Two of the three Northern Buckeye Conference teams that hadn’t lost a conference game this season met Tuesday night for an early season showdown.
Lake played host to nearby rival Rossford.
For more than 3½ quarters the Flyers had their way with the Bulldogs and appeared to be on their way to a blowout victory after leading by up to 23 points in the second half.
Yet, Rossford fought back and cut the deficit to six points late in the game before Lake held on for a 74-65 victory on its home court.
“We got complacent,” Lake coach Ryan Bowen said. “Obviously, (Rossford coach) Brian Vorst did a great job because their kids never stopped and I give them credit.”
Jared Rettig led four Flyers in double figures, scoring a team-high 18 points, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Connor Bowen finished with 14 points while Jayce Vancena and Cody Witt chipped in with 12 apiece for Lake (5-0, 3-0 NBC).
Rossford (3-3, 2-1 NBC) trailed 41-18 early in the third quarter after Rettig converted a three-point play for the Flyers with 6:30 left in the period. It was the largest lead of the game for Lake, which opened the first quarter by taking a 15-0 lead.
“We came out and laid an egg,” Vorst said.
Rossford’s starting backcourt of Derek Mack and Mack Miller did their part. Mack poured in a game-high 27 points, including 18 points in the second half, to lead the Bulldogs. Miller scored 16 of his 21 points after halftime.
“We got aggressive and took the ball to the rim,” Vorst said. “We were settling in the first half and we kind of played like robots. In the second half, we just turned it loose.”
The Flyers started the game fast and led 15-0 on a 16-foot jumpshot by Vancena with just under five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Mack ended the scorelessness for the Bulldogs when he knocked down a 12-footer to make it 15-2 with 4:25 left in the opening quarter.
Rossford closed out the quarter with a 7-2 run and Lake went into the second quarter with a 17-7 lead.
The Flyers regained momentum at the start of the second quarter with an 8-1 run and led 24-8 when Bowen sank a pair of foul shots with 4:44 to play in the half.
Lake took a 36-15 advantage into halftime after Witt drained a 3-pointer as the buzzer ended the half.
Bowen had nine points at the break while Jared Rettig had eight to lead the Flyers.
Mack led the Bulldogs with nine during the first 16 minutes of action.
The second half played out initially much like the first half with the Flyers dominating. They finished the third quarter with a 55-36 lead.
However, the Bulldogs cut the lead to single digits after going on a 13-4 run during a two-minute span down the stretch of the game.
Mack cut the Flyers’ lead to 66-60 when he scored a layup off a steal with 1:22 remaining. It was the closest the Bulldogs had been to tying the score since the opening minutes of the game.
However, Lake made nine of 12 foul shots in the fourth quarter to keep Rossford at bay.
Contact Donald Emmons at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6302 or on Twitter @DemmonsBlade.