|
|
The Suburbanite
  • LCCS dominates first half to claim win over Kidron

  • The Lake Center Christian Tigers ventured into unfamiliar territory and emerged with a 58-48 home win over Kidron Central Christian.

    • email print
  • The Lake Center Christian Tigers ventured into unfamiliar territory and emerged with a 58-48 home win over Kidron Central Christian.
    For a team that has played in an exorbitantly high number of close games this season, the double-digit win saw LCCS dominate the first half, lose its footing in the third quarter and steady itself for its seventh win of the season.
    “That’s a situation we haven’t been in very often on either end,” LCCS coach Eric Schlabach said. “Almost every game we’ve played has been close throughout, so it was new for us to play with a lead like that. When they got it down to eight or 10, we were always able to respond against the pressure.”
    Early on, it appeared the Tigers (7-9) would run away with the game as they shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and limited themselves to seven turnovers, putting them at a pace well below their season average.
    Senior center Mark Slayman was dominant inside in the first two quarters, barging to the basket almost at will against the smaller Comets (5-9) for layups or using his size to grab rebounds and score on putbacks. For the half, Slayman notched 11 points and 10 rebounds, and his scoring output nearly matched that of the entire Central Christian team.
    “Early on, you could tell they were very focused on trying to taking away our post players, but our guards were able to penetrate and I thought we did a good job of taking advantage of that ,” Schlabach said.
    The Tigers led 29-15 at the half and an active, fast-rotating defense kept the Comets from getting good looks at the basket. If not for the efforts of junior forward Josh Woodrich, the Comets would have been completely lost.
    Woodrich was a one-man wrecking crew all night long, including tallying 12 of his team's 15 first-half points and seven of its 15 rebounds in the opening two frames.
    Leading 29-15, the Tigers were in a place they have rarely been this season. Most of their games have been close throughout, leaving them with experience in lopsided contests. They stayed in the lead even with senior point guard Alex Armstrong in foul trouble all half long, going to the bench with his third foul midway through the second quarter.
     That inexperience in playing with a large lead showed in the third quarter as Woodrich continued his hot streak and received help from sophomore guard Corbin Schrock and junior forward Nate Otto. Shrock drained two 3-pointers to supplement Woodrich's scoring proficiency and Otto chipped in with baskets in the paint as the Comets narrowed their deficit to as few as seven points in the third quarter.
    “We made a couple of mistakes defensively in the third quarter and we allowed their one guard (Woodrich) who is really good hit a couple of shots and get some momentum,” Schlabach said. “I don't think we necessarily let down, but we made a couple of mistakes and they made us pay for them.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Getting the period started was its own challenge as a halftime chili auction as part of Alumni Night festivities stretched well past the buzzer ending halftime, and those selling and handing out the chili would not exit the court. The officials threatened LCCS, the home team, with a technical foul for delay of game if the chili sellers didn't vacate the court. A frustrated Schlabach shouted across the court in an attempt to expedite the process.
    Order was eventually restored and the same could be said for the Tigers as they fended off the Comets' last-ditch rally in the fourth quarter. Rainieri was steady at the free-throw line, making his last four charity tosses to help close the game out. Slayman drained his last three from the line as well and senior forward Taylor Miller made two free throws in the fourth, points made all the more important because Central Christian began fouling to extend the game.
    Slayman led LCCS with 16 points and 14 rebounds on the night.Rainieri added 14 points and Miller contributed eight. Woodrich led all scorers with 31 and was the only player in double figures for Central Christian.
    The LCCS lead never dipped below seven in the fourth quarter despite Woodrich's best efforts and the Tigers closed out the win to inch closer to the .500 mark for the season.
    “All year, I've talked about the fact that there have been no easy ones. Our guys know that and they’re battle tested and even in our rough stretch, there was never a time when they were frustrated,” Schlabach said. “They just kept plugging along and I think the win tonight was a result of that.”