Boys finish 2-2 at Lakota Nation
Published: Tuesday, December 24th, 2013
The Custer High School boys basketball team enters the holiday break with an even record of two wins and two losses after alternating wins and losses in each of its four games at the Lakota Nation Invitational last weekend in Rapid City.
Rebounding and shooting—or the lack thereof—were the culprits in both of the Wildcats’ losses in the tournament, including Saturday against Red Cloud when the team managed to shoot only 32 percent from the floor. Red Cloud won the game 59-51.
“We kind of ran out of gas,”âï¿½ï¿½Custer head coach Larry Luitjens said of the loss. “We had too many turnovers, and we’re not shooting well. I thought we would be a good shooting team this year and we are struggling with it. Nobody is shooting well.”
Chase Glazier led the team in scoring in the loss, with 21 points. Glazier also grabbed seven rebounds, while Kenneth Myers scored 18 points and corraled eight rebounds.
Friday of the tournament the team had a close game throughout with St. Francis, but came away with the win 62-57. Glazier scored 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the game. He salted away the win with a basket off a steal made by David Hernandez and then another steal and score seconds later.
“They (St. Francis) is just a really scrappy, well-coached team,” Luitjens said.âï¿½ï¿½“They kept staying with us.”
Thursday the team was bumped into the consolation bracket when it fell to Little Wound 50-49.
The Wildcats were up 33-30 at one point the second half after trailing most of the game, but went on a scoring drought that lasted over six minutes. In that time, Little Wound went from ahead to behind by eight. Because of that the Wildcats were forced to foul late in the game, and could never overcome the deficit.
Luitjens said Little Wound’s front line, which includes players that are 6-5, 6-6 and one seven footer, intimidated Custer on the defensive end and also caused the Wildcats to get dominated on the boards.
“They were big and killed us on the boards, but they killed us on the boards because we didn’t box out,”âï¿½ï¿½Luitjens said.
Glazier led the Wildcats with 18 points, while Joel Thomsen added 12.
Wednesday the team opened the tournament by blitizing Hill City 54-7. The Wildcats were led in scoring by Thomsen and Adam Baker, who each scored 12 points in the win.
“We played good defense. Hill City is a young, inexperienced team that will improve as the year goes along,” he said.
Luitjens said overall he was somewhat disappointed the team lost a couple of games in the tournament, but said the errors that led to the defeats are things that can be corrected.
“I thought we had a chance to win it. Iâï¿½ï¿½think we’re a better shooting team than we showed,”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“We need to work on our boxing out and we need to work on taking care of the ball. It was disappointing, but I’m not giving up on the year. We have a team that can play a lot better, and I think we will.”
The Wildcats will be back in action this Tuesday, on New Year’s Eve night, when they host Lower Brule. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start.
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