By KEVIN THOMPSON

sports@gctelegram.com

LAKIN - When you're facing the best in the west, you have to come out with guns blazing from the start and never let up.

Lakin did that as they hosted Hi-Plains League foe Syracuse Friday night. Jockeying for position in the upcoming sub-state, the Broncs needed a win.

For three quarters, they looked ready to win the shootout. But Lakin ran out of ammo as the Bulldogs raised their record to 16-1 with a 65-53 victory.

Syracuse used its patented no-phase style of play to jump out to a 15-8 first quarter lead, thanks to a 13-0 run after Lakin hit the first field goal of the game.

But the Broncs showed their mettle in the second, outscoring the Bulldogs to close the gap to 29-25 at the half.

Both teams had big third quarters from their big men. Lakin's Colby Hamel had 10 of his game-high 25 points, and James Burkett had six of his 16 in that quarter.

Lakin tied the game at 42-all when Hamel hit a layup and free throw with 1:02 to play.

Midway through the fourth, Cody Kinnier's offensive putback got Lakin to within one, 49-48. Then the Bulldogs pulled out another serious run, 14-2 over the next five minutes to dash the Broncs' hopes.

Syracuse went to its spread offense with 1:20 to play and it was too much, too late for Lakin.

The name of the game all season for the Bulldogs has been "poise," as in not letting any situation phase them, as evidenced Friday after Lakin closed the gap twice.

"We've been in situations like that before during the season," Syracuse coach Jeff Mathias said. "They're showing poise, which I appreciate. It seems like when we get to the crunch time and it seems like things are tightening up, we seem to find a way to get a basket somewhere."

Despite being 16-1, Syracuse has essentially flown under the radar this season. This could be due in large part to the team not having a major superstar to make headlines.

"It's not just one person putting up huge numbers, but a lot of people putting up decent numbers," he explained of his team's Stealth bomber-like approach. "It's pretty easy to overlook a team like that, at least statistically."

For Lakin coach Greg Reed, it was a matter of just not executing down the stretch.

Too many turnovers and being outrebounded didn't help either, he said. While Hamel had 14 boards and Kinnier and Reno Armstrong chipped in with another 12, it wasn't enough to offset the rebounding from Syracuse's outside shooters.

"We didn't box out their outside shooters," Reed said. "They'd shoot the ball, our guards didn't box out, and they'd crash in and help rebound, that's Colby against five guys. That doesn't work."

The Bulldogs held Lakin's (9-9) Bryant Miller to just nine points (half his season average), one field goal a quarter. Meanwhile, JD Howell, Parks and Simon had 36 to counter, including six 3-pointers.

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Syracuse 65, Lakin 53

Syracuse 15 14 18 18 -- 65

Lakin 8 17 17 11 -- 53

Syracuse - Howell 3 0-0 6, Parks 7 0-0 18, Simon 4 2-2 12, McAllister 1 2-2 4, Sibley 4 1-3 9, Burkett 5 6-9 16. Totals 24 11-17 65.

Lakin - Kinnier 1 2-4 4, Miller 4 1-1 9, Davidson 2 0-0 5, Shalberg 1 0-0 2, Armstrong 3 2-2 8, Hamel 9 7-8 25. Totals 21 12-16 53.

3-point goals - Syracuse 6 (Parks 4, Simon 2), Lakin 1 (Davidson 1). Rebounds - Syracuse 28, Lakin 30 (Hamel 14). Turnovers - Syracuse 12, Lakin 15. Fouled out - Lakin (Miller).

Lakin girls 61, Syracuse 30

It was senior night at Lakin High School, so it's appropriate that a senior would have her best game of the season.

That's the script that Allie Jones followed as she scored 17 points to lead her Lady Broncs to a 61-30 win over Hi-Plains League rival Syracuse.

Jones scored nine points in the opening quarter and finished with a game-high 17 points while grabbing a team-leading eight boards.

The closest the Lady Bulldogs (3-14, 0-7 HPL) could get to Lakin was 6-6 with 3:15 left in the first quarter. From there, it was all Broncs.

Riding a wave of sound shooting, the Broncs went on scoring streaks of 13 and 15 points early to break the game open, doubling the lead by half at 36-18.

A tenacious defense from Lakin (5-13, 2-6 HPL) forced 35 Syracuse turnovers, and Lakin's inside game on both ends helped outrebound the Lady Bulldogs 33-14.

The Lady Broncs shot 33 percent from the field (16-of-48), but they dominated at the line, hitting 28-of-43, while Syracuse was just 6-of-20.

Besides Jones' 17 points, no other Bronc hit double figures. Senior Keyton McAtee and Mariah Hill, both averaging in the mid-teens since the Christmas break, were held to just four and seven points, respectively.

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Lakin 61, Syracuse 30

Syracuse 10 8 5 7 -- 30

Lakin 19 17 13 12 -- 61

Syracuse - Dowell 0 1-2 1, Newton 4 0-2 8, Baeza 0 0-2 0, Yee 1 0-0 2, Cashler 4 1-3 9, Lican 0 1-4 1, Housholder 2 0-1 4, Gerard 1 3-6 3. Totals 12 6-20 30.

Lakin - Williams 0 6-8 6, 4 9-16 17, Hill 1 5-8 7, McAtee 1 1-2 4, Waechter 2 1-1 5, Davidson 0 2-2 2, Simmons 1 0-0 2, Rogers 2 2-4 6, Olson 1 0-0 2, Armstrong 4 1-2 9. Totals 16 28-43 61.

3-point goals - Syracuse 0, Lakin 1 (McAtee 1). Rebounds - Syracuse 14, Lakin 33. Turvovers - Syracuse 35, Lakin 18. Fouled out - Syracuse 2 (Newton, Housholder).