Eastwood senior Michael Flipse, center, celebrates a layup against Lake. Flipse finished the night with 12 points and six assists.
THE BLADE/KATIE RAUSCH
PEMBERVILLE — Eastwood’s Michael Flipse launched a shot from halfcourt just before the halftime buzzer sounded.
The basketball banked off the backboard and danced around the rim before falling through the net.
That wouldn’t be the only dancing that took place Thursday night as Eastwood upset No. 4 Lake 71-63 in a Northern Buckeye Conference matchup.
PHOTO GALLERY: Eastwood boys upset Lake 71-63
Jake Schmeltz tossed in 17 of his team-high 23 points in the second half to lead Eastwood. Steven Bradley also picked it up after halftime for the Eagles, scoring 11 of his 15 points during the final two quarters to help end the Flyers’ 13-game win streak.
Lake’s Connor Bowen poured in a game-high 27 points, including 23 in the second half for the Flyers (13-1, 7-1 NBC). Jared Rettig added 14 points in a game Lake made only 10 of 20 free throws.
“The target has been on our backs for a while now,” Lake coach Ryan Bowen said. “I’ve been telling our kids that teams are going to come out with their best. We don’t play particularly well in this gym, and Eastwood has been playing really [well] and it’s always a battle between us two.
“Eastwood came out and played a little bit harder and got out after it a little more. We were terrible from the foul line and we didn’t shoot very good and it all caught up with us tonight.”
Flipse, a 5-8 senior guard, finished in double figures with 12 points, including nine after halftime, and dished out a team-best six assists.
“I just kind of threw that one up there,” Flipse said, of his 3-pointer from halfcourt that cut the Flyers’ eight point advantage to 24-19 at the break. “It’s just great to beat these guys at home because they got away with one at their place.
“It was just awesome. We came together as a team.”
Lake beat Eastwood 52-49 at home Dec. 12.
After Flipse’s long-range heave, The Eagles (9-4, 5-2) opened the third quarter with an 11-0 run. They took a 30-24 lead when Bradley came up with a steal and broke free for a two-hand dunk with 6:11 remaining in the period.
“It’s huge for us,” Schmeltz said of the victory. “We’ve been gaining momentum game by game and we're just building and it feels great.
“We talked all week about how it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to have the No. 4 team in the state come to your home court. To pull out a win is just huge.”
Eastwood coach Matt Routson said the coaches emphasized playing better all-around defense in the second half, which led to them outscoring the Flyers 26-15 in the decisive third quarter.
The Eagles had trailed Lake by as much as nine points in the first half.
“Lake’s got a great program and they have a great team this year,” Routson said. “We felt like we had an opportunity to compete with them here and we were able to do that tonight, so I'm pretty happy.”
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302, or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.