Athletics survive a scare against LeRoy/Ostrander boys basketball team

Published 11:19 pm Monday, December 14, 2009

It wasn’t what they wanted, but it was a win.

The Athletics basketball team survived a scare against LeRoy/Ostrander when they played a solid second half to win 55-40 in Pacelli Gym Monday.

L/P saw the Cardinals (1-2 overall, 0-2 SEC) take a 30-29 lead when Kirk Nelson hit a three-pointer to open the second half. But Nelson, who led L/O with 14 points, and his backcourt teammate Jesse Rannels left the game shortly after that shot with foul trouble and the Athletics (4-0 overall, 4-0 SEC) made their move.

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“Our lack of depth definitely showed big time and I knew that would be one of our struggles coming into the year,” L/O head coach Jason Jude said. “Right now this game might not feel like a confidence booster (for our guys). But there’s a lot of positives we can take from this one.”

L/P got a jumper from Cody Meyer and three straight field goals from Brady Stier to trigger a 17-0 run after Nelson’s three as L/P’s defense clamped down on the Cardinals.

Stier finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and four steals on the night, but he felt his squad could’ve played better.

“We had a tough game and it felt like we lost tonight,” the senior center said. “We didn’t play our style of basketball. Maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were.”

L/P rallied for 12 straight points to start the game, but the Cards stormed back in it late in the second half. They took advantage of an L/P technical foul to score seven points in the last minute of the first half and they trailed just 29-27 at the break.

“We are extremely disappointed with our effort tonight,” L/P head coach Reid Olson said. “I want to give LeRoy/Ostrander all the credit in the world to come in her and outwork us and out-hustle us. One of our goals is to never get outworked or out-hustled ever.”

The Cardinals shot 19 free throws in the first half, and L/P’s Meyer, who had 10 points and seven rebounds, picked up his third foul in the first half and his fourth one with 10:54 left in the game.

“We did not adjust to the officiating and there’s no excuse for that. We were in foul trouble constantly,” Olson said.

Olson also wants Stier to attack the paint more and dominate games. Stier said he is working on getting inside more often.

“I’m starting to get in the paint and make my shots better. I have to be stronger and I’ve got to get out of the habit of fading away from the basket,” Stier said.

L/O’s Nelson had to leave the game in the second half after taking an elbow to the face. After fighting off a bloody nose, that may have been broken, Nelson returned to play at the end of the contest.

“It was a heck of an effort by him and that shows the gut and determination these guys have,” Jude said.

Mark Miller had seven points and 12 rebounds for the Cards.

L/P has a tough schedule coming up as they play at Lanesboro this Friday and travel to Goodhue next Monday.

LO 27 13 — 40

LP 29 26 — 55

L/P scoring: Brady Stier, 31; Cody Meyer, 10; Michael Lonergan, 4; Ryan Rust, 4; Skylar Meyer, 3; Alex Brennan, 2; Michael Bergstrom, 1; free throws: 47 percent (9-for-19); rebounds: 43 (Stier, 12; Carter Guthmiller, 6); turnovers: 18

L/O scoring: Kirk Nelson, 14; Mark Miller, 7; Dylan Mackey, 7; Jesse Rannells, 5; Mitch Scaglione, 3; Ryan Grant, 2; Dom Lazzara, 2; free throws: 55 percent (16-for-29); rebounds: 29 (Miller, 12); turnovers: 22