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FTs seal New Wash upset of Lanesville

FTs seal New Wash upset of Lanesville
FTs seal New Wash upset of Lanesville
LanesvilleÂ’s Kevin Zollman drives along the baseline toward the hoop Friday for the Eagles. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

New Washington’s ability to knock down free throw after free throw didn’t allow much wiggle room in the fourth quarter for Lanesville to rally back on the Eagles’ homecoming night Friday.
The Mustangs were near perfect at the charity stripe, making 25 of 27 (93 percent) for the game, including 19 of 21 in the final quarter. Despite Lanesville leading by one at the half, New Washington pulled out the Southern Athletic Conference win, 61-51.
‘It’s a head scratcher,’ Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. ‘We knew they were probably going to play zone because, against zone, we have struggled lately. We put in a set that worked well all week long and made adjustments to other things we were doing, but it was a matter of attacking. We didn’t attack.’
Out of the gate, Lanesville used a fast start to race out to a 9-3 lead. Alex Ansman and Kevin Zollman, who both finished with 12 points each, scored on 3-point plays during the spurt.
New Washington, methodical in its offensive set, took nearly four minutes to score points. Zollman’s second triple helped the Eagles lead 14-9 after one quarter.
The Eagles’ lead grew to 18-11 when Matthew Husband and Jack Ferree poured in a field goal each, prompting a Mustang time out.
Out of the break, New Washington outscored the Eagles 12-6 to reach the one-point deficit at the half. Ian Hughes scored eight of the 12 points for the Mustangs.
In the third quarter, the Eagles had a hard time turning their foes over. New Washington, meanwhile, was patient and found ways to score. A lob to Tim Cochran gave the visitors a 25-24 lead.
Lanesville would get the advantage back, 29-28, when Ansman buried a top-of-the-key triple. The Mustangs then ran off an 8-2 run to lead 36-31.
Miller noted the Eagles struggled from the field, shooting a poor percentage.
‘We had enough shots within two to six feet that would have made a difference,’ he said. ‘We shot 30-something percent from the field. We’ve shot poorly our last four games.’
‘Finishing strong is part of it,’ Miller added. ‘I think sometimes we go up looking for the contact and worry more about that than just making the shot. (Assistant coach Brian) Book made a point (that) when we go up, some guys are looking at the defender for contact, rather than keeping our eyes on the basket. Sometimes we went in there and flailed around a little bit, too.’
Husband cut it to a one-possession game to start the final quarter with a bucket. A quick steal by the Eagles provided hope to eat more into the deficit, but they couldn’t create points. It became a reoccurring theme of the final quarter, as the Mustangs turned the rock over nine times.
‘We talked about getting stops and, when we did, we didn’t score,’ Miller said.
Down the stretch, New Washington wouldn’t give away many opportunities at the foul line to allow the Eagles to come back. Inside the final 2:24, the Mustangs made all 14 free-throw attempts.
‘Rebounding wasn’t good for us. We did too much standing and not enough action,’ Miller said. ‘That was part of our problem on offense. Whenever they went zone or man to man, we did too much standing.’
The Eagles also played without the services of leading scorer and rebounder Justin Miller, who missed the game with an injury. Coach Miller said his post player is week to week.
Ryan Fulkerson and Harmon led the Eagles in rebounding with six each. Hughes completed a double-double for the Mustangs, pulling down 14 boards. Three other New Washington players reached double figures: Wesley Napier (14), Cochran (13) and Diaz (12). Diaz was 10 of 11 at the line, while Napier made all eight attempts.
Ansman had three steals, while Jack Ferree dished five assists.
The Mustangs’ win broke an 11-game slide against Lanesville.
While the loss to New Washington was the fourth in a row for Lanesville, the Eagles bounced back Saturday to defeat Tecumseh, 57-54.
Zollman had 21 points and seven rebounds in the winning effort. Fulkerson and Harmon contributed 10 points each.
Lanesville has some time off before its next contest. The Eagles will host Crothersville on Friday, Feb. 15, in SAC action.