By BRAD KEITH
(January 23, 2014) — Tim Griffin took the inbound pass, side stepped a double-team defensive effort by Strawn and knocked down an 18-foot baseline jumper just as time expired to lift Lingleville to a 56-55 victory over Strawn Friday night.
Not a bad way to top off homecoming night in Lingleville.
The Cardinals led most of the way, but never by more than seven in a thriller featuring 25 points by Griffin and 29 by Strawn standout Harrison Nowak, who had 12 in the fourth to keep the Greyhounds alive.
Colbe Stoker, who scored 11, drained a 3-pointer to give Lingleville a 52-51 edge, but Nowak drove to the rack and scored to put Strawn right back on top.
Jarod Hagood knocked down the last of his seven points on a basket in the paint to make it 54-53 Cardinals, but Nowak stepped up again, this time using dribble penetration to draw in the defense before dropping off an assist that led to Strawn’s last advantage.
But Griffin had the last laugh, and Lingleville won its homecoming in grand style.
“We made some big-time shots there at the end of the game, not only Tim, but Colbe and Jarod, too,” said Lingleville head coach Kade Eckert, who celebrates his 30th birthday Saturday. “There are a lot of ways to get distracted and not play your best on homecoming, but we came through in the end, and we’ll take it.”
Eckert will also gladly take a comfortable two-game lead over Strawn and Lipan, who each have two losses in District 18-A action and play each other next week. Of course Lingleville, which visits Gorman Tuesday, has the first of its two rivalry showdowns with Huckabay next Friday at HHS. If both teams win Tuesday, Friday’s contest will be for the outright lead.
The end was exciting, but Eckert admitted it wasn’t his team’s best performance.
“We still aren’t shooting the ball the way I would like. It was better in the second half, but we need to be more consistent.”
For example, the Cards were 0-10 from outside the arc before intermission, 4-10 afterwards.
Tom VanKranenburg scored six and Brady Sult added five for Lingleville.
“We ‘held’ Nowak to 17 in the first three quarters, and that’s because Brady is a good enough athlete to slow him down,” said Eckert. “But you know (Nowak) is always going to get his. What I felt like kept them in the game was that he actually got some help from his friends tonight.”
Devon Corpus and Bailey Fenn each added a free throw for the Cardinals.
Notable: Josh Alvarado and Xequoia Hallmark were named Mr. and Miss LHS… No. 3 Strawn won the girls contest 91-25