MCDONALD'S SWNEWS4U.COM CO-GAME OF THE WEEK (Jan. 10–17)
BOYS BASKETBALL: Lancaster 69, Richland Center 66
By A.J. Gates, Herald Independent
RICHLAND CENTER – Overcoming a 14-point deficit midway through the second half of last Thursday night’s contest, the Flying Arrows picked up their first conference win of the season with a 69-66 overtime victory over the host Hornets.
With the win, the Lancaster boys improved to 1-3 in Southwest Wisconsin Conference play and 5-8 overall, while Richland Center fell to 1-3 in the SWC standings and 7-5 overall.
Thursday night’s meeting between the Flying Arrows and Hornets appeared to be an evenly matched contest between two similar squads.
In the first half the two teams played nearly even, going back and forth with neither team holding a decisive lead.
Lancaster’s largest lead of the first half was four points at 19-15 with 6:37 to play, and at 25-21 at the intermission.
Richland Center opened the second half on a 5-0 scoring run to take a 26-25 lead, and the two teams were tied multiple times after that, the last being at 30-30 with 14:15 to play.
From there, Richland Center used a 16-2 scoring run to claim their largest lead of 46-32 with 8:51 showing on the clock.
The Flying Arrows had their work cut out for them, but were able to chip away at the deficit, until a Zach Koeller lay-up evened the score at 52-52 with 3:23 to play.
With 1:05 remaining in regulation, Lancaster senior Ian Klaas stepped to the free throw line, where he made 1-of-2 attempts to pull Lancaster within 56-55.
Following a Richland Center turnover, the Hornets then sent Lancaster senior D.J. Kelley to the free throw line, where he made 1-of-2 attempts to tie the game at 56-56.
The Hornets held for the final shot in regulation, which was off the mark, sending the game into overtime.
Koeller opened the overtime session for Lancaster with a 3-pointer from the top of the key, but Richland Center answered at the other end with an old-fashioned 3-point play of their own to tie the game at 59-59.
From that point on, it was a free throw battle for the Arrows, who made just 8-of-15 attempts from the charity stripe in the overtime session, after going 2-of-6 in the final 2:42 of regulation.
Richland Center didn’t fare much better from the line, making 1-of-3 free throw attempts in the final minutes of regulation, and 3-of-6 in the overtime session.
On the night, Lancaster made 20-of-36 (56%) attempts from the charity stripe, which proved to be just enough to escape with the win.
Kelley led the Arrows with 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting from the floor and 4-of-7 from the line, while also pulling down a team-high 14 rebounds to go along with two steals.
Fellow senior Matthew Hughey was close behind with 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 from the line, while pulling down 10 rebounds and dishing out two assists.
Zach Koeller chipped in 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and 4-of-8 from the line, while Isaac Dhyanchand added nine points and Ian Klaas seven.
As a team, the Arrows made 23-of-59 (39%) shot attempts, including 3-of-15 (20%) from downtown. They committed 17 turnovers to Richland Center’s 20, and came away with 11 steals to the Hornet’s seven.
In non-conference action last Tuesday night, the Flying Arrows revenged an earlier season loss to Potosi with a 53-51 last-second victory over the Chieftains.
Just 13 days prior to last Tuesday night’s meeting, the Chieftains handed Lancaster an 88-64 loss at Lancaster’s Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament on Dec. 29.
Last Tuesday night, the Arrows held as much as a 13-point lead over their hosts from Potosi, but in the end needed a last-second basket from senior Ian Klaas to pull out a 53-51 victory.
The two teams were knotted at 13-13 with just under four minutes to play in the first half before Lancaster used a 13-2 scoring run to end the half and hold a 26-15 advantage at the intermission.
Seven minutes into the second half, the Flying Arrows held a 13-point lead of 37-24, which the Chieftains eventually chipped away at.
With 2:34 to play in the contest, Potosi’s Sam Udelhofen hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give Potosi its first lead of the second half at 49-47.
Two free throws by Klaas, followed by a steal and layup by Zach Koeller, put Lancaster back up front, 51-49 with 2:01 showing on the clock.
Following a defensive stop at the other end by the Arrows, Potosi’s Dayton Udelhofen came up with a steal and layup, which knotted the score at 51-51 with 39 seconds to play.
Content on running some clock, Lancaster dribbled out the majority of time, until Klaas banked in a 17-foot jumper with 2.5 seconds remaining to win the game.
Sticking to their busy schedule, the Flying Arrows participated in the MidWestOne Bank Classic on the campus of Loras College last Saturday, where they took the court against the Southwestern Wildcats.
Playing four quarters instead of two halves, the Wildcats held a halftime lead of 27-25, and took a 41-34 led into the fourth quarter, where they outscored the Arrows 15-13.
The Wildcats held a 30-24 scoring edge in the paint, and a 12-6 edge on second-chance points, though only out-rebounding the Arrows, 29-28.
As a team, the Arrows made 19-of-50 (38%) shot attempts, including 4-of-13 (31%) from downtown. They were 5-of-6 (83%) from the free throw line, committed 12 turnovers and had four steals to Southwestern’s six.
Kelley netted a team-high 15 points for the Arrows, followed by 13 from Koeller, eight from Hughey and seven from Dhyanchand.
Kelley and Dhyanchand each pulled down six rebounds, while Kelley also dished out a team-high four assists.
This past Monday night the Flying Arrows traveled to Cuba City to take on the state’s division 4 third-ranked Cubans, who sent Lancaster home with a 99-74 non-conference loss.
For coach Jerry Petitgoue, 81, who is in his 51st season as head coach, it was his 996th career coaching victory.
Lancaster 69, Richland Center 66 (OT)
(from Thursday, Jan. 13, at Richland Center)
Lancaster..............25 31 13 - 69
Richland Center...21 35 10 - 66
Lancaster - Ian Klaas 7, Matthew Hughey 18, Zach Koeller 15, D.J. Kelley 19, Isaac Dhyanchand 9, Skyler Burkholder 1. Totals - 23-59 20-36 69.
Richland Center - Tyler Rizner 21, Leif Fingerson 7, Konner Ellenson 3, Andrew PUls 7, Alex Johnson 13, Sam Bosworth 5, Brock Louis 6, Nate Fogo 4. Totals - 25-65 10-18 66.
3-point goals - L: (3-15) Koeller 1, Kelley 1, Dhyanchand 1; RC: (6-16) Rizner 3, Puls 1, Johnson 2. Team fouls - L 19, RC 16. Fouled out - Kelley (L), Rizner (RC), Fogo (RC).