In the 48th Annual McPherson invitational tournament the Lancers won their opening round game against the Derby Panthers 79-50. The Lancers came into the game 5-3 and the Panthers 7-1. In the opening quarter, the Lancers struggled to defend senior Kyler Steadman who averages 19 points a game. They also had problems breaking the Panthers’ full court pressure that forced a few turnovers. Despite these issues the Lancers ended the first quarter on top 15-12.
The second quarter was very similar to the first with sloppy Lancer offense and continuous turnovers. Senior Alex Schoegler and junior Billy Sutherland found themselves in foul trouble midway through the quarter, forcing them both to take a seat on the bench. Junior Chris Tuttle filled in strong in the paint for Sutherland as he controlled the defensive boards and went 4/4 from the free-throw line. Steadman continued to carry the offensive load for Derby as he played all 16 minutes of the first half. Late in the quarter, the Lancer offense hit its stride as juniors Vance Wentz and Zach Schneider started to heat up. Wentz hit a three to give the Lancers a two-point halftime lead, as the half came to a close the score stood 30-28.
After halftime, the Lancers looked like a completely different team, and immediately took all of the momentum. East outscored Derby 19-6 and opened up a 15-point lead thanks to the shooting of Vance Wentz and inside presence of Zach Schneider. Derby head coach Brett Flory made it clear that they were going to focus their defense on stopping Wentz and Schneider, but they were unsuccessful. The Panthers opted to bench Steadman, and the result was sloppy offense without much rhythm. At the end of the third the Lancers were ahead 49-34.
Before the game, Lancer assistant coach Todd McAtee said that a key for East would be transition offense, and until the fourth quarter this was basically nonexistent. The trio of Lancer senior guards, Schoegler along with Henry Simpson and Andy Hiett forced pressure on the Derby guards which led to a series turnovers and fast-break points. Because of the transition offense and high-percentage shooting, the Lancers ran away with the game in the fourth and at one point held a 30-point lead. The game finished with a score of 79-50, and earned head coach Shawn Hair his 200th win at East.
The Lancers improve to 6-3 on the season as Derby falls to 7-2. Tomorrow, the Lancers face the McPherson Bullpups on their homecourt who are fresh off a win against Maize in the opening round. Be sure to tune in for the broadcast tomorrow at 8:15.
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