Boys shoot 24 percent in loss
Published: Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
When a team shoots 24 percent from the floor and its best player shoots 13 percent, its chances of winning are slim. When those shooting percentages surface against the No. 3 ranked team in the state, those chances are reduced to none.
Such was the case for the Custer High School basketball team last Friday night against St. Thomas More, as the Wildcats endured a miserable shooting night in a 40-27 loss to the visiting Cavaliers.
“You have to give them credit for playing defense, but we didn’t have a good shooting night,” Custer head coach Larry Luitjens said. “When your second best scorer is in street clothes, that hurts.”
The first half was exceptionally bad, as the Wildcats had more turnovers than points, and leading scorer Chase Glazier was held without a basket. Playing without second-leading scorer Kenneth Myers, who was out with a concussion suffered in practice earlier in the week, the Wildcat offense looked lost, struggling to get off a shot against the stifling More defense. Glazier kept shooting, as good players should, be he also kept missing, and became visibily frustrated as shot after shot missed—some badly.
“He, more than anybody, missed Kenny not playing,”âï¿½ï¿½Luitjens said.âï¿½ï¿½“It allowed (More)âï¿½ï¿½to focus their whole defensive effort on him. He was doubled most of the time.”
More broke out to an early 6-0 lead after a baseline drive, basket, foul and free throw by Jeron Laurenti, but Custer answered with a pair of baskets by bench players Graysen Trandem and Patrick Witt, and was down 10-6 at the end of the first period.
Following an Adam Baker basket at the 5:49 mark of the second period, the wheels began to fall off for Custer, as the Cavaliers went on to score the next 12 points, beginning with a three-pointer and added to by a spinning basket by Jacob Henderson.
The Wildcats, on the other hand, couldn’t buy a basket and continued to turn the ball over against the pressing and trapping Cavaliers, and eventually went into the half down 17, 27-10.
The second half didn’t start much better for Custer, as they eventually fell behind by 24 after a three-pointer by More’s Matt Eastmo.
The Wildcats slowly began to crawl back into in the fourth period, as David Hernandez made a basket, followed by Glazier’s first basket of the game at the 4:31 mark. Glazier, who finished with 13 points, then nailed a three-pointer off a steal by Logan Burns, and Custer was down 38-27 with 1:02 left in the game.
The comeback proved to be too little too late, but Luitjens said said he was proud of his team for battling back and felt that some of his players were intimidated in what was the first game against More for many players.
“Everybody but Chase was basically playing them for the first time,” he said.âï¿½ï¿½“Iâï¿½ï¿½was really pleased with David and Patrick and Graysen. Those three kids sucked it up and played good defense.”
Glazier was the only Wildcat to score in double digits. The Wildcats were crushed on the boards, being outrebounded by a margin of 22-9.
“They could have folded their tents, but they’re not that kind of kids that they’re going to do that,”âï¿½ï¿½Luitjens said.âï¿½ï¿½“They missed Kenny — both his leadership and ability — but they didn’t quit playing.”
The team’s other scheduled game for the weekend, a matchup with Sisseton in Redfield as part of the Pheasant Shootout, was called off because of bad weather in the eastern part of the state. The game may be rescheduled in February.
Things don’t get any easier for the Wildcats this week, as they host the second ranked team in the state, Pine Ridge, at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night before heading to Red Cloud Saturday in a game that also begins at 7:30 p.m. Red Cloud has already defeated Custer once this season at the Lakota Nation Invitational.
Pine Ridge features all-state candidate Jeff LeBeau at center, while Red Cloud defeated Custer by forcing turnovers with its press and forcing the Wildcats into a poor shooting game.
“If we don’t have Kenny, we will have to come up with a new game plan,”âï¿½ï¿½Luitjens said.âï¿½ï¿½“I think we can compete with either of them with Kenny.”
Custer 6 4 8 9 —27
STM 10 17 9 4 —40
Custer—Logan Burns 0-1 0-0 0, David Hernandez 1-3 0-1 2, Patrick Witt 1-1 0-0 2, Chase Glazier 3-23 6-6 13, Joel Thomsen 2-5 0-0 4, Graysen Trandem 1-2 0-0 2, Adam Baker 2-6 0-0 4. Totals: 10-41 6-7 27.
St. Thomas More—PJ Freidel 0-2 0-0 0, Jeron Laurenti 4-10 5-5 15, Caden Skinner 1-3 2-2 5, Jacob Henderson 3-5 0-0 6, Jim Hubbeling 1-2 0-0 2, Isaac Kortemeyer 3-7 1-2 7. Totals: 14-32 8-9 40.
Three-point goals:âï¿½ï¿½Custer 1 (Glazier). STM 2 (Skinner, Eastmo). Rebounding:âï¿½ï¿½Custer 9, STMâï¿½ï¿½22 (Kortemeyer 6). Turnovers:âï¿½ï¿½Custer 15, STMâï¿½ï¿½20. Steals:âï¿½ï¿½Custer 12, STM 10. Assists:âï¿½ï¿½Custer 4, STMâï¿½ï¿½9. Total fouls:âï¿½ï¿½Custer 13, STMâï¿½ï¿½13. Fouled out: Hernandez.
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