Second-ranked Cardinals winning with defense

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 1, 2003

One thing that is sometimes neglected is LeRoy-Ostrander's defense, but the second-ranked Cardinals gave Grand Meadow a reminder on Thursday night.

LeRoy-Ostrander, now 16-0, held the host Superlarks to just 27 points in a 63-27 Southeast Conference victory for Class A's No. 2 team. And according to Grand Meadow coach Bruce Klaehn, the Cardinals did it with defense.

"Their defense was just too smothering," Klaehn said. "They make it very tough for people to get a good shot off."

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The game marked the seventh time L-O had scored more than 60 points, but also the seventh time their opponents scored 40 points or fewer.

"People always talk about how good their offense is, but it's their defense," Klaehn said. "Offense is fun to watch and it's fancy, but defense wins ballgames."

LeRoy-Ostrander (16-0, 9-0) committed an uncharacteristic 23 turnovers -- nearly twice their season average -- but outrebounded Grand Meadow 43-28 and had five players with seven or more points.

The Superlarks were within striking distance, trailing 11-8 after the first quarter, but the Cardinals flew away with a 28-5 edge in the second period.

"The first quarter we wanted to keep them on the perimeter, and they missed some shots," Klaehn said. "But those outside shots started falling in the second period."

Cardinals center Chad Orum scored 12 of his game-high 18 points in the second quarter, cashing in from outside as well as inside. Grand Meadow could not keep pace as L-O's man-to-man defense did its job the rest of the way -- the Superlarks scored single digits in each period.

"Our shots weren't real good looks, but we weren't hitting at all," Klaehn said.

Kyle Breitbarth got loose for 15 points to lead Grand Meadow (5-10, 2-6). The Superlarks play another SEC match Tuesday at Glenville-Emmons.

LeRoy-Ostrander, recently promoted from third to second in the Class A rankings, hosts Lyle/Pacelli on Tuesday and Lanesboro on Friday. The Cardinals' greatest challenge to date will be Saturday night at St. Charles. The Saints (16-1) are ranked seventh in Class AA.


LEROY-OSTRANDER (63) -- Shane Bunne 4, Andrew Knight 2, Chris Newton 3, Jacob Rowe 7, Ben Adams 8, Dustin Thorson 11, Tom Reburn 2, Chad Orum 18, John Hanks 8.

GRAND MEADOW (27) -- Justin Olson 1, Aaron Holst 4, Brady Lorenzen 5, Kyle Breitbarth 15, Anthony Stejskal 2, Eric Holst 0, Zac Benson 0, Ian Hanson 0, Nate Glynn 0.