By Craig Clary, firstname.lastname@example.org
11:41 PM EST, January 9, 2013
Lansdowne coach Greg Karpers knew what to expect when New Town’s high-octane pressure defense and penetrating offense came to Lansdowne’s gym Wednesday night and they were prepared for it.
For nearly three quarters, the Vikings (2-5) went toe-to-toe with the Titans (6-1), thanks to their ability to score off the press break and force outside shots.
But, late in the third quarter, Viking foul trouble and turnovers led to a Titan run the gave the visitors a 56-50 lead before the fourth quarter.
Lansdowne had to abandon its 1-3-1 zone and New Town pulled away for a 72-62 victory.
“This was the best game we’ve played all season, as far as sharing the ball and getting contributions from many guys,” Karpers said.
They got the biggest lift from senior Trevor Morris, who scored a career-high 24 points, to go along with nine rebounds.
“Number two (Morris) was shooting well,” New Town junior point guard Danny Shand said. “He was the one that kept them in the game.”
“That is what he is capable of,” said Karpers, whose squad also got 17 points and seven rebounds from junior Tyler Jones.
Jones is the Vikings leading scorer (14 points per game).
Viking senior Dallas Rowe returned from a broken hand, suffered late in the first game of the season, and contributed eight points, four rebounds and two blocked shots.
Shand led New Town with 18 points and seven assists and Kenny Sherrod came off the bench and contributed 16 points.
“Defense is the key to everything,” Shand said. “Defense wins championships and offense sells the tickets. Coach (Mike Daniel) told us defense was going to win the game and the defense did it.”
That defense forced 26 Vikings turnovers and led to several layups, but it was inconsistent, as the Vikings shot 56 percent from the floor.
Morris connected on 11 of 13 field goals.
“I was feeling it,” he said. “When I get my shot going, I just like to keep shooting.”
His seven points and six from Jones staked the Vikings to a 15-12 lead after the first quarter.
The second quarter featured several runs, including a 10-0 march by New Town that turned a 23-18 deficit into a 28-23 lead in just 1:48.
Four points by Keith Wainwright (8 points, 5 steals) and three each from Shand and Sherrod provided the scoring.
Lansdowne responded with 10 straight points of its own for a 33-28 lead.
Morris scored six and Erick Mallard and Jones added two each.
But, New Town responded with seven points in the final 50 seconds, ending the quarter on a three-pointer by William Mack.
It was one of only two three-pointers made by the Titans, who misfired on 14 three-point attempts.
“I thought we did a great job in the halfcourt at not giving them any looks,” Karpers said. “It was the transition baskets where they excelled.”
As fouls to Mallard and Jones mounted in the third quarter, so did the Titans lead.
After a free throw by Jones cut the Titan lead to 50-48 with 2:05 left in the third quarter, the visitors scored six straight points for a 56-48 lead, before Mark Kelly’s jumper ended the quarter.
New Town’s Justin Brown scored the first four points of the final quarter and the Vikings never got closer than eight points the rest of the way.
Turnovers and transition baskets killed us,” Karpers said.