CORNELL — The Lake Holcombe boys basketball team outscored Cornell by a 37-29 margin in the second half to pick up a 63-54 East Lakeland Conference victory on Friday evening.
Dylan Bowen led the Chieftains (3-8, 3-4) with 22 points including six of his team's 3-pointers while Sam Ewer scored a season-high 16 points and Colton Minnick chipped in with 12.
Lake Holcombe took a 26-25 lead into the locker room before taking the lead for good at 39-37 on one of Bowen's 3-pointers at the 12:09 mark. The Chieftains pushed their advantage to as many as 13 but the Chiefs made one more run and cut the deficit to seven with 3:41 left after an Avery Turany three made the score 58-51.
The Chieftains went away from their normal fullcourt pressure in the second half after foul trouble early and found success with a 1-3-1 zone. Offensively Lake Holcombe was able to work for shots down low from Ewer, which also led to other shots on the perimeter.
“They really got some good shots I thought in the second half," Lake Holcombe coach Joy Webster said of her team. "We got the ball in the paint really nice.”
Dylan Bowe led Cornell (2-12, 0-7) with a season-high 29 points — the fifth time in the last nine games he's scored at least 21 points — and Avery Turany also had a season-high point total with 12 points including three 3-pointers.
Bowen entered Friday's game with a Chippewa County best 42 3-pointers and the lefty was efficient from the outside with four of his triples coming in the second half.
“Basketball like most sports is a game of runs," Cornell coach Steve Parker said. "You go on your runs and we just had a hard time. We knew No. 14 (Bowen) was a good 3-point shooter and (we allowed) too many open looks for him.”
Two threes from Bowen and a basket from Minnick for an 8-0 run helped the Chieftains take the lead for good as Lake Holcombe snapped a six-game losing streak that dated back to a 73-49 win at Winter on Dec. 14. The Chieftains are back to work quickly with a nonconference road game on Saturday at Eau Claire Immanuel before home East Lakeland tilts with Clayton (Tuesday) and Birchwood (Friday). Most recently the Chieftains fell to Prairie Farm 70-59 on Tuesday in a game the team was in until late, so Webster was pleased to see her inexperienced team close out a win.
“We were right in the (last) game up until the last three minutes and this one we finished," Webster said. "Hopefully we can keep things going. We’ve got a tough game right away (Saturday) with Eau Claire (Immanuel) and then we go back into conference play on Tuesday.”
Friday's defeat keeps Cornell winless in league play, but the Chiefs have been competitive in recent East Lakeland matchups with the most recent loss being the fourth conference game in a row that was decided by 12 points or fewer. The Chiefs face a pair of the East Lakeland's best teams next week with Bruce coming to town Tuesday before playing at Flambeau on Friday.
“We’re continuing to improve," Parker said. "That’s all I can ask from them.”
Photos: Lake Holcombe, Cornell boys basketball go down to the wire 1-14-22