L-Cats use surge in second half to defeat Phoenix
The Lake Mills boys basketball team used a 10-0 run during the opening minutes of the second half to spark the offense and pull ahead of Luther Prep en route to winning 63-50 in a Capitol North game on Thursday at LPS.
Sophomore Adam Moen totaled a game-high 18 points and sophomore Charlie Bender chipped in 11.
Luther Prep senior Micah Kieselhorst notched 17 points and senior guard Luke Schlomer added 14.
The Phoenix held a five-point halftime lead and Kieselhorst finished off a 3-point play on the first possession of the second half.
Lake Mills (9-3, 2-0 conference) scored the next 10 points, including three consecutive lay-ins from Bender, to lead 35-33 with 15 minutes, 19 seconds remaining.
Luther Prep (5-3, 1-1) kept it close in the second half behind solid play from Kieselhorst, who scored 12 of his 17 in the second frame, and the guard hit a 3-pointer from the left wing to close the lead to 44-42 with eight minutes left.
The L-Cats took control down the stretch with a 7-0 scoring spurt capped off by four straight points from sophomore Drew Stoddard, part of his nine-point total, to give the team a 51-44 edge.
Lake Mills senior guard JT Toepfer went 6 for 8 from the free-throw line in the second half to close out the team’s fourth win in five tries.
“We did a much better job being strong with the ball and being tough,” Lake Mills head coach Steve Hicklin said. “We had 10 turnovers in the first half and two in the second half. We did a nice job of catching and holding rather then dribbling right away. That allowed us to kind of survey the defense a little bit and get those slips to the basket and make a lot of layups.”
Luther Prep took the floor as winners of three consecutive games and was playing for the first time since a four-point win over Lodi on Dec. 17. The team couldn’t find the offensive rhythm to produce points after halftime.
“They did a nice job at halftime of changing up the offense and did some slips (to the basket),” Luther Prep head coach Nate Kieselhorst said. “Our guys weren’t talking like they were in the first half and as a result they had some backdoor breaks. We just broke down and didn’t play like we should have. We talked about it at halftime that that could come. The mental fatigue took its toll on them.”
The L-Cats locked down defensively in the second half and used their familiarity guarding a 5-out offensive alignment.
“We wanted to make sure we had gap help on (Kieselhorst),” Hicklin said. “We did a really nice job of anticipating their passes. That 5-out offense, we’re kind of used to guarding it since that’s how we guard everyday at practice. I thought we did a nice job of understanding where those opportunities can be.”
In the first half, Luther Prep senior guard Malachi Roeseler tallied 11 of his 13 points and hit a 3-pointer to give the team its first lead with 5:50 to go.
Schlomer scored all 14 of his points before intermission and hit 3-point shots on back-to-back trips to give the Phoenix a 27-23 lead late in the half.
“I thought Luke Schlomer did a very nice job of hitting key shots in the first half,” coach Kieselhorst said. “Malachi did a nice job as well to hit some clutch shots to keep us in the game and even in the lead at the end of the first half. We just didn’t have that fortunate shooting in the second half.”
Lake Mills junior Mike Herrington and Toepfer scored eight points each and junior Matt Johnson contributed seven.
“They did a really nice job of taking away the 3-point line from us and making us score at the basket,” Hicklin said. “We didn’t do a great job of that in the first half and in the second half we did and got layup after layup. That’s kind of who we are, we’ll take what you give us. A lot of times teams pack it in on us and make us beat them from the over the top but tonight we had to do it inside and I’m happy we made the adjustment.”
Luther Prep struggled with foul trouble and committed 24 personals for the game. Lake Mills took advantage of bonus opportunities and shot 16-for-22 from free throw line.
Luther Prep plays at Columbus on Tuesday.
Lake Mills travels to Sauk Prairie on Saturday at 3 p.m.
LAKE MILLS 63, LUTHER PREP 50
Lake Mills 25 38 — 63
Luther Prep 30 20 — 50
Lake Mills (fg-ft-tp) — Herrington 3-1-8, Toepfer 1-6-8, Stoddard 3-2-9, Retrum 1-0-2, Moen 7-4-18, Bender 5-1-11, Johnson 2-2-7. Totals 22 16-22 63.
Luther Prep (fg-ft-tp) — Roeseler 5-2-13, Lawrence 1-0-2, Kieselhorst 6-3-17, de Galley 1-0-2, Schlomer 5-2-14, Brands 1-0-2. Totals 19 7-9 50.
Three-point goals — LM, Herrington, Stoddard, Johnson; LP, Kieselhorst 2, Schlomer 2, Roeseler.
Total fouls — LM 15, LP 24.
Fouled out — LP, Lawrence.