Lakers head into holidays off big win

Lakers head into holidays off big win

YOUNGWOOD, Pa. – Marin Lisica and Merlon Devine each scored 17 points and all seven Lakers who played reached double figures as visiting Garrett College hung a 103-76 men's basketball loss on winless Westmoreland County Community College (0-8) Friday night.

Zakeem Davis and Strahinja Ivic each added 16 points while Elisha Kidd chipped in 14 for the Lakers.  Nathan Payet scored 12 and Kai Thompson contributed 11 in the balanced offensive effort.

"We have an unselfish team.  That's probably this team's strongest suit," said GC head coach Dennis Gibson, whose squad improved to 10-3 with its fifth straight victory.

Payet hauled down 10 rebounds to finish with a double-double while Davis came close to a triple-double after dealing out 9 assists and collecting 8 rebounds to go along with a team-high 4 steals.  Thompson had 9 rebounds; Kidd dished out 6 assists.

Juan Carrion scored a game-high 38 points – half of Westmoreland's total – but didn't get anywhere near enough help to compete with the Lakers.

Garrett blew out to a 48-33 halftime lead and never looked back while topping the century mark for the second time this season.  The Lakers are averaging over 83 points-per-game this campaign.

"All things considered, this is a good start," said Gibson, who annually worries about the effects of the long holiday break.  "The 2 ½ weeks off usually tells a lot.  I feel good about the group and what they've accomplished.  If they can weather this break, we should come back strong."

While the Lakers already have a signature win – a victory over 7-2 Montgomery College – Gibson said NJCAA Division II Region XX is especially tough this year.

"We have a very inexperienced team – nobody who actually played a lot last year," noted Gibson.  "Frederick, BCCC [Beaver County Community College], and Potomac State from our region are all nationally ranked.  Cecil and Southern Maryland – the top teams in the region last year – aren't having great years, but they've got good teams."

Gibson, however, indicated the Lakers could be another regional power if Lisica continues to play well inside.

"We need Marin in the post to play well to have a chance to be a contender," said Gibson.