Lake Orion varsity basketball loses close rivalry game to Oxford, take Stoney Creek into overtime

It’s been a tough season for the Lake Orion boys varsity basketball team.
Yes, the team is young, with only four seniors on the 12-man roster.
And while the team’s record now stands at 4-11 overall, 2-5 in league play, including losing their last three games, none of that has stopped the team from fighting for every point, right up until the final buzzer.
The Dragons continue to put up points against tough opponents, falling just short of the win in the past three games.
Friday night’s rivalry game with Oxford certainly lived up to its billing, said Dragons Head Coach Jim Manzo.
In front of a large crowd and terrific atmosphere, the Wildcats held off Lake Orion for a 64-62 victory, fighting off a furious 4th quarter rally by the Dragons, Manzo said.
The first half would see plenty of lead changes on both sides and Oxford went to halftime with a 27-23 lead, extending that lead to as many as 9 points early in the 4th quarter before the green and white came storming back, cutting the lead to just 2 points inside of 2 minutes left.
Oxford would knock down several key free throws in the closing minutes and escaped with a two-point victory, improving their overall record to 14-2.
Junior guard Jamie Lewis led the Dragons, scoring a game high 23 points, 11 of which came in the 4th quarter.
Junior forward Casey Stironek continued his fine play, scoring 12 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. Senior guard Steve Zmijewski added 8 points and sophomore forward Hunter Sites chipped in with 7 points. Freshman guard Jack Cummins scored 6 points on 2 critical three point shots and played a strong game, Manzo said.
The Dragons play 3 games in 4 nights this week, starting at Linden on Tuesday.
Lake Orion vs. Stoney Creek
Stoney Creek came into the game on Feb. 14 with a 12-3 overall record, and in first place in the division at 4-1.
Their only league loss came at the hands of Lake Orion back on Jan 17, and on Feb. 14, the Dragons were inches away from sweeping the season series against the Cougars before falling 60-55 in overtime.
Steve Zmijewski hit a clutch three-pointer with 1.4 seconds left in the 4th quarter to send the game to overtime, but Stoney Creek hit some critical free throws and earned a 60-55 win, Manzo said.
Playing their second game in as many nights, the Dragons turned in their gutsiest performance of the year.
Casey Stironek, continued his fine play, scoring a career high 17 points. Steve Zmijewski added 13 points, while Jamie Lewis chipped in with 10 points. Pierce Burke had another strong game as well, scoring 9 points and grabbing several key rebounds, Manzo said.
The Dragons were one point shy of having four players in double digits, “which is a sign of good things to come,” Manzo said. – J.N.

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