Senior forward Cass Phillips stepped up in a big way to help White Lake Lakeland fight back and force overtime with Waterford Kettering.
The 6-foot-9 senior scored 18 points and grabbed 20 rebounds as Lakeland was able to finish off Kettering in the extra session, 55-52, on Thursday night in Lakes Valley Conference play.
Lakeland (15-4, 11-4) led by eight at halftime, but Kettering came back with a small lineup that scored 20 of its 52 points in the third quarter. That forced Lakeland coach Ron Thompson to sit Phillips for a spell in the second half.
“They went with a smaller lineup, so we had to adjust,” Thompson said. “But when (Phillips) went back in, he dominated.”
Kettering pushed its lead to six in the final two minutes, but Phillips answered with six points during an 8-0 Lakeland run. Kettering had one more trick up its sleeve, as Zach Belz (11 points) was able to get into the lane and hit a floater at the buzzer to force overtime.
But that wouldn’t be enough to save the night for Kettering, as Lakeland’s tough late-game defense carried over into the extra frame.
“The defense really stepped in up tonight,” Thompson said. “We had some mental lapses in the third quarter, but the defense sparked the comeback.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Connor Snell tallied 11 and Lucas Theaker 10 for Lakeland.
Travis Frazier scored 20 to pace Kettering (4-13, 2-13).
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