The threat of getting beat in transition by the Lake Mills boys basketball team eliminated the man power Lodi could commit to attack offensive rebounds.

The L-Cats didn’t didn’t give up a single second-chance opportunity until the final possession of the second half and were able to pull away for a 75-52 victory against the visiting Blue Devils in a Capitol North game on Thursday night.

“They’re an outstanding basketball team,” Lodi coach Mitch Hauser said. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence and defending better than they have in a while. Things did not come easy for us on the offensive end. We were one and done tonight, which is a credit to their defense.”

Coming into the game, Lake Mills had clinched a share of the Capitol North title. With the win, they took it all to themselves.

“It feels better to have it for yourself,” said senior Matt Johnson, who made two 3-pointers in the second half and finished with eight points. “We came into this game having clinched it on Friday, but we wanted it for ourselves. That was our very first goal coming into this year to win a Capitol North championship. To do it with this group is really fun.”

Lake Mills opened the second half with a 9-0 run to take a 41-27 lead on a Johnson 3-pointer. Lodi didn’t score its first basket of the second half until Trey Traeder made a 3-pointer with 12 minutes, 58 seconds to play. The Blue Devils followed it up with another bucket 27 seconds later by Quinn Faust causing Lake Mills coach Steve Hicklin to call a timeout.

The timeout cooled the Blue Devils off and Lake Mills went on a 15-5 run that was closed out by a 3-pointer from senior guard Mike Herrington. The Herrington 3-pointer came after Jaxson Retrum pulled down a rebound, kicked it out to Adam Moen who passed up a good shot to find Herrington for a wide open 3 on the wing.

That rebounding has been a point of emphasis for the L-Cats recently.

“It’s something we’ve really been preaching these last few weeks,” Johnson said. “Our loss Columbus, I think we gave up 18 offensive rebounds and even when we beat them here, they still had 14 offensive rebounds. That’s something the coaches have really been harping on in practice.”

Faust and Traeder each scored eight points. Jack Persike scored 14 to lead Lodi.

Junior guard Drew Stoddard scored 10 of his team-high 19 points in the first half. Junior wing Charlie Bender scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half.

In the second half, the L-Cats outscored Lodi, 43-25, seven different scorers and only Moen in double digits. Moen scored 10 of his 12 in the second half.

“Adam was a monster on the glass for us tonight,” Hicklin said. “He really allows us to control the offensive boards when he’s on the court. With his passing and dribbling ability after he gets rebounds, he can ignite the fast break. That’s something that’s definitely who we are. We like to get out and go.”

And teams have learned that they need to get back to prevent layups in hopes of stopping them in the half court. Lodi avoided giving up transition layups, but couldn’t consistently stop them Blue Devils in the half court.

“Offensively, they’re so difficult to guard,” Hauser said. “Every one of them shoots is really well. They have a post presence that if you dig down, they’re going to find the shooter. If you don’t dig down, they have guys who can take advantage of you in one-on-ones.”

LAKE MILLS 75, LODI 52

Lodi 27 25 — 52

Lake Mills 32 43 — 75

Lodi (fg ftm-fta pts) — Traeder 3 0-0 8, Q. Faust 4 0-0 8, Coddington 1 0-0 3, Asbjornson 1 0-0 3, C. Faust 1 0-0 2, Richards 3 0-0 7, Persike 4 2-2 14, Maier 1 0-0 2, Parsons 2 1-2 5. Totals — 20 3-4 52.

Lake Mills — Herrington 4 0-0 9, Stoddard 7 1-3 19, Templin 1 0-0 3, Retrum 3 0-0 6, Moen 5 1-1 12, Bender 7 2-2 18, Johnson 3 0-0 8. Totals — 30 4-6 75.

3-point goals — Lo. 9 (Traeder 2, Coddington, Asbjornson, Richards, Persike 4), LM 11 (Herrington, Stoddard 4, Templin, Moen, Bender 2, Johnson 2). Total fouls — Lo. 6, LM 6.

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