Boys give Luitjens win in final home game
Published: Thursday, February 20th, 2014
In his final home game as head coach of the Custer High School basketball team, much as he was for the majority of his career home games—career in general, for that matter—Larry Luitjens was a winner.
The Custer High School boys basketball team received 59 combined points from Chase Glazier and Adam Baker in a 82-59 romp over the visiting Belle Fourche Broncs.
The win was the master beating the student one last time, as Luitjens’ win came against former Custer star Nick Redden, who is coach of the Broncs. The game was almost secondary to a night of pomp and circumstance that saw Luitjens’ extraordinary career saluted by a capacity crowd and several of his former players, who were at the game to give their coach one last handshake or hug.
“It was a pretty special weekend,” Luitjens said.âï¿½ï¿½“It was pretty heavy.”
Luitjens said he isn’t sure even yet that it has completely sunk in that he has coached his last game in the Armory, but said he started to realize it after conducting a bevy of interviews with regional media post-game.
“All of a sudden, it was, ‘Wow, this is real,’”âï¿½ï¿½he said.âï¿½ï¿½“I’m not sure Iâï¿½ï¿½still fully realize it. I won’t really realize it until next year when basketball starts.”
When the action started, Glazier and Baker were an unstoppable one-two punch throughout the game, as Glazier shook off recent shooting problems to pour in 35 points—including hitting six three-pointers—and Baker scored 24 more, including going a perfect 14 of 14 from the free throw line.
The first quarter was the only point in the game that was close, as Belle Fourche took an early lead before Baker gave the Wildcats an 8-7 lead with a basket, foul and free throw that followed two emphatic blocks by the 6-7 Baker on the other end of the court.
Luitjens said the strides Baker has made this season from being a role player to a force on both ends of the court are like night and day.
“There is no comparison between the way he started out and the way he is playing now,”âï¿½ï¿½he said. “It’s been a long time since we had somebody who was a real shot blocker. He’s also shooting well. He’s starting to become a presence inside.”
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