By Will Willems- Sports Editor
Greencastle – After watching Western Boone run back-door cuts all night against Frankfort in the sectional opener, the Lebanon boys basketball team was on a mission to make sure it didn’t happen against them in the sectional semifinals.
Mission accomplished. The Tigers held Western Boone to 23.9 percent shooting on the night and led the entire way in a 55-35 win over the Stars.
“We did a great job of not letting them get back doors on us, which they are very good at,” Lebanon head coach Albert Hendrix said. “J.R. (Howell) has done an outstanding job with their kids and they have come along was this season. Our defense was the difference in the game tonight.”
Lebanon controlled the game from the opening tip.
The Tigers held Western Boone without a point for the first 9:48 of the game and jumped out to a 10-0 lead.
Western Boone finished the first half 3 of 20 and trailed 18-10 heading into the locker room.
“Even though we didn’t score in the first quarter, I was OK with where we were,” Western Boone head coach J.R. Howell said. “Holding them to eight points in the quarter and 18 in the half is pretty good. As bad as our offense was, our defense was pretty good. But you never want to start a sectional game putting up zeroes. We had some decent looks, just couldn’t get them to go in.”
Lebanon only forced six turnovers in the game, but never allowed Western Boone got get comfortable offensively.
Western Boone’s three leading scorers – Marshall Hodgen, Lucas Morton and Peyton Young – combined to shoot 5 of 28 (17.8 percent) from the field. Hodgen, coming off a career-high 33 points, was held to three on 1 of 11 shooting.
“We knew they would make it difficult on us,” Howell said. “The way they defended us was what we thought was going to happen, they just did a really good job of it. You have to give them credit.”
Lebanon was able to put the game away in the third quarter.
The Tigers started the third quarter on an 11-2 run and built the lead to 29-12 with 5:05 left in the third quarter.
Western Boone never got within single digits again.
“When you let a team stick around, they will get you in the end,” Hendrix said. “That is what they did against Frankfort. We wanted to make sure that we got a stop on their first possession and then build on that. We had a couple of set plays that we ran to start the third quarter, scored on them and then could pick up the pressure.”
Howell said that going out for the second half, he felt like the Stars were in a decent spot, but the early third quarter run deflated his team.
“They scored on four or five-straight possessions to start and we couldn’t make anything,” Howell said. “It is disappointing because we had been playing pretty well the past couple of months and shooting the ball well. We kind of went back to how we are shooting at the beginning of the year, and that happens.”
Trevor Lakes led Lebanon with 22 points.
He scored the first 10 points of the game, and added six in the decisive run that put the game away.
“Our three guys that don’t normally score for us really picked up the slack on Wednesday and we got here because of them,” Hendrix said. “Tonight, Trevor Lakes did an outstanding job. Not just because of the points, but because he let the game come to him. He didn’t settle for anything and really picked his spots.”
Will Byrd added 13 points in the win, with Clayton Barber added eight.
Morton led Western Boone with eight, with Young adding seven.
The Stars end the season 7-17.
“They really fought back this year,” Howell said. “We started off slow and it was really ugly at times. But they bounced back, and made something out of the season. We didn’t win as many games as we wanted, but we had some good wins in the second half of the year. These kids never gave up, and they could of it they didn’t care. What I will remember most is how they didn’t give up.”
Lebanon, now 14-12, faces Tri-West at 7:30 p.m. for the sectional championship.
The Bruins defeated Crawfordsville 66-53 in the other semifinal.
Lebanon defeated Tri-West 54-49 in overtime on Jan. 13.
“We have to play good defense and can’t turn the ball over,” Hendrix said. “We have to play 29 or 30 minutes really well, because they are a really good basketball team. We are going into tomorrow night with an opportunity to win a sectional. Our kids are fired up about it and have to come ready to play.”
Western Boone 0 10 13 12 -35
Lebanon 8 10 19 18 -55
Lucas Morton 3-10 0-0 8, Marshall Hodgen 1-11 1-2 3, Jack Gilliam 2-3 2-5 6, Peyton Young 1-7 5-6 7, Garrett Miller 1-5 0-1 2, Duncan Reed 0-2 1-2 1, Bryce Pratt 0-0 1-2 1, Cortez Stoudamire 0-0 0-0 0, Sam Freeman 0-1 0-0 0, Tom Hendrix 2-6 0-0 5, Drew Demaree 1-1 0-0 2, Pat Schallenberger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 11-46 10-18 35.
Will Byrd 4-8 5-6 13, Trevor Lakes 9-16 2-3 22, Clayton Barber 3-4 1-2 8, Trevor Boyne 0-3 0-0 0, Jaylen Washington 0-3 0-0 0, Carson Burtron 1-2 3-4 5, Ryan Poole 1-1 0-0 2, Kobe Burtron 0-1 2-2 2, Ethan Price 1-2 0-0 2, Kye Zimmerman 0-0 1-2 1, Brannon Watson 0-0 0-0 0, Elijah Allen 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-40 14-19 55.
3-pointers: Western Boone 3-17 (Morton 2-6, Hendrix 1-3, Miller 0-3, Hodgen 0-2, Young 0-2, Freeman 0-1), Lebanon 3-10 (Lakes 2-6, Barber 1-1, Byrd 0-2, Boyne 0-1).
Rebounds: Western Boone 29 (Miller 5, Morton 5), Lebanon 35 (Lakes 7).
Turnovers: Western Boone 6, Lebanon 8.
Fouls: Western Boone 17, Lebanon 17. Fouled out: Hodgen (W), Washington (L).