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Lanesville stuns Cougars

Lanesville stuns Cougars
Lanesville stuns Cougars
LanesvilleÂ’s Alec Turner and North HarrisonÂ’s Cory Smith get close as Turner drives into the lane during the first half of the EaglesÂ’ 58-51 win over the Cougars. Photo by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

The Lanesville Eagles put a defensive wall up against visiting North Harrison Friday night, holding Cougar shooter Cory Smith to just four points and surging in the second half for a 58-51 win. Except for one quarter, the Eagles owned the night.
‘I was proud of the way we hung in there and fought,’ North Harrison coach Greg Walters said.
‘It was really a team win tonight,’ said Eagles coach Mikel Miller. ‘We had some kids step up, but I thought everybody stepped up as a team. We’ve been struggling here the last couple of weeks. The other kids have just decided, ‘We’e going to practice harder.’ They’re doing a better job in practice. Tonight was a night where it paid off, and it kind of showed what we can be.’
The game began with both teams running up and down the floor at an accelerated pace. The Cougars got the first basket, but Lanesville answered with the next nine. North Harrison found some grip in the second half of the quarter, closing the gap to three, 11-8, at the end of the period.
Josh Wenning sandwiched a deuce and three-ball around a Justin Miller deuce to tie the game at 13. Kevin Zollman fired in a three-pointer and later a two to keep the Eagles in front by five. Lanesville later extended its lead to eight, but Dalton Fessel put in two freebies with less than a second on the clock, and North Harrison went to the locker room with a six-point deficit, 29-23.
Lanesville used a box-and-one defense to keep Smith scoreless in the first half.
‘That’s a kid that, normally, he’s going to get his points,’ Miller said. ‘You don’t want a kid like that to score 50. The (Austin) Nolot boy was another. He was a key to watch. I thought we defended him pretty well, too. Between their two leading scorers, they had eight points.’
Lanesville extended its lead to double digits early in the third period, but Collin Book kept the Eagles from getting away, using a pair of deuces to close the gap to six.
Austin Brown scored on a Lanesville jumper, then Smith got his first point of the night with 2:36 left on a single at the charity stripe.
Tyler Bement later connected on two from the stripe to tighten the game to five points. The Cougars continued to slowly chew their way back as Bement put in another freebie and a deuce at the end of the period to close the deficit to four, 38-34, with one quarter left.
‘We gave up some easy baskets, but we didn’t keep our head low,’ Miller said. ‘I didn’t see any kid panic. They just stayed on an even keel and tried to ride it out.’
The Cougars continued to close in, with Fessel and Bement squeezing into the paint to close the North Harrison deficit to two, 42-40. Zollman sank an Eagles’ free throw, but Wenning got two from the stripe to cut Lanesville’s lead to a single point at 43-42.
From that point, however, it was the Eagles who controlled with a 5-1 burst. Lanesville took to the free-throw line, putting in enough to extend its advantage to seven with less than 30 seconds to go.
North Harrison got two buckets late, but it wasn’t enough as the Eagles went on to register the 58-51 win.
‘Lanesville played a good game,’ Walters said. ‘They were able to take advantage of our size, out-rebounding us 43-31.’
‘It was tremendous,’ Miller said of the win. ‘The Smith boy is a solid player. He’s going to get shots. With a good player like that, it doesn’t matter what defense you’re running; he’s going to get shots. He got a few open looks, but I think for the most part we were there a lot of times. If his shot was off, it was a challenged shot.’
Zollman and Justin Miller poured in 17 points each for the Eagles, with Miller also hauling in 18 rebounds. Alec Turner added 13 points for the Eagles, who connected on 18 of 47 field-goal attempts (38 percent) and 19 of 34 free throws. Lanesville did have a problem with turnovers, committing 20 for the game.
‘Miller had an outstanding game with 17 points and 18 rebounds,’ Walters said.
‘Rebounding we knew would be a key for us,’ Miller said. ‘We felt like we’re a little bit taller, so we felt like we could maybe have an advantage on that … Justin Miller, he had 17 points but he had 18 of those rebounds. Kevin Zollman had 17 and he had eight rebounds also so, between those two guys, your starting front court there has 26 rebounds between them. That was nice to see.’
Bement led North Harrison with 19 points, and Book finished with 11. The Cougars had a rough night from the field, hitting 17 of 62 shots (27 percent) but 16 of 23 free throws. North Harrison coughed up the ball 14 times.
‘We were not able to make the outside shot,’ Walters said. ‘We were 1 of 23 from the three-point line.’
Miller credited his team’s box-and-one defense for keeping Smith in check.
‘We ran two or three different kids trying to keep someone fresh on him,’ Miller said. ‘(Alec) Turner and (Austin) Brown, they both did a fantastic job. They’re a solid team, but I think you’ve got to give our kids a lot of credit defensively of how well they played tonight.’
North Harrison will go back and re-group for this weekend.
‘We have a lot of young players who have not yet adjusted to playing games on the road,’ Walters said. ‘We will get back to work this week for our homecoming game against West Washington.’