The Lake Park Perspective

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The Lake Park Perspective

The Lake Park Perspective

Early ending to historic boy’s basketball season

Any Lancer fan who attended the boy’s basketball team’s first game against Glenbard North had to know how special the season to come would be.
In double overtime with 1.7 seconds to go, point guard Camden Cerese (LP ‘24) pulled off the unthinkable and scored a 3 point shot to capture the win.
“In front of a packed house at West Campus, the entire place erupted when Camden Cerese hit that 3-pointer falling away at the top of the circle as time expired, and to see our entire student section spill out onto the floor to celebrate with the team was a truly amazing moment that filled me with pride,” LP athletic director Peter Schauer expressed.
There is no doubt that the 2023-24 boy’s basketball season will go down as one ofthe most memorable seasons in Lake Park athletic history. Although the team would ultimately fall to their rival GBN in a cruel reversal of fates, on an overtime buzzer beater, it does not overshadow the excitement, exuberance, and achievements of the season they put in the books for the program.
Starting with the Pekin holiday tournament, The Lancers advanced all the way to the finals beating out some well known schools in the state: Hersey, Pekin, Morton, and ending their streak against a tough Mt. Carmel, where Cam was named tournament MVP with 102 points scored.
Undoubtedly Cam’s impact on the team led the program to many historic and record breaking achievements. With a 23-point scoring average and total of 73 career wins during his time at Lake Park, Cam has broken Lake Park’s all-time single season scoring record, as well as the free throw record in a game of 14/14, and even scored 40 points in one game. Moreover, he has moved into 2nd place on LP’s all-time scoring list with 1,562 points, passing Andy Mack (‘LP 04). Cam has also become the 8th Lancer in history to be part of the 1,000 point club, a goal he desired to accomplish before the end of his senior season. With this being his last season, Cam mentioned that the things he will miss most are the bond with his teammates, along with the energetic student section.
“I am very grateful for my time at Lake Park and am very proud of the impact I made and all the great memories that I left on the floor,” Cam said. “I will always cherish those moments I had and will never forget my awesome experience wearing the Lake Park Jersey. I hope I made a lot of people proud and had great memories of watching me play.”
He along with seniors Jeremy Zakic, Matthew Geraci, Michael Walsh, Pavle Magazin, Dennasio LaGioia, and Thomas Rochford will be deeply missed for the impact and legacy they have left on the basketball program.
Other most notable events include LP’s win against Geneva which helped them reach 900 program victories since their very first win in 1957 against Round Lake.
“We had a great season” said Head Coach Billy Pitcher. “Beginning with camp on June 1, 2023 I put the state championship trophy on the front of our team packet as the goal because we felt we could do something special.”
Their rivalry with GBN began at the start of the Dukane conference in 2018. Before their final match up LP, had won their first 13 games against GBN and as Coach Pictcher described each game was an “absolute battle.” At their final matchup, “They scouted us very well and were a really tough matchup. The crowds and the students from both schools brought so much energy, making it an electric atmosphere each time. I knew that streak wouldn’t last forever, but for it to end on a last second shot in a playoff game, it is extremely hard to swallow for us.”
Cerese reassured that “overall I live with no regrets and me and the team left everything we had out there on the court, so we should be very proud of ourselves. We all wish we could have gone farther and won the state championship but it doesn’t always go how you want it too.”
Overall, this season has definitely set the bar high for next year’s athletes, especially with this season’s undefeated regular conference record of 14-0 and 1st place win in the Dukane conference championship, in addition to a total record of 29-4. The team expressed a great deal of gratitude to their fans.
“A huge thank you to the school, community, and our students. The energy, support and enthusiasm they gave us throughout our undefeated conference season, the 16 game winning streak & regional title is something the boys and I will never forget,” said Coach Picther.

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About the Contributor
Anastasia Krawczyszyn
Anastasia Krawczyszyn, Staff Writer
LP '25
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