Balanced, deep Royals edge Cobbers

Balanced, deep Royals edge Cobbers

Article by Harry Lipsiea, Devils Lake Journal Sports, January 24th, 2017.

Balanced scoring, good bench play and consistent ball handling were all factors in the Lake Region State College men's basketball team's victory Sunday afternoon. The Royals overcame a hard-charging Concordia JV squad to walk away with a 96-83 victory at home. With the victory, LRSC improved to 15-7 on the season.

The home team had four players in double figures as the team shared the ball well. Second-year head coach Jared Marshall challenged his team to finish with a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio Sunday. That's exactly what the Royals did as they recorded 22 assists and 11 turnovers. It was an important statistic in the team's triumph, the coach said.

"To finish 2-to-1 is a heck of a job by the guys. I thought we did a great job of taking care of the basketball today," the coach said.

It wasn't easy as the Cobbers proved to be a stingy opponent. The road team finished with 13 three-point shots. Marshall noted that playing a team that shoots so well from the outside is good preparation for his squad.

"That is just such a good outside shooting team," the head mentor said of Concordia JV. "It is a different look than we are used to. So far, we have played a lot of athletic teams that drive the ball to the basket. I think playing a perimeter-oriented squad where you always have to get a hand up is a good experience for us as we face good shooting teams in the future."

LRSC led through much of the game. Several runs proved to be important for the Royals. When the team found itself down midway though the first half 30-29, it bounced back in a big way. A three by Sam Riley and buckets by Cedric Boone and Jordan Bolton helped the team finish off a 16-0 run. The Royals led 54-42 at the half.

LRSC continued to control the action through much of the second half. A run by Concordia got the team within striking distance late.Threes by hunter Larson and Andrew Holen cut the home team's lead to just five 74-69 with eight minutes remaining. Behind big defensive stops and some key shots, LRSC never let its opponent get any closer. Harvey Barr added two straight baskets: a 10-foot jumper and a dunk. Inside buckets by Ben Rennie and Bolton helped the Royals extend their advantage to 11 points late. Concordia JV continued to battle back, but the home team wrapped up the 96-83 victory.

"Were trying some different things today. I switched some personnel up and we put in a couple different defenses in," Marshall said. "It was a good opportunity to try some new looks. There were things I really liked and others that I didn't."

Bolton led all players with 27 points. Boone added 17 points and eight assists. James Streeter chipped in with 12 points. Rennie added 11 points and eight rebounds. Nic Fassos, Riley and Barr finished with seven points each. Derrick Laudenbach scored five points while Drew Thielges added three to round out the Royals.

"It was a true team effort," the coach added. "I thought we got some good key contributions from our bench. That balance and depth was good to see from our guys. It was a nice win."

The Royals will take on United Tribes Thursday in Bismarck.

"It's going to be a big week preparing to play United Tribes. They have a different style of play than other teams in our conference. I think playing Concordia will really help because United Tribes is a perimeter type team as well," Marshall stated. "They are a good team and it's always a tough place to play. It is a very important conference game for us."