By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN - The friendly confines of the home gym hasn't been so nice to the Lakin Broncs this season.
They were 0-5 at home this season heading into Friday's winter homecoming matchup with Cimarron.
But it was a good time day to be a Bronc at home as they held off a game Bluejay squad 70-62.
"It's about time," Lakin coach Greg Reed said after realizing the significance of this win.
Two weeks ago in the league tournament, Lakin had throttled Cimarron 61-34. It was the Bluejays' first game since then, and this time it was a contest.
However, the dynamic duo of Bryant Miller (23 points) on the outside and Colby Hamel (19 points, 12 rebounds) inside proved too much.
Countering them was the trio of Jays in Joey Franzitta (14), Stewart Fairbank (13) and Teddy Boersma (12).
Two weeks ago, the Bluejays had played tough game the night before facing Lakin and didn't have enough gas to match the Broncs. But this time was different.
"We knew they could shoot," Reed said. "So that's one thing we tried to do was spread out our defense because we knew they could shoot the ball."
This night's matchup lived up to Reed's expectations. Both teams scored 15 in the opening period, and Lakin held just a 34-28 edge at the half.
Both teams canned 17 in the third before Lakin pulled out in the final quarter behind 11 from Miller and Hamel.
"We switched defenses three or four different times trying to figure out what to do," Reed said.
The Broncs had to go to a box-and-one defense after Franziatti went off for nine in the second quarter. After that, he was held to just two points.
"He was eating our lunch so we went after him for a while just to take him out of the offense and make somebody else do something," Reed said.
The zone forced Cimarron to go inside a lot, he said, but most teams don't like going in against the 6-3, 280-pound Hamel.
Fairbank hit two early second-quarter field goals to give Cimarron a 19-15 lead. Franzitta hit for nine straight shortly after to give the Jays a 28-25 lead before Lakin stormed back to end the half.
Miller hit a three, Reno Armstrong nailed a two, and Armstrong blocked a shot, threw an outlet pass to Miller, who hit a jump shot at the buzzer to give the Broncs their halftime lead.
For Cimarron coach Doug Minneman, this game compared with the last one was all about rhythm.
"We were able to get into an offense and attack the middle of the zone," he said. "Last time their zone caused all kinds of problems and we couldn't do anything against it. We took care of the ball and made our shots."
A three-quarter court press in the second half disrupted Lakin's flow, just one of the "tricks" the Jays had in their bag.
"We knew we had to mix things up. We can't go man against (Miller and Hamel). We tried to limit what they could do," Minneman said. "The press is something we've been working on lately and it looked good at times."
Going forward, Reed is stressing wins for a better seed in sub-state, and Friday's win was a good start.
After the two-week layoff, Minneman said he was worried about how his team would come out.
"We handled it pretty well," he said. "We have a lot of games between here and the end of the season. If we continue to play like we did, we'll be fine."
Cimarron 15 13 17 17 -- 62
Lakin 15 19 17 19 -- 70
Cimarron - (3-11, 1-6) Franziatti 5 4-4 14, Hoskinson 1 0-0 2, Trevino 1 0-0 2, Woofter 1 0-0 2, Boersma 5 2-5 12, Fairbank 5 2-3 13, Garcia 2 1-5 5, Neuschafer 3 0-0 6, Siek 1 0-0 2. Totals 24 9-17 62.
Lakin - (6-8, 2-3) Kinnier 3 2-2 8, Miller 8 4-6 23, Shalberg 2 2-2 6, Armstrong 1 2-2 4, Geubelle 2 1-1 6, Hamel 8 3-7 19. Totals 24 14-20 70.
3-point goals - Cimarron 3 (Boersma 2, Fairbank 1), Lakin 4 (Miller 3, Geubelle 1). Rebounds - Cimarron 16, Lakin 24 (13).