LANCASTER — For 2½ quarters Monday’s non-conference boys’ basketball game between Lancaster and visiting Iowa–Grant was a battle of two teams trying to establish an identity.
The bigger Panthers tried to use their distinct size advantage to pound the paint and attack the rim. Conversely the smaller Arrows seemed content firing away from the outside.
Both teams looked good at times, while struggling through other stretches of the game.
But Lancaster finally found the winning formula midway through the fourth quarter, turning on-ball defensive pressure into steals and transition layups, while knocking down a pair of key 3-pointers at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
As a result the Arrows closed the game on a 28–11 run over the final 13:25 to run away with a decisive 62–42 victory.
Senior Brett Wunderlin scored all eight of his points in the first as Iowa–Grant (3–4) jumped out a quick 10–6 lead.
But the Arrows rallied and took a 15–12 lead when junior Mike Adams hit a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer.
Lancaster (6–3) used a balanced attack to build a 30–23 halftime lead and when senior guard Brett Snider buried a triple on the first possession of the third quarter led 33–23.
The Panthers battled back on a putback and driving basket by junior Trent Milliken, and layup by sophomore Issac Anderson.
I–G pulled within three at 34–31 with 5:25 left on a post-up by 6-foot-6, 300-pound senior Colin Conner.
But Lancaster’s Hunter Budack had the answer. The athletic senior scored seven straight points on a pull-up jumper, a 3-pointer from the left wing and a driving layup.
Snider stripped I–G point guard TJ Anderson and scored on a breakaway layup to make it 43–33.
Juniors Tyler Glass and Nate Tranel hit back-to-back 3-pointers to open the fourth quarter, and Tranel converted a breakaway layup after a Lancaster steal to extend Lancaster’s lead 52–37.
Budack and senior Sam Friederick scored 14 points each to lead Lancaster. Tranel added 12 and senior guard Zach Hentrich added eight.
Conner scored a team-high 10 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Iowa–Grant. Milliken added nine points.
The Panthers will return to action Thursday when Southwestern (6–5, 1–3) visits. I–G will travel to Riverdale on Tuesday.
Lancaster 62, Iowa–Grant 42
(from Monday, Jan. 13 @ Lancaster)
Iowa–Grant 12 11 13 6 — 42
Lancaster 15 15 14 18 — 62
Iowa–Grant (3–5) — Brayden Johnson 3, Brett Wunderlin 8, Isaac Anderson 2, Trent Milliken 9, TJ Anderson 6, Colin Conner 10, Seth Thomas 1, Collin Price 3. Totals — 17 5-13 42.
Lancaster (6–3) — Hentrich 8, Glass 3, Buddack 14, Snider 5, Tranel 12, Friederick 14, Gates 2, Farrey 1, Adams 3. Totals — 22 9-13 62.
3-point goals — IG: 3 (Johnson 1, Wunderlin 2); L: 9 (Hentrich 1, Glass 1, Budack 2, Snider 1, Tranel 3, Adams 1). Team fouls — IG: 11, L: 12. Fouled out — none.