KANSAS - Lakota started out hot in its game Friday night against New Riegel, building a 30-21 lead with 3:21 left in the first half.
Then a combination of things turned the game around, and sent New Riegel to its first victory, and coach Dave Losey to his first win as a head coach. The Blue Jackets won, 65-59.
The Blue Jackets used a big run over the final three minutes of the first half to take the lead. The spurt started when Losey had his players press the Raiders.
New Riegel’s Austin Mathias puts up a shot against Lakota’s Kyle Below Friday in Kansas.
A layup by Aaron Acree made it 30-24 with 2:42 left, then after a steal, Tim Ink connected on a three-point play to bring the Blue Jackets within three. Another turnover led to another Acree layup, and suddenly, New Riegel was within a point. A Frank Lescallett free throw tied things at 30.
Casey Monroe's basket for Lakota briefly halted the momentum, but New Riegel got it right back when Austin Mathias drained a 3 from the left wing to give the Blue Jackets their first lead, 33-32.
"We've been struggling a little bit finding our groove," Losey said. "When we got into our press, good things started to happen. When it happened on defense, we turned it into immediate offense."
Lakota coach Tim Walsh said it wasn't just the press that led to the New Riegel run.
"Their press threw us off a little bit, but I thought we handled their press much better than in our first game. The problem in the second quarter was we literally had everybody in foul trouble," Walsh said. "We were playing combinations that don't usually play together and it was throwing us out of whack."
Another issue was NR's ability to get offensive rebounds. The Blue Jackets had 10 boards overall in the second quarter. Eight of those boards were offensive. That, combined with 10 Lakota turnovers in the period, put New Riegel up at half, 37-33.
"It gave us some fuel," Losey said of the offensive rebounding. "We talked about it before the game. We struggled on the offensive glass and we struggled with turnovers last week. Our goal was to limit our turnovers in the first half, and to get seven offensive rebounds.
"Chad Cassidy did a real nice job on the glass, and that gave us energy. When you're struggling on the offensive end, you've got to get some easy points, whether it be off the press, or offensive rebounds," Losey said. "They did a nice job."
Cassidy finished with nine points and six rebounds. Even with six boards, he only was the Blue Jackets' third-best rebounder.
The Raiders (0-2, 0-1) were able to beat the press in the third quarter, but were unable to convert. They missed their first five shots of the period, and nine of their first 10.
"We missed seven layups in the third quarter," Walsh said.
The Blue Jackets also dominated up front, with 17 rebounds in the period.
New Riegel outscored Lakota 13-5 in the quarter, and its lead got as big as 15 - 57-42 - when Ink drained a 3 with 6:10 left in regulation.
But Lakota came back, using a press to spark an 11-2 run to get to within 59-53 with 2:27 remaining.
"We were able to get some turnovers and create some points that way," Walsh said of the pressure defense, "but too little too late."
New Riegel (1-1, 1-0) held on, behind Jake Dryfuse's 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Ink's 12 points. Michael Kirian added seven rebounds for New Riegel.
Lakota was led by Josh Kirkpatrick, who had 16 points and five rebounds, and Hunter Chalfin, who made four 3s and finished with 14 points.