Boys Varsity Basketball · Tigers grind out win over Stars

Dec 13, 2019

DOVER – Lebanon head coach Albert Hendrix knew that Friday’s match-up with Western Boone was going to be a grind it out affair.

So while there were definitely still things to improve on, he was happy with the fact that his team was able to come away with a 52-44 win to move to 3-2 and 2-0 in the Sagamore Conference.

“This is such a good rivalry, not matter the sport, and both teams come out hyped up ready to play,” Hendrix said. “Western Boone did a nice job today, and are still trying to get in basketball mode. I thought the third quarter, we really played hard, and that made a difference.”

For Western Boone, it was just its second game of the year after having the first four pushed back due to the football team’s success.

After a tough loss to Covington on Tuesday, head coach Josh Burkett said there were definite steps in the right direction on Friday night.

“We went from 24 turnovers Tuesday to 11 today,” Burkett said. “We still didn’t shoot very well, and gave up a lot of offensive rebounds. We were right there with them, it was a heck of a game, but the third quarter was so crucial. We said at halftime that we needed to score, then get stops and go on a run, and they flipped on us.”

Lebanon led by one at the end of a quarter and two at the half.

The Tigers scored the first five points of the third quarter, and were able to use a 16-5 run to take a 13-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

“We played with a sense of urgency in the third quarter,” Hendrix said. “We just weren’t being patient on offense in the first half, and missed so many lay-ups and free throws. Those are things we have to get fixed.”

Western Boone closed to as close as five in the fourth quarter with around a minute to play, but Lebanon was able to break the Stars’ press and finish the game off.

Burkett said that as the Stars’ are getting back into basketball form, two and three possession games seem like a lot more when they aren’t shooting the way they expect.

“It’s a long season, we still don’t have all our stuff in and our press isn’t great right now,” Burkett said. “We were trying to turn up the tempo defensively and we did an OK job of it, and we were trying to foul, but we didn’t do a good enough job of it. That third quarter, when you get down 2-3 possessions, it gets really hard especially when you aren’t shooting well.”

Carson Burtron led the Tigers with 18 points. Michael Reese had 10 and Hunter Crew had eight.

The Tigers host Kokomo Saturday night.

“They are so athletic and have a couple kids that can really shoot it,” Hendrix said. “We are going to have to play physical. Our kids are in a good spot right now, and we have to come out tomorrow night and be happy we came out of tonight with a win and move on.”

Western Boone travels to Rossville on Tuesday.

Cortez Stoudemire led the Stars Friday with 16 points. Spencer Wright added eight and Connor Hole seven.

Stoudemire has averaged 19.5 points in the Stars first two games.

“He is definitely being aggressive, we are working with him right now about just making a decision on the catch – move it, or attack,” Burkett said. “He is still getting his shot down and that will come. I feel a lot better today, than after Tuesday. Lebanon is very good, and we competed really, really well.”

Will Willems is the Sports Editor of the Lebanon Reporter and Zionsville Times Sentinel. Follow him on Twitter