The Liberty Middle School boys basketball teams split with St. Mark’s Thursday at LMS. The 7th grade fell 39-23, but the 8th graders continued their undefeated campaign with a 51-28 victory.
The second quarter was costly for LMS7. The score was knotted 4-4 at the end of the opening stanza, but St. Mark’s outscored the Greenbacks 11-2 in the second quarter to open a commanding lead at halftime.
The second half was played fairly closely, but the damage had already been done and St. Mark’s cruised to the win, 39-23.
“I thought we came out and played with a lot of energy. We did a lot of good things both offensively and defensively,” said Steve Landry, LMS7 coach. “Our biggest problem that has plagued us all year is the inability on a consistent basis to make shots. We had a lot of good looks but nothing would fall for us.”
“The 7th graders have improved a lot since their first game this year. Landen Studer, Elijah Gatlin and Seth Bower have been steady for us all year. Trent Nickelson and Justin Lamatsch have improved their post play and have done a great job for us rebounding. Kael Bridges has continued to get better and has been giving us some quality time coming off the bench,” Landry continued. “If we can keep getting better and working hard in practice, I truly believe we have a good chance at winning our last 2 games and can surprise some people in the League Tournament in January.”
In a rematch of the closest game they have had this year, the 8th graders manhandled St. Mark’s this time around. In the 3rd game of the season, LMS8 won in a squeaker on the road. There was no such drama this time as the Greenbacks outscored St. Mark’s in every quarter to post a 51-28 win.
“In our first meeting, we were pretty basic with everything we did since it was early and we didn't have all of our offensive sets in and weren't ready to press defensively,” 8th grade coach Andy Kisner explained. “This time, we were able to run all of our stuff on the offensive end and our 3/4 court pressure really bothered them. Bryce Stegman and Traik Peltier had several steals at the back of the press and we got an early lead.”
“St. Marks tried to pressure us man-to-man, but our size inside was a mismatch and Traik ended up with 17 and Bryce had a good night inside as well,” Kisner continued. “Samson (Kohman) drew a lot of attention, as always, and that allowed us to have more success inside as well.”
Page 2 of 2 - Noah Myers turned in a solid effort at the point for LMS8, running the offense effectively while only committing three turnovers. “Noah’s ball-handling and savvy has allowed us to do some really advanced things on offense,” Kisner commented.
“It was very satisfying to play our best game so far in what up to now is the biggest game of the year,” Kisner concluded.
The middlers wind up their pre-holiday schedule playing Kingman on Monday with games at LMS and FrogDome.
LMS8 14 14 13 10 51
St. Marks 7 8 7 6 28
Kaufman 1-0-0-2; Myers 1-1-0-5; Kohman 4-1-0-11; Roadhouse 2-0-0-4; Stephens 1-0-0-2; Peltier 8-0-1/1-17; Stegman 5-0-0/1-10
LMS7 4 2 9 8 23
St. Marks 4 11 12 11 39
Studer 4-0-0-8; Gatlin 0-1-0/2-3; Nickelson 1-0-3/6-5; Lamatsch 1-0-1/2-3; Bower 2-0-0-4