A 17-6 third quarter and 29 points by senior Cole Stephenson were just two of the elements that lifted the Spearville Lancers boys basketball team over the Pawnee Heights Tigers Tuesday night.
The Lancers won 67-51 in Spearville. It was the first game for the Tigers and Lancers after last week’s SPIAA League Basketball Tournament.
Junior Carson Rich had 13 for the Lancers and freshman Joshua Cox had 10. Senior Jaedon Pedigo had 7, freshman Logan Hubbell had 4, freshman Kolten Bennett had 3 and junior Isaac Mettling had 1.
Stephenson’s 29 were a game-high, but only narrowly. The Lancers faced a Tigers team led by one of the best players in the Southern Plains - Iroquois Activities Association in senior Kade Scott.
He had 25 for the Tigers. Seniors Kale McCoy and Dalton Hamby had 7 each, senior Trace Baker had 5, sophomore Fabian Flores had 5 and freshman Adam Hands had 2.
Early on the game looked a little more bleak for the Lancers than it eventually turned out. The Tigers pounced fast, going on a 10-0 run to open up the game, and led by double-digits at 10-0 and 12-2.
Spearville head coach Chris Sohm said Pawnee Heights coach Gustavo Flores had his boys ready to go.
“They kind of blitzed us early on,” Sohm said. “I was really pleased with how we bounced back and certainly played the last three quarters way better than it started out in that first quarter.”
That bounce-back started in the first. Down 12-2, the Lancers went on a 7-0 run to cut the Tigers’ lead to 12-9. The Tigers took a 19-16 lead into the second quarter.
The Lancers played better in the second, outscoring the Tigers 16-12 to take a 32-31 lead into halftime.
Stephenson and Scott each had 17 points in the first half.
“At halftime we talked about our half-court trap, trying to deny Kade Scott the ball because he’s such a talented young man and of course they’re looking to get him the ball,” Sohm said.
If the Lancers could deny him the ball, Sohm said the they knew they could put some of the inexperienced Tigers players in position to get trapped, which could help the Lancers get turnovers they could potentially use for layups.
That was exactly what happened in the third, and it was a decisive factor in the game’s momentum.
“Any time you’re getting layups, you’ve got the momentum, you’re young men are playing with more energy and more effort,” Sohm said. “I think that was certainly a big key to our run in the third quarter.”
The Lancers take on the Kinsley Coyotes in Kinsley Friday.
The Tigers head to Montezuma to play the South Gray Rebels.