Pike Liberal Arts varsity teams get
back to work against Lakeside
By STEVEN G. WATSON
The Pike Liberal Arts Patriots are ready to get back to work on the hardwood tonight as they hit the road for their third straight game away from home against Lakeside.
Neither team has played in almost a week with the boys’ varsity riding the wave of an emotional overtime win over Glenwood and the Lady Patriots trying to get back to their winning ways after dropping their first Region game.
"I think it’s been good for us," dual head coach Jim Ryan said about both his clubs. "It’s the first time we’ve had this kind of break. It’s always fun to give them time off so they don’t just get burnt out on basketball. Once January comes there isn’t going to be any break. This has also given us a chance to heal up and lick our wounds a little."
Right now the Patriots sit in the driver’s seat with an 8-1 record overall, a No. 7 ranking in the state and a 2-0 record in Region play. The only other undefeated team in the Region is Lee Scott who goes into their game with Macon tonight 1-0 (Macon is 0-1).
In Lakeside the PLAS coach has warned his team about the chance of a letdown game. They field a very capable squad and have enough talent to pull the upset.
"Lakeside can bring it on any given night," Ryan said. "They have some talent and we’re looking at them as a mystery team. They’ve lost some close games to some very talented teams, but then they’ve also been beaten by 20 by some other teams that we’ve already faced. They definitely have a team that can give you problems in different areas."
Lakeside is led by the capable hand of Lou Mitchell who is averaging around 20 points per game and is their biggest offensive threat.
On the girls’ side, Ryan knows he and his team of Lady Patriots have their work cut out for them. The Lakeside girls are ranked No. 2 overall in the AISA rankings and are undefeated on the year.
"In a word they’re awesome," Ryan said. "They’re ranked second in the state and are easily one of the best teams we will face this year. We will have to play our best game with a lot of emotion to even have a chance against them. They will definitely have to play with more emotion than they did in the last game. They were just flat against Glenwood.
"The break may have hurt the girls more than the guys," he continued. "A couple of weeks ago we were playing the best basketball that we’ve played here in a while. Right now we have the type of team that on any given night they can beat you by 20 or lose by 20."
The first game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. with the next action the PLAS squads will see coming on Dec. 27 as they host the PLAS Holiday Tournament.