The Liberty Middle School 8th grade boys continued their rampage through the schedule with a pair of recent games.
Right before Thanksgiving, the Greenbacks traveled to Medicine Lodge for a rematch against a team they had annihilated the previous week. The Indians may have thought they had some kind of chance this time around as Pratt was without two of their starting big men, Traik Peltier and Samson Kohman. But they would have been wrong.
They Greenbacks were initially sluggish as they attempted to adjust to playing without their twin towers. After only scoring 4 points in the first quarter, however, LMS got it going out of their press. Bryce Stegman led the scoring with 12 and Hunter Kaufman added 8.
LMS was able to hit their stride and open up a large gap over the Lodge, which gave LMS coach Andy Kisner the chance to get everyone on the squad substantial minutes as the Greenbacks again won easily over the Indians, 34-4.
On Monday, Colwich came to town to face the full LMS roster. A 10-0 LMS lead after one quarter was a precursor of things to come as the Middlers rolled to another easy win. As in the ML game, the entire bench got playing time against Colwich.
The 8th graders have most teams they play outsized with Bryce Stegman at 5’11”, Traik Peltier at 6’3”, Devan Stephens at 5’9” and Samson Kohman at 6’1” creating match-up problems for LMS opponents. “Most of the teams we play are smaller inside than we are,” Kisner mentioned. “We are getting better at exploiting our inside size offensively, mostly with good interior passing.”
Next Monday, Andale comes to town, the second of a five game post-Thanksgiving homestand for undefeated LMS8.
The 7th grade boys continued to improve while still searching for that elusive first win against Medicine Lodge, falling 32-26. “We are struggling to find offensive flow with the 7th grade team,” Kisner said. “We have several inexperienced players, especially in the post, and aren't able to get many offensive putbacks. Because of this, we are coming up 5 or 6 points short in the last several games, as we did in this one.”
Landen Studer and Elijah Gatlin both scored 8 points, Trent Nickelson added 7. Seth Bower made three of four free throws down the stretch to help keep LMS7 in the game.
“We are continuing to improve in small increments with this group, and our guys are working hard to learn and get better,” Kisner explained. “The measure of where our 7th grade is at won't be by number of wins, but by improvement from game to game.”
As the second round of league play commences next month, it will be a good chance for the improving 7th graders to get that first win, as they played almost everyone close the first time around.
Page 2 of 2 - STATS
ML7 4 11 7 10 32
LMS7 4 6 5 11 26
Studer 8; Gatlin 8; Nicholson 7; Bower 3
LMS8 4 10 10 10 34
ML8 2 0 0 2 4
Kaufman 8; Myers 2; Barnard 4; Roadhouse 4; Stephens 4; Stegman 12
LMS8 10 11 19 12 52
COLWICH not very many
Kaufman 2; Pelland 2; Myers 5; Barnard 4; Kohman 8; Roadhouse 4; Stephens 5; Huslig 2; Peltier 10; Fernandez 2; Stegman 8