. 3 Erie Community College, and rise to a No. 3 national ranking. He was named MVP of the 4th Annual TJ Memorial Classic after guiding host Lakeland to the tournament title and earned conference player of the week accolades on January 15.
Cooper exits Lakeland with 886 points and 511 rebounds. He played in 65 games and helped the Lakers go 47-19 during that time.
March 24, 2012 | Lakers’ Rally Comes Up Short in Consolation Game
DANVILLE, Ill. – Brendan Cooper’s (Parma, Ohio / Parma) layup at the buzzer appeared to cap a 20-point, second half rally for the Lakeland men’s basketball team in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament consolation game. The sophomore’s finger roll seemingly beat the clock but was ruled to still be in his hand as time expired, a call which was confirmed by replay at the end of regulation. Despite a 78-76 loss to #2 South Suburban the Lakers still secured a fourth place finish in the country, the best result in program history.
Four players scored in double figures for the Lakers, who entered the half trailing 43-27. South Suburban shot 47% from behind the arc in the first half, connecting on seven of 15 tries to build a 16-point lead.
Chaz Rollins (Warrensville Heights, Ohio / John Hay), who was named to the All-Tournament team after averaging a double-double through the tournament, finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds in the loss. Cooper added 18 to go along with eight rebounds, five assists, and three blocks while freshman Deran Banton (Jamaica, N.Y.) recorded a double-double with 17 points and ten boards.
Martell Medley (Cleveland, Ohio / Euclid) chipped in 14 points for LCC.
That advantage ballooned to 20 in the second half before Lakeland made its run. Trailing by two with five seconds remaining, Medley drew a foul and went to the line for a pair. The guard drilled the first but missed the second, forcing Lakeland to foul with two seconds to go.
After Bryce Walker made one of two, the Lakers took over possession with the ball under their own basket and 1.8 seconds remaining.
Richard Smith heaved a full court pass to the top of the three-point line, allowing Cooper to catch and turn towards the basket and seemingly make the game-tying shot.
Lakeland finished the season 27-9 overall, tied for the third most wins in program history. With just one sophomore, the Lakers will look to make it three straight Regional Championships next year when they return nine players from this year’s tournament run.
March 23, 2012 | Lakeland’s Upset Bid Falls Short in NJCAA Final Four
DANVILLE, Ill. – Lakeland men’s basketball took the nation’s top team, Mott Community College, to the brink in the NJCAA National Tournament semifinals but ultimately fell 84-73 on Friday night inside the Mary Miller Center.
Mott, riding a 30-game win streak, will make its seventh National Championship appearance in the last 11 years. The Bears are 3-3 in the title game entering tonight’s clash with Rhode Island Community College.
Lakeland will take on South Suburban at 5:30 p.m. in the third place game.
Chaz Rollins (Warrensville Heights, Ohio / John Hay) led the way offensively with 20 points and 10 rebounds for his third straight double-double of the tournament. Lone sophomore Brendan Cooper (Parma, Ohio / Parma) added 20 points and 11 rebounds in the setback.
Freshmen Deran Banton (Jamaica, N.Y) and Martell Medley (Cleveland, Ohio / Euclid) chipped in 12 and 9 points, respectively.
A back-and-forth game throughout, top-seeded Mott clung to a 38-35 lead at the break behind 15 points from Ralph Eason.
Lakeland would storm out of the half with a 10-1 run to capture the lead, but the Bears responded quickly with a 9-2 spurt of their own. The Bears (34-1) stretched the advantage to 13 in the final four minutes, only to see the Lakers (27-8) pull within eight with just over two minutes to play.
The Bears’ John Taylor led all scorers with 28 points, but benefited from scoring 16 from the free throw line. Taylor’s 12 point effort from the field – on 5-of-15 shooting – was his lowest output since February 15.
Mott finished 24-of-30 from the charity stripe on the night and was effective down the stretch to keep Lakeland at bay.
March 22, 2012 | Streaking Lakeland Upsets #4 South Mountain, Rolls Into Final Four
DANVILLE, Ill. – Lakeland’s record-setting season continued Thursday night as the fifth-seeded Lakers upset South Mountain 81-74 in the Elite Eight of the NJCAA National Tournament. Lakeland will take on the nation’s top team, Mott, on Friday night at 9:00 p.m. (EST) for a spot in the National Championship.
Freshman forward Chaz Rollins (Warrensville Heights, Ohio / John Hay) recorded his second straight double-double of the tournament with a team-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. Classmate Martell Medley (Cleveland, Ohio / Euclid) provided a spark off the bench for the second straight night, hitting a trio of critical three-pointers and finishing with 19 points.
The forward tandem of Brendan Cooper (Parma, Ohio / Parma) and Richard Smith (Cleveland, Ohio / Lutheran East) pulled down ten rebounds each, helping Lakeland to a 45-41 advantage on the glass. Cooper (10 points) and Smith (7) each denied three shots in the victory.
Lakeland took a 34-27 lead into the break behind a 1-3-1 zone which stalled the South Mountain offense. Freshman guard Romero Sumbry (East Cleveland, Ohio / Walnut Ridge) drilled a three-pointer as time expired in the first half to give the Lakers a seven point advantage.
LCC never surrendered the lead in the second half, though South Mountain managed to get within three on multiple occasions.
Leading by three with just over two minutes to play, the Lakeland defense came up with its biggest stop of the night when Cooper forced South Mountain’s Mike Craig into a difficult baseline jumper and corralled the rebound. The Lakers knocked down all six free throw attempts in the final minute to secure the victory, their seventh straight.
The Lakers will face their toughest opponent of the season on Friday when they take on Region 12 foe Mott. The Bears have won three national titles in the last ten years and were national runner-up three more times. Mott (32-1) defeated Louisburg College on Thursday night.
March 21, 2012 | No. 5 Lakeland Dispatches Bismarck State 84-73, Advances to Elite Eight
DANVILLE, Ill. – Freshman guard Martell Medley (Cleveland, Ohio / Euclid) poured in a career-high 25 points and classmate Chaz Rollins (Warrensville Heights, Ohio / John Hay) recorded a double-double to power the Lakeland men’s basketball team past Bismarck State in the opening round of the 2012 NJCAA Division II National Tournament.
After two days of play the Lakers (26-7) are just one of eight teams in the nation still vying for a national title. Lakeland will take on No. 4 South Mountain (26-7) on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m with a berth in the Final Four on the line.
Medley went 9-for-18 from the floor including 3-for-7 from long range, helping the Lakeland bench to a 35-8 advantage over Bismarck State. Rollins added 17 points and a team-high 14 rebounds while sophomore Brendan Cooper (Parma, Ohio / Parma) filled the stat sheet with 15 points, six rebounds, and six assists.
Freshmen Duran Banton (Jamaica, N.Y.) aided the cause with 13 points while classmate Richard Smith (Cleveland, Ohio / Lutheran East) denied five shots in the win.
The Lakers jumped out to an 8-2 through the opening minutes of the game and led by as many as 10 in the first half before settling for a 36-30 lead at the break. Medley led the way with 12 points through the opening period while Rollins tallied six points and ten rebounds.
Lakeland never surrendered the lead despite allowing Bismarck State to close the gap to just one with five minutes remaining. The Lakers responded by scoring seven straight points to build an eight point lead and pushed the advantage to 11 behind solid free throw shooting down the stretch.
LCC held a commanding 54-28 advantage in points in the paint to get within a win of a spot in the Final Four. One year removed from its first NJCAA National Tournament appearance, the Lakers are just three wins away from the program’s first National Championship.
March 10, 2012 | Lakers repeat as Region 12, District 10 champions
PERRYSBURG, Ohio - The Lakeland men’s basketball team erased a one point halftime deficit by outscoring host Owens by 23 over the final 20 minutes en route to an 80-58 victory in the Region 12, District 10 Championship game on Saturday afternoon. On Monday the Lakers will learn who and when they are playing in the NJCAA Division II National Tournament held in Danville, Illinois.
The fourth-seeded Lakers were led by freshman Chaz Rollins (Warrensville Heights, Ohio / John Hay), who scored 24 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in 34 minutes of action. Classmate Deran Banton (Jamaica, N.Y.) scored 18 while Brendan Cooper (Parma, Ohio / Parma) and Martell Medley (Cleveland, Ohio / Euclid) added ten apiece.
Second-seeded Owens built a 35-34 lead entering the break before Lakeland took over. The Lakers (25-7) outscored the Express 42-28 in the paint and led by as many as 24 in the second half.
March 6, 2102 | Lakers roll into Regional semifinals with 95-78 win over Sinclair
KIRTLAND, Ohio – Chaz Rollins (Warrensville Heights, Ohio / John Hay) and Brendan Cooper (Parma, Ohio / Parma) combined for 36 points and 22 rebounds to propel the fourth-seeded Lakeland men’s basketball team past Sinclair on Tuesday night inside the AFC.
Rollins finished with a team-high 22 points on 8 of 11 shooting while Cooper added 14. Each finished with 11 rebounds on the night.
Freshmen Deran Banton (Jamaica, N.Y.) and Martell Medley (Cleveland, Ohio / Euclid) added 14 and 11, respectively, to set up a matchup with top-seeded Columbus State on Friday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. on the campus of Owens Community College.
Medley added a game-high seven assists in the win while classmate Daishon Robinson (Woodbridge, N.J.) had four.
Lakeland (23-7) and Columbus State (25-4) will meet for the third time this season but for the first time on a neutral court. In the first matchup No. 9 Columbus State held on for a 76-75 win at the AFC. Three weeks later Lakeland’s late rally came up short in a 95-93 loss to the nation’s third ranked team.
The Lakers have won three straight by an average margin of 16.7 points per game and will look to carry the momentum in Friday’s semifinal. The winner advances to the Regional Championship game on Saturday (March 10) at 1:00 p.m.