OHIO – It was Home-coming night for Ohio High School boys’ basketball, and the LaMoille/Ohio Lions did not disappoint the home crowd.
The host Lions earned their third victory of the season by downing the DePue Little Giants 59-46 Tuesday night.
“Best game we played all year … best game we’ve played all year,” said L/O coach Brent Kalsto. “To be up 41-21 at the half, we put it on them. We shot the ball well. We protected. We did everything you’re supposed to do to be a good team.”
DePue led once all night, 6-4, on a Jesse Lopez layup with 5:36 left in the first quarter.
The Lions roared out to a 20-8 lead after one period, aided by nine points from Brandon Morris, as well as seven of Jacob Tudor’s eight tallies in the game.
L/O added another 21 points in the second quarter, while holding DePue to 13. Thus, the Lions took a 41-21 lead at the break.
All told, the Lions shot 49 percent (18-37) in the first half and grabbed 22 rebounds, while DePue managed just 26 percent shooting (9-35) over that same time.
But DePue came back with a vengeance in the second half, halving their deficit to 10 points, 46-36, on a Servando Moreno layup with 3:40 to go in the third frame.
The Little Giants threatened, but never managed to reduce their deficit to single digits during the second half.
“We thought we had them. When it got down to 10, we thought we had them,” said DePue coach Gilbert Moreno. “Then we made a couple mistakes, and they got right back up again. They battled until the end. You can’t really ask much more of our players.”
A coast-to-coast layup by Morris in the third period’s final six seconds lifted L/O to a 54-40 lead with one quarter yet to be played.
L/O virtually took the air out of the ball throughout the fourth quarter, running some significant clock on offense, as the two teams combined for only 11 points in the final period.
Ultimately, the Lions survived a 1-10 free-throw shooting effort and seven turnovers over the final eight minutes, while their lead remained at least a dozen points down the stretch.
“The second half, I told (our players), they’re going to come out and go after us,” said Kalsto. “We took their best shot, we responded, and we took care of the ball and finished the game, simple as that.”
Kalsto said, “Good game by everybody, a team game. There’s no one who stood out. Everyone played well tonight. That’s a team win. And that’s what I’m proud of.”
Morris led L/O (3-14) with 22 point and 12 rebounds. Julian Gonzalez added 11 points, while Anthony Lovgren chipped in eight tallies and six caroms. Garrett Geuther supplied seven rebounds for the winners.
Isaac Reyes’ 12 points were tops for DePue (4-6), followed by Lopez (9), Jose Raya (8), and Austin Zimmer (7). Zimmer added a team-high eight rebounds.
“Offensively, our (shooting) percentage was down a lot. The first half, our shooting was just terrible,” Moreno said. “We picked it up the second half, which is good (but) this is probably one of the worst games we’ve played.
“We just came from Princeville (tournament), where we played very well, and all of a sudden, the wrong team showed up (for us tonight).”
• The younger Lions pulled away for a 58-21 win in the prelim game. LaMoille/Ohio’s frosh-soph led, 28-8, at the half and never looked back, led by Tudor’s 16 points and seven rebounds in three quarters of work.