BETHANY -- A quick rematch of the Little Okaw Valley Conference Northwest Division tournament championship game wasn't going to be any less intense than the original.
But a fourth-quarter 3-pointer by Mike Fiala and a strong performance from the free throw line allowed LSA to earn a 56-48 victory against Okaw in Tuesday night's game.
The victory was No. 20 of the season for LSA. And it gave the Lions another win over Okaw Valley after edging the Timberwolves 45-40 on Jan. 27.
"Our kids kept our composure," LSA coach Dave Kreps said. "Last time we played here, we did not and we stressed that a lot in practice the last few days. You have to take your time and get to the foul line and make them."
The Lions made 14-of-18 in the final 4:23 from the free throw line to preserve the win.
"We had quite a few turnovers in the first quarter (half of its 12 for the game) and that really hurt," Okaw Valley coach Brooks Inman said. "Both times we have played them they have played better than us in the fourth quarter. Both times they pulled away late.
"They did some good things defensively, which we have not seen a lot of yet. Our effort was there, but our execution was not always there. We had some good looks, but just didn't knock them down. There are some positives to take out of it."
Okaw Valley (12-12) was just 3-of-11 from the field in the final quarter with all three being 3-pointers.
"We had some good inside-out three-point looks that we just didn't knock down and they are shots we work on in practice," Inman said. "We just have to keep working at it and get better."
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A three-pointer by Okaw Valley's Jared Bunfill with 3:15 left made it a three-point game. LSA made 5-of-6 free throws in a span of 1:58 to go up by eight, 51-43. The Timberwovles didn't get closer than five the rest of the way.
"Our defensive effort was there and continues to get better and better," Inman said of his 2-3 zone. "We have some things to tightened up, but our rotations were good. We just have to start a little better than we did and finish a little better than what we did."
Ezra Schall led all players with 20 points for the Lions, while Fiala had 18.
LSA switched to a box-and-one on Cloyd in the third quarter.
"It really hurt Cloyd," Kreps said. "Once Schall picked him up and guarded him (after a LSA player fouled out with 3:47 left in the game), he shut him down the rest of the game. That was a huge difference as well."
The Lions were 20-of-27 (.741) from the free throw line and 16-of-31 from the field.
"We have not been patient offensively," Kreps said. "We stressed that in practice. We were patient tonight and that was a big difference in the basketball game. We made five or six passes and then get a foul and they go down and try and rush it and come up empty more than we missed our free throws."
Okaw Valley finished with three players in double digits and was led by Cloyd with 15 points, including eight in the third quarter, while Bunffill had 11 and Garrett Fritz had 10 points.