Strong depth helps Royal men soar past Comets in 87-59 win

Strong depth helps Royal men soar past Comets in 87-59 win

Article by Harry Lipsea, Devils Lake Journal Sports, November 17th, 2016.

It is important to know your strengths and weaknesses. For the Lake Region State College men's basketball team, depth is a definite positive quality. Featuring 14 players, the Royals have a number of different options they can use on any particular evening.  

That depth was on full display Wednesday evening at the Devils Lake Sports Center as LRSC knocked off Mayville State University JV 87-59. With the victory, Lake Region State College improved its overall record to 6-1.

"We had guys who hadn't played a whole lot this season, step in and make some very nice contributions," Jared Marshall, Royal head coach noted.

One of the players Marshall referred to was Nic Fassos. The 6-foot-5 Australian freshman forward, making his first start as a Royal, chipped in with 15 points and nine rebounds. 

Also making his initial collegiate start was Sam Riley, a 6-foot-5 freshman forward from New Zealand, who netted seven points and added 10 rebounds. 

Marshall also noted that reserves Drew Thielges, Jon Lund and Aaron Boone gave LRSC good minutes in a victory over the Comets.

Ben Rennie, the reigning Mon-Dak Conference Player of the Week, led the way for the Royals with 19 points, eight assists and four rebounds. Jordan Bolton, also making his first start for LRSC, finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.

"It was a total team effort," Marshall, the second-year head coach, told the Journal.

Mayville State University JV enjoyed an early lead in the non-conference contest. A jumper by freshman guard Cory Norman gave the Comets a 26-23 advantage with around 11 minutes to play in the first half.

That was when LRSC put together the scoring run of the night. It started with buckets in transition by Ben Rennie, Jordan Bolton and Sam Riley. The three made shots gave the home team a 31-26 advantage.

The Royals kept moving forward from there as key stops led to baskets by Lund, Fassos and Rennie to give the team an 11-point advantage. LRSC took a 43-26 lead over MSU when a nifty pass by Thielges led to a jumper by Fassos to cap off a 20-0 run. 

The Comets did their best to battle back putting together 9-2 run of its own to close out the first half. LRSC, however, still held a 45-35 lead going into the locker room at halftime.

It was more of the same in the second half for the Royals as several scoring runs led the team to victory. LRSC scored the first 10 points of the second half behind jumpers by Jayson Edwards, Riley and Bolton gave the home team a 55-35 advantage.

Another key stretch was when the Comets got within 10 points at 62-52 with 13 minutes remaining. LRSC scored 14 straight points behind key defensive stops and baskets by Rennie, Harvey Barr and James Streeter.

From there, the Royals cruised to an 87-59 victory.

Marshall pointed out that defense and teamwork led to big scoring runs for Lake Region State College.

"During those stretches, I thought we played really good team basketball and it all started with defensive stops," the coach noted.

Moving forward, the key for LRSC is consistency.

"We go through some lulls where we aren't playing great basketball," he said. "If we can eliminated those stretches, I think we will be a tough team."

The Royals travel to take on Miles Community College in Montana Friday evening. Marshall is pleased with his team going into its first road trip of the season.

"I think our win tonight was a good test for us and I was really pleased with how the guys performed," he said. "I'm happy with where we are at going into Friday."


LRSC scoring: Ben Rennie 19, Jordan Bolton 16, Nic Fassos 15, James Streeter 8, Jayson Edwards 8, Sam Riley 7, Harvey Barr 6, Drew Thielges 6, Jon Lund 2