Boys Junior Varsity Basketball, Boys Varsity Basketball · Stars stop Sparkplugs in first game of back-to-back

Dover – A well-balanced effort led Western Boone to a win over Speedway Thursday night.

Stars head coach Bronson Lickliter went to his bench early after some defensive lapses in the first quarter, but it was the response to those changes that was a key part of a 62-52 victory.

The Sparkplugs led 7-5 before a 7-2 run gave the Stars a lead and they took a two-point lead into the second quarter.

“We did a pretty nice job tonight,” Lickliter said. “We lost one of their shooters a couple times and had to get some subs in, but the guys responded after that. That was a nice thing to see from our guys.”

Western Boone controlled the second quarter, leading by as many as 12 before settling for an 8-point lead.

Coming out of the break, Speedway made a run, scoring the first six points of the third in a span of 90-seconds, and eventually took a 32-31 lead.

But the Stars got a 3-pointer on the next possession from Lucas Morton, igniting a 10-3 run that gave the Stars the lead for good.

“That is one of the things we have talked about,” Lickliter said. “We want them to have that urgency all the time, and playing like we are down. In the third quarter, we were able to take a punch and give it right back. Our kids played with intensity and a sense of urgency tonight.”

Speedway cut the lead to 45-44 early in the fourth quarter, but back-to-back baskets by Peyton Young and Lucas Morton pushed the lead back to five with 5:58 to go.

The Stars ultimately went on a 10-2 run, going up 55-46 on a basket by Adam Pratt with less than three minutes to play and saw the game out from there.

Morton led the team with 16 points, with Cortez Stoudemire adding 13 and Andrew McAtee scoring 10.

Eight of the nine players that played in the game scored, and seven had five or more points.

“That was great to see guys being able to step up and make plays,” Lickliter said. “We work every day on the little things, and everyone is capable of doing it. The guys have confidence in one another and we didn’t lose anything tonight when guys came in off the bench. We had some guys do things tonight that I’m not sure they expected, but we weren’t surprised because we know they are capable.”

The Stars have a quick turnaround, hosting Class 2A No. 10 Rossville tonight.

Lickliter said the Stars have to play at their pace in the game.

“We really have to control the tempo tomorrow,” Lickliter said. “Rossville wants to press and speed you up, and they have some very nice offensive players. If we aren’t ready and set, they will make you pay. We have to make sure we control the tempo and get back, ready to play some good defense.”