Lakeview Boys Basketball Wins First Ever District Championship

Lakeview Boys Basketball Wins First Ever District 10 Championship

By Reese Gadsby

The District 10 championship game was a place the Sailors Boys Basketball Team had not entered for seven years when they lost in a five-overtime game against West Middlesex in 2013. Walking into Slippery Rock University on Friday Feb. 28, Lakeview was the underdogs to defending District Champions, the Farrell Steelers. Despite not haven beaten Farrell for many years, that did not phase the Sailors mindset of bringing home the gold.

     The boys came out strong, never letting the Steelers get an edge over them until late in the third quarter. Walking into halftime, the Sailors had a 23-21 lead. Farrell answered back in the third quarter, with a score of 32-27 headed into the fourth. The Sailors’ momentum was never questioned as  Junior Isaac Lightcap came off the bench and drained three threes to give them the biggest lead of the night at five (38-33). Again, Farrell answered back and tied the game at 44 all to take it into overtime.

     Both teams continued with tremendous amounts of grit and by the sound of the overtime buzzer, the reluctant scoreboard yet again was tied at 48 all. The Sailors got a slight lead early in double overtime, but Farrell was not giving up the title easily. The lead went back and forth, until the final buzzer sound and the scoreboard assured the Lakeview community the boys had won the first D10 championship in school history. 

       Hunter Miller led the Sailors in scoring with 20, and Brett Beith chipped in with 16. Senior standout Cole Thiec proudly stated, “Putting that gold medal around my neck made me realize that all the hours, sweat, blood, and frustration that myself and my teammates went through was 100% worth it.”

     Despite all the glory, the road to the championship game was not an easy one. The team had to win three games against Saegertown, Cochranton and Cambridge Springs to make it to the top of the District. The first round of playoffs was a match with the Saegertown Panthers. The Sailors defeated them by a score of 51-34. They were led by Thiec with 15 points. In the quarterfinals the boys then faced Cochranton and defeated them 51-34, led by Beith with 19. Only one step away from the lifelong goal of many, the boys battled Cambridge Springs in the quarterfinals and overcame them by a score of 56-37, led by Thiec with 23.

      With a record of 18-8 the boys next step will be the state tournament, where they will face South Side Beaver on March 7. The main goal this team has had this season was to make a run at the district and a late playoff run. So far they have met half of that goal, and with late hours in the gym preparing for what is to come, they will dictate making their whole goal a reality.