Taking the rock to the rack

Lakehead University Thunderwolves forward Lock Lam (8) goes to the hoop against Prince Kamunga of the York University Lions on Saturday at the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse.

The first half report card is in and the results look pretty good.

The Lakehead University Thunderwolves men’s basketball team is currently in top spot in the OUA Central Division with a 9-3 record. McMaster is right on their tail with an 8-2 slate with a pair of games in hand.

The squad was ranked sixth in Canada even before sweeping the York Lions at the C.J. Sanders Fieldhouse last weekend, squeaking out a two-point win on Friday before de-clawing the Lions with a 91-63 victory on Saturday.

Lock Lam led the Thunderwolves with 25 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks in 31 minutes of play in Saturday’s tilt, while teammate Isaiah Traylor notched 21 points to maintain his 20-point average per game through 12 contests.

The lead enabled head coach Ryan Thomson to insert his reserves in the fourth quarter.

Lakehead enters the Christmas break — and it’s a lengthy one lasting until Jan. 17 — on a three-game winning streak.

Five of Lakehead’s wins have come with a margin of four points or less.

“Last year it felt like we lost a lot of close games,” said Thomson, who saw his squad log a 10-14 record in his first full season at the helm. “A lot of games that we’ve been in this year have been battles, kind of ugly, grind it out wins. That’s just the make up of the team I think. They’re doing a good job of sticking together. Doing that for 40 minutes is always a challenge.”

Thomson feels team chemistry has been the elixir.

“I think it’s just having better relationships with the guys. Everyone was new last year, we were trying to find our footing,” he said. “We had a good summer with a bunch of guys sticking around, trying to get better. Makes a difference.”

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