FOREST CITY – Forest City and Lake Mills entered play on Friday as a pair of three-loss teams that both still had aspirations of a Top of Iowa Conference West Division title.
When the two teams met early in the season, the result was a one-point victory for the Indians.
With evenly-matched teams, the difference would come down to which team could get one player hot at the right time.
That question was likely answered in the opening moments of the game when Forest City’s Micah Lambert connected on a three-pointer for the first points of the game for the Indians.
The three was just Lambert’s eighth of the season, and it sparked the senior forward to a career-high 32 points effort as Forest City pulled away in the second half for a 56-43 win.
Lambert finished 11-of-17 from the floor with three treys and 7-for-8 from the free-throw line.
Lambert had 20 points in a second half that saw Forest City outscore the Bulldogs 32-22.
“My teammates did a great job of getting me the ball,” Lambert said. “It seems that somebody different leads us, and it happened to be me tonight.”
Avery Busta, the Indians’ senior point guard, added seven points.
Also key for the Indians was a solid defensive effort that was designed to slow down Chett Helming, the Bulldogs’ leading scorer on the season at more than 18 points per game.
Forest City limited Helming to just five shot attempts on the game and finished with six points.
Caleb Bacon led Lake Mills with 19.
The victory continued Forest City’s unlikely run in a season that started with a near-total roster makeover from last year.
“We graduated 10 seniors,” Forest City coach Dan Rosacker said. “But these guys came in ready to go.”
Forest City (16-3) returns to action Monday when it plays host to Bishop Garrigan in a matchup that will likely decide the conference crown.
The Forest City boy's team outscored Belmond-Klemme 13-1 in the first quarter, and used that cushion to propel itself to a 64-41 win over the Broncos on Thursday, Jan. 31.
Senior Micah Lambert scored 16 points, collected eight rebounds, and had three steals. Avery Busta had a double-double, with 11 points and 11 assists. Junior Riley Helgeson scored 13 points.
After a Saturday contest against North Iowa, Lake Mills (14-4) will return to action Tuesday with an opponent that has yet to be determined in the Top of Iowa Conference challenge.