Tramaine Isabell had 25 points and was a standout on defense, too, as the Lions won a game that was important for Metro League seeding.
The Lakeside Lions played an important game on Monday. It was important because it was against division rival O’Dea. It was important because it was a showcase game at the King Holiday Hoopfest at Brougham Pavilion.
And the Lions’ 69-54 win was important mostly for this reason: It gave Lakeside a 1 ½-game lead over Eastside Catholic for the Metro League’s fourth-best record. Only the three division winners plus the team with the next-best record can compete for the Metro title.
With five games left in the regular season, the fifth-ranked Lions (12-3, 9-3) control their playoff course. Lakeside is only one game back of Seattle Prep, the Mountain Division leader.
“One of our goals coming into the season was to finish in the top four in the league,” Lakeside coach Tavio Hobson said, “and this was a huge step in the right direction.”
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The Lions, fresh off a three-point win against then-No. 2 Seattle Prep on Friday, had no letdown against O’Dea (8-9, 7-6).
Senior point guard Tramaine Isabell paced Lakeside on both ends of the court with 25 points, five rebounds and three steals. He was most effective in transition, when he got the ball off a turnover or rebound and took off.
“He was phenomenal,” Hobson said. “He, more than anybody else, can change games with his defense and his deflections and the way he can get other people involved off those.”
Lakeside turned it on in the second half and outscored O’Dea by 11 in the final two quarters.
A well-placed lob from Matthew Poplawski to D’Marques Tyson, who made a tough catch and finish, put Lakeside up 62-48 with 3:20 left in the game. Isabell soon tacked on a three-pointer to extend Lakeside’s lead to 67-48.
Tyson finished with 18 points and six rebounds.
O’Dea, too, was coming off an upset win against Seattle Prep, last Tuesday. But the Irish made just 39 percent of their shots on Monday. Aaron Falaniko led O’Dea with 20 points, 16 in the first half.
“We got defensive stops when we needed them,” Hobson said.