LYONS — The Lyons Lions (3-11, 2-5) played with a sense of desperation on Tuesday and saw it pay off with a 56-38 win over the Dawson Mustangs (7-7, 3-4) to snap a five-game losing streak.
"This was a must-win for us," Lyons coach Jahmiel McLawrence said. "We've been close and we practice really hard. It was just about finishing games for us."
McLawrence saw his team get the strong finish he was looking for against the Mustangs as his team took a four-point lead to start the final quarter and turn it into an 18-point win.
"When their big guy is out of the game, we feel confident we can switch everything (defensively) one through five," McLawrence explained. "We talked about that going into the fourth quarter, but it was really about the details and buckling (in) in that fourth quarter. We knew we were going to win the game on the defensive side."
The Lions held Dawson to seven points in the final quarter.
Colton Jonjak-Plahn and Logan Farner each finished with 15 points while Finn Basey added 12 off the bench to lead the Lions in the win. While both teams made a similar number of shots from the perimeter, it was the play from Basey and Jonjak-Plahn in the paint that gave them an edge as Lyons won the scoring in the paint by a comfortable margin.
"We're better when we play inside-out," McLawrence said. "Every team we play seems to play a really hard zone against us. If we have production from the high so we can go high and low with our shooters, that is the big difference for us."
Now with their losing streak snapped, the Lions will look to make a push up the league standings to end the regular season, starting with Friday's game against Union Colony Prep. The same approach in practice will be kept moving forward, according to McLawrence.
"I try to practice harder than the games," McLawrence said. "A lot of times, guys will be beat up and tired. We don't play until Friday, so they can enjoy the win tonight, but then tomorrow we get right back into it and build off of it."
Coby Grant-Krenz led Dawson with 24 points and Sam Troughton provided 10 points in the paint in the loss.
Lyons 56, Dawson 38
At Lyons High School
DAWSON (7-7, 3-4)
Coby Grant-Krenz 9 1-2 24, Sam Troughton 5 0-0 10, Brandon Day 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 1-2 38.
LYONS (3-11, 2-5)
Colton Jonjak-Plahn 5 2-5 15, Logan Farner 6 0-1 15, Finn Basey 5 2-2 12, Tristan Chavez 2 2-2 8, Aidan Christiansen 3 0-0 6. Totals 21 6-10 56.
Score by quarters:Dawson (7-7, 3-4) 6 9 16 7 — 38
3-point field goals — Dawson(5): Grant-Krenz 5; Lyons(6): Farner 3, Chavez 2, Jonjak-Plahn. Total fouls — Dawson 15, Lyons 10. Fouled out — Day. Technical fouls — Jahmiel McLawrence.