the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

Mustang Invitational Recap

Mustang+Invitational+Recap
Abby Gedville

The Lakes Boys Basketball team reflects on their performance in the Mundelein Thanksgiving Tournament, and how their rigorous schedule will prepare them for the post season.

“We grew a lot in a short amount of time,” said Lakes Basketball Head Coach Chris Snyder about his team’s performance in the Mundelein Thanksgiving Tournament. “It’s a good tournament,” said Snyder. “You get to see a variety of styles … They’re all challenging teams that get us ready for the season.”

Lakes had a very tough opening schedule against Mundelein, Deerfield, Carmel, and Chicago Comer, all during the week of November 19th. The Eagles’ first game against the Mundelein Mustangs on their home court came with feelings of uneasiness.

“There were definitely some nerves going into the first game,” said starting senior point guard, JJ Jackson. “We didn’t know what to expect, especially going up against some tough competition.”

Lakes fell to Mundelein 60-53 in a solid season-opening matchup. The statline was highlighted by the Eagles’ 38 rebounds, 18 assists, and 6 steals. The following night, Lakes was matched up against a very hot Deerfield team that had pushed the Carmel Corsairs to their limit the previous night. Lakes took an unfortunate loss to Deerfield with a score of 37-62. Due to the physical and mental stress playing back to back nights has, the final score is not necessarily what Coach Snyder is focused on.

“We know we’re going to be challenged,” said Snyder. “We’re going to play some good competition that should get us ready for what comes next … Our schedule is tough, so this is a good way to go out and find out who we are early.”

Included in this tough schedule was the Eagles’ next opponent, the Carmel Corsairs. “Going in, I was probably most excited to play Carmel,” said Mercure. “I’ve been playing Carmel since fifth grade (with the Lakes feeder basketball team), so I know the team, so it’s super exciting to play them.”

“I was very excited to play Carmel because I knew they would be a tough matchup for me,” said Jackson. “Especially knowing their guards, and how my defense and offense matches up against theirs.”

The Eagles led from the three point line with a 24% three point percentage as opposed to Carmel’s 8%. Lakes also led from the free throw line with an 83% free throw success rate, compared to Carmel’s 57%. Unfortunately, Lakes took another loss with a score of 46-54. However, the highly anticipated matchup showed signs of progress and a more cooperative team.

“We had a lead in the fourth quarter on and ended up losing, but saw a lot of just fight from our guys there,” said Snyder.
Lakes continued to build confidence with the new lineup and began on an upward trend after the tough-fought match against Carmel. Finally, the last game of the Eagles’ debut was against the Chicago Comer Catamounts.

We started out right from the jump running the floor, pushing the ball ahead, fast breaks, fast breaks, fast breaks,” said Jackson on their performance against Comer. “So we just made sure to stay on the help line, protecting against drives, and bring the double team if needed.

After taking a few games to find their groove, Lakes came out on top with a score of 70-54, the highest point-scoring game of the entire tournament.

“Everything clicked on defense,” said Mercure. “I was getting to where I needed to be, and on offense, we were just moving. I was able to run the floor, everything just kind of clicked back in.

“It really all fell together within running the floor, sharing the ball, and getting into our offense or defensive rotations,” said Jackson. “We were working a lot smoother than earlier in the season and other games.”

Lakes’ record in the Mundelein Thanksgiving Tournament does not show the incredible development of the team’s fluidity and each individual player’s growth. Two standout players were seniors JJ Jackson, an All-Tournament Team award winner and Thomas Mercure, Lakes’ leading scorer. Jackson describes how this tournament has prepared him for the rest of the season.

“I really found out what I need to get better at what I need to do in order to help the team be successful,” said Jackson. “I need to drive and dish more, I need to shoot the ball more, I need to create open shots for others.”

“JJ kind of did everything we needed him to do,” said Snyder. “Thomas Mercure had a good week as well. [He’s] a guy that you know, kind of gets more minutes this year and an expanded role and [has] really just stepped up and played well in some key moments.”

“We’ve learned kind of who we are as a team,” said Mercure. “[Like] what we need to do on defense and what we need to do on offense.”

“So I think [this tournament] just helps, you know” Snyder said, “To just kind of keep us realizing that we need to keep working and we need to get keep getting better each day.”

Mercure, Jackson, Snyder, and the Eagle fanbase all look forward to the growth of the team this season, and cannot wait to see how this tough competition will prepare them for the future.

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Erik Stover, Staff
Erik is a senior and this is his first year on staff. In his free time, he enjoys playing indoor and beach volleyball. He also likes listening to music and kayaking and paddleboarding on Cedar Lake. He is a Purdue basketball and volleyball superfan. His favorite athlete of all time is Micah Christenson from the USA National Volleyball Team.
Abby Gedville, Digital Media Director
Abby Gedville is a senior, going into her second year on staff. She enjoys playing sports and taking photos in her free time. Gedville is planning on being a 12 sport athlete by the time she graduates. Her favorite athlete of all time is Marian Hossa.