By KEVIN THOMPSON
L AKIN New Lakin boys coach Greg Reed won't question his team's tenacity. There was no doubt they played hard Friday night.
What he might be questioning is who put the lid on the basket in the first half.
Lakin made only three shots the entire first half, and two of those were on wide-open breakaway layups.
Southwestern Heights exploited that shooting blip as they outlasted Lakin 58-44 in a Hi-Plains League basketball encounter to open the season.
Shooting woes were the nemesis for Lakin as they shot only 3-for-23 that first half, while Heights converted 9-of-22.
The Broncs shot 16-for-50 overall for the game, but Heights was around 50 percent and just would not relinquish their lead, even after Lakin mounted a late surge.
Up 15-5 after one quarter and 26-11 after two, Heights seemed in control. They opened the lead to 22 as the final quarter started.
But Lakin started pressing in the fourth quarter, and Heights started turning the ball over. After committing just eight miscues in the first three quarters, Heights felt the heat as the Bronc press caused eight turnovers in the final quarter.
A 12-4 run, with eight points of those off turnovers, cut that lead to 14.
Lakin whittled it down to 10 at 54-44 with under a minute to play, but it was too little, too late.
But Reed was proud of the way his team fought back.
"I was happy with the way they finished," he said. "We didn't start off well. I don't know if we were just nervous, but we're a better shooting team than that. We just have to shoot better. We had a lot of easy looks we should have made."
Dylan Shalberg led Lakin with 12 points, despite shooting only 1-for-8 in the first half. Colby Hamel added 10.
Cody Eakes led Heights with 21 points, followed by Oscar Sigala with 10.
Southwestern Heights 58, Lakin 44
SW Heights 15 11 16 16 58
Lakin 5 6 13 20 44
SWH Wes Winfrey 3 0-0 9, Oscar Sigala 2 6-6 10, Clayton Chase 1 0-0 2, Jacob Flores 3 1-2 7, Jeff Dutton 0 0-0 0, Cody Eakes 10 0-1 21, Cory Ryan 4 1-2 9. Totals 23 8-11 58.
Lakin Alex Jones 4 0-0 8, Dylan Shalberg 4 2-8 12, Bryant Miller 1 0-0 2, Jordan Rosales 0 0-0 0, Zach Reed 2 5-8 9, Colby hamel 4 2-2 10, Evan Holmes 1 1-2 3.. Totals 16 10-20 44.
3-point goals SWH 4 (Winfrey 3, Eakes 1), Lakin 2 (Shalberg 2).