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McCleery jumper lifts Lancers to ‘W’ over Kalida PDF Print E-mail
Monday, December 24, 2012 10:07 AM

MIDDLE POINT - Lincolnview junior post Conner McCleery couldn’t have waited for a better time for his first and only field goal the Lancers’ home bout with Kalida Friday night.

McCleery hit a jumper to give Lincolnview a 43-42 lead with 1:58 to play in the game and the Lancers held on from there for a 47-42 non-conference win.

The Lancers trailed by as many as 13 halfway through the third quarter but battled back in the game before taking the lead for good.

“It’s a good win,” said Lancer coach Brett Hammons. “I’m proud of the kids. We came out a little bit sluggish to start the game. (I was proud of) the way we battled in the second half. I told them at halftime — we were down eight — to keep working hard. We got it down to six at the end of the third and then outscored them 15-4 in the fourth.”

Both teams started the game a little sluggish, combining for 4-of-26 shooting from the field in the first quarter, after which Kalida held a narrow 7-6 lead.

That lead lengthened in the second frame when Kalida notched 20 points — including nine from senior forward Cody Mathew. The Wildcats hit 7-of-11 shots in the second and went on a 5-0 run in the closing seconds of the half to take a 27-19 lead into the break.

Things got worse before they got better for the Lancers as Kalida made its first four baskets of the second half — two by senior post Austin Horstman and two from junior post Joe Gerdeman. After a trey from junior forward Randy Zeller later in the frame, the Wildcats had pushed their lead to 38-25.

Lincolnview answered with a run to end the third quarter, however. The Lancers got a layup from sophomore guard Justis Dowdy, a three from senior guard Kade Carey and a pair of free throws from junior point guard Kyle Williams to pull within six after three periods.

The Lincolnview defense buckled down in the fourth, employing a full-court man press.

“We mixed it up,” explained Hammons. “We were playing a 3/4-court trap to start the game. We did some OK things with that but we decided to switch up to a full-court man. I thought we got after it. I thought we caused some problems for them. They turned it over a couple of times and a couple of them led to easy baskets for us.”

The changed worked and by the 5:58 mark, senior guard Nick Leeth brought the Lancers within a basket when he drove to the hoop and scored; 40-38. Dowdy gave Lincolnview its first lead of the game on the ensuing possession when he nailed a nothing-but-net three but Kalida answered with a jump shot from sophomore guard Devin Kortokrax.

The teams traded botched opportunities to score before McCleery, who had spent a majority of the game on the bench due to foul trouble, knocked down his jumper with 1:58 to play.

“Like we were telling (Conner), we can’t get him in foul trouble, and he’s done a pretty good job with that up to this game. We told him just to keep his head in the game; ‘you’re going to get an opportunity to go back in. Something’s going to be there - make something happen.’ He took a big shot in a crucial situation of the game and he came through for us,” described Hammons.

After a missed shot from the Wildcats on the ensuing possession, the Lancers began to run some clock.

“We were trying to stall a little bit. We knew we had them in the bonus and we wanted to try to hold the ball,” explained the Lancer coach.

The Lancers got in trouble and used a timeout at the 1:08 mark but made a crucial mistake at the 49.3-second mark of the game when a turnover gave the ball back to Kalida. The guests returned the favor eight seconds later with a turnover of their own before fouling Dowdy with 35.9 seconds to play.

The sophomore faced a 1-and-1 situation and made both to extend the Lancer lead to three. After grabbing a rebound on another missed Wildcat shot and subsequently being fouled, Williams did the same to run the Lancer lead to 47-42, which ended up being the final score.

“A 1-and-1 situation; for a sophomore to step up and make two huge free throws like that (is huge). Then my junior came up right after that and made two. We got big shots when we needed them,” added Hammons.

The Wildcats actually outshot the Lancers on the evening 39 percent (16-of-41) to 30 percent (16-of- 54). Lincolnview forced 13 turnovers to Kalida’s five.

Williams led the home team with 17 points, including three treys. Carey had 11 and Dowdy added 10 off the bench.

Horstman had a double-double for the Wildcats, with 10 points and 12 boards, and Mathew added 12 points.

The win improves the Lancers’ record to 2-5 on the season. Kalida falls to 3-3.

Kalida visits Ottawa-Glandorf tonight, while Lincolnview is at Fort Jennings Friday.

KALIDA (2pt. 3pt. FT Pts.)

Mathew 2-4 2-6 2-2 12, A. Langhals 0-0 1-1 0-0 3, Horstman 4-10 0-1 2-4 10, Zeller 1-2 1-3 0-0 5, Gerdeman 3-6 0-0 1-4 7, Hovest 1-6 1-2 0-0 5.


Carey 4-12 1-5 0-1 11, Evans 0-2 0-1 0-0 0, Ludwig 1-5 0-0 0-0 2, Leeth 1-3 0-0 0-0 2, McCleery 1-1 0-0 1-2 3, WIlliams 1-1 3-10 6-6 17, Miller 1-1 0-1 0-0 2, Farmer 0-3 0-0 0-0 0, Dowdy 2-4 1-5 3-3 10.

Score by Quarters:

Kalida 7 20 11 4 - 42

Lincolnview 6 13 13 - 15


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