Lincolnview junior Zane Miller (40) drives into the lane against the defense of Bluffton’s Mason Soper during a Northwest Conference game on Tuesday night. Miller led all scorers with 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in a 60-46 Lancer win. (DHI Media/John Parent)
Lincolnview junior Zane Miller (40) drives into the lane against the defense of Bluffton’s Mason Soper during a Northwest Conference game on Tuesday night. Miller led all scorers with 15 points and grabbed 6 rebounds in a 60-46 Lancer win. (DHI Media/John Parent)

MIDDLE POINT — Coming off a rough weekend, Lincolnview’s boys basketball team needed a fast start on Tuesday night in order to regain some of its confidence.

Thanks to a 9-point first quarter by senior guard Chayten Overholt, the Lancers jumped in front of Bluffton in a Northwest Conference matchup outside of Middle Point and cruised to a 60-46 victory.

The Lancers, now 11-7 overall and 5-1 in league play, connected on 55 percent (24-for-44) of their shots in the game, and went 8 of 17 from 3-point range while putting four players in double figures.

In the opening quarter, with the visiting Pirates leading 7-4, the Lancers offense began to find its range.

After a Tristin Miller bucket, Overholt drilled a contested 3-pointer to put the Lancers ahead. Alek Bowersock then knocked down a trey off the bench and, seconds later, Overholt connected again from long range, which brought a Bluffton timeout. The momentum did not slow, however, as Overholt drilled a third triple with just over 30 seconds left in the period, giving the Lancers an 18-9 lead after eight minutes of play.

“It has been our ‘m.o.’ the last few games, getting out to slow starts, so to see us come out the way we did was great,” Lincolnview head coach Brett Hammons said. “Credit Chayten for knocking down those shots, and they were faceguarding him, but he was still able to get some open looks, which was huge.”

The Lancers continued to force the issue in the second period. After a Mason Soper jumper cut into the Pirate deficit, back-to-back buckets from Tristin and Zane Miller –the latter 3-pointer – made it a 23-11 ball game and forced another Pirate timeout.

The Pirates (7-11, 2-4 NWC) stayed within arm’s reach until late in the half. With the Lancers leading 29-20, Zane Miller connected on a 3-pointer from the right corner. As the ball was making its way through the net, the Pirates were called for a loose ball foul. The basket counted, and the Lancers retained possession. Inbounding from the baseline, Overholt fed Bowersock in the same corner for another trey. That 6-point possession all but put the game out of reach.

“We struggled to make shots all weekend, but credit to our guys for coming in yesterday and putting up a lot of shot [during practice],” Hammons said. “They have confidence in their ability. It was nice to be able to play Tuesday to get that bad taste from this weekend out of our mouths.”

If there was any thought of a Pirate comeback, it ended quickly in the third period. Zane Miller grabbed an offensive rebound with seven minutes to play and was fouled and his put-back dropped in. After he converted the 3-point play, he came away with a steal and outraced the Pirate defense for another hoop to make it an 18-point margin.

The lead grew to as many as 27 in the period, a quarter that saw Zane Miller score 9 of his game-high 15 points. He also led the way with 6 rebounds.

“Zane has been playing big for us all year,” Hammons said. “It seems like every game he just keeps getting better and better. It was great to start the game, and the second half, with those spurts to extend our lead a little bit, but also to prove to our guys that we can make those runs.”

Both teams went deep into their benches halfway through the fourth quarter, and the Pirates made a run that made the final score closer than the game actually was.

Overholt finished with 14 points while Tristin Miller added 12, and Bowersock scored 11. Ethan Kemler had 6 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists while Caden Ringwald was held to just 2 points, but collected 6 assists of his own.

“Tonight, we were very balanced; it was probably one of the more balanced games we’ve had,” Hammons said.

The Lancers return to the court on Friday with a visit to Ada.

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BLUFFTON (46)

Dakota Bricker 2-8 2-2 7, Jared Piercefied 5-9 0-1 10, Mason Soper 3-6 3-4 11, Cole Fruchey 3-5 0-0 7, Kaleb Jefferson 3-7 2-3 8, Joel Piercefield 0-2 0-0 0, Mason Ault 0-0 0-0 0, Baylor Gramatter 0-0 0-0 0, McCormick Ault 1-1 0-0 3; Totals 17-38 7-10 46

LINCOLNVIEW (60)

Caden Ringwald 1-3 0-0 2, Chayten Overholt 4-6 3-3 14, Zane Miller 6-10 1-1 15, Tristin Miller 6-12 0-0 12 Ethan Kemler 3-4 0-0 6, Alek Bowersock 4-5 0-0 11, Isaic Bowersock 0-2 0-0 0, Logan Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Jorge Salinas 0-0 0-0 0, Jake Bowersock 0-0 0-0 0; Totals 24-44 4-4 60

Bluffton 9 11 16 10 - 46

Lincolnview 18 17 21 4 - 60

3-point field goals: Blf 5-16 (Soper 2, McAult, Bricker, Fruchey), Lvw 8-17 (Overholt 3, Bowersock 3, ZMiller 2); Rebounds: Blf 21 (Jefferson 10), Lvw 21 (ZMiller 6); Assists: Blf 8 (3 players w/ 2), Lvw 16 (Ringwald 6); Turnovers: Blf 12, Lvw 9; Fouls: Blf 12, Lvw 15; JV score: Lvw 49-37