SOUTH BEND — Lakeland Christian Academy’s performance was kind of like Seth Martin’s dunk, provided it was a dunk.

Both were a bit choppy, both left some doubt along the way, but ultimately, both were successfully executed.

“Yeah, we’ll call it a dunk … OK, a half-dunk,” LCA coach Chris Hohm said with a smile after his visiting Cougars beat the Community Baptist Christian School Cougars of South Bend 63-57 in boys high basketball Tuesday night.

Martin, a 6-foot freshman packing promise, scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as LCA won its second straight game to improve to 5-16 overall, 1-3 in the Hoosier Plains Conference. Junior Cameron Shepherd added 13 points for the winners, senior Landon Paris chipped in 12 points on a quartet of 3-pointers to go with nine rebounds, and junior Brayden Lane dished six assists to accompany three steals.

The contest, featuring 13 lead changes, was tight most of the night, but with LCA already up

44-42 at 6:16 remaining, the guests erupted with a 15-0 spree to take apparent control at 59-42 inside of three minutes left.

“We’ve been working really hard all season on playing together and for each other, and that was a stretch we did it,” Hohm said. “We were playing good defense there, the ball was moving, we were setting each other up, we had a lot of assists. When we do that, I think we’re a pretty good team. We just don’t play that way all the time, so it was a nice stretch to see.”

Martin netted eight points during the run, including that semi-dunk in question. On it, he made a steal, soared toward the rim, but initially appeared to leave the ball a bit short. It trickled over the front of the iron and in, though.

“He’s been getting over the rim in practice, so you could see he was looking for it,” Hohm said with a grin.

“He’s a very athletic kid who puts a lot of time in the gym,” Hohm added of his team’s leading scorer (14.1 points per game) and rebounder (6.5) on the season. “He has some natural ability to score, but he’s also worked at it, and he crashes the boards hard. I’m excited for his future as he learns the game.”

On a night there was no JV contest, Hohm admitted afterwards to becoming a touch nervous that he had pulled his starters too soon, doing so at around two minutes left with a 14-point lead, but he kept his faith in his backups by keeping them in, and CBCS got no closer than the final count.

Do-everything senior Zach Stewart, playing his last game on his home court, led CBCS (1-9, 0-4) with 23 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and five steals.

Jay Clifton, a diminutive and unflinching eighth-grader playing up for the hosts, added 20 points, four assists and three steals, but CBCS struggled to find consistent production elsewhere.

“I think there were times we fell asleep,” Hohm said of his team’s defense, which included man and zone. “Overall, I think our rotations were OK, but we didn’t find the shooters well enough. Our hands were down a little bit. Some of that was they weren’t hitting a high percentage, but it was still kids that could’ve hit three or four straight.”

 LCA heads right back to South Bend on Thursday to face Career Academy, then closes its regular season Friday by hosting Oregon-Davis, before getting more than a week to prepare for the Class 1A Southern Wells Sectional.

“It’ll be kind of interesting the way the schedule worked out that we have extra time off before the sectional,” Hohm said, “and it’s also going to be different that we’re not in a sectional with (perennial power Fort Wayne) Blackhawk (moved up to 2A this season). We’ve ended up playing them the last four years. I think we have a chance to make some noise if we play well.”