Phoenix power past Blue Devils 55-51
After playing five of its first six outings on the road or at a neutral site the Luther Prep boys basketball team got the opportunity to play at home again.
And they did not disappoint.
Micah Kieselhorst tallied a game-high 17 points and Luke Schlomer added 11, eight of which came after halftime, to lift the Phoenix to a 55-51 Capitol North Conference victory over Lodi on Monday at LPS.
Schlomer hit a layup to extend the Phoenix lead to 52-48 with 1 minute, 10 seconds remaining. Lodi’s Jackson Furniss immediately answered with his sixth 3-pointer of the game from the left corner to cut the lead to 52-51 with 52.7 seconds left.
Lodi’s Max Hamilton fouled Malachi Roeseler on the next Luther Prep (5-2, 1-0 conference) possession and the senior guard knocked down both foul shots to make the score 54-51 with 31.6 seconds to go.
Furniss used a ball fake to free himself of Alex Lawrence on the potential game-tying 3-pointer but came well short on the attempt. Paul Frick hit a foul shot with 4.3 seconds left to seal the win.
“I was very proud of the guys and how they played defense,” Luther Prep head coach Nate Kieselhorst said. “It was good, tenacious D. We were very aggressive. We could kind of see what the refs were and weren’t allowing and try to take advantage of certain situations. They really laid it out there on the floor. That was one of our goals for tonight knowing we were going to be on break for three weeks. You don’t want a bad taste left in your mouth.”
Roeseler buried a floater to give the Phoenix its biggest lead at 34-24 with 13:10 to play.
Lodi (4-3, 0-1) answered quickly with a 6-0 run capped by two Jack Persike free throws to the cut the lead to four.
After Persike converted a 3-point play the Luther Prep lead was 38-37 midway through the half.
The Blue Devils never led in the second half and Kieselhorst hit his last of three 3-pointers to put the Phoenix ahead 43-37 with 7:35 remaining.
“Those 3’s were huge,” coach Kieselhorst said. “It kind of opened things up a little bit. It gave us a cushion. Plus it stretched them out a little more because they had to come out on him tighter and that allowed us to penetrate the gaps which was nice.”
Roeseler scored eight of his 10 points in the second half and took a crucial charge in the final minutes.
Furniss tallied 18 points and hit four 3-pointers in the first half. The Phoenix did a good job defending the outside shot in the second half.
“Coach tells us all the time to play with your head and feet and not your hands,” Schlomer said. “I was just hands out the whole time and that worked.”
Luther Prep had 12 points off transition buckets and did a good job taking care of the ball on offense.
“I thought our turnovers were very low,” coach Kieselhorst said. “We protected the ball and handled it very well.”
Paul Frick scored seven points and Nathan de Galley chipped in six for the Phoenix who are winners of three consecutive games.
For Lodi, Persike totaled 14 points and Hamilton finished with eight.
Luther Prep hosts Lake Mills on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019.
LUTHER PREP 55, LODI 51
Lodi 22 29 — 51
Luther Prep 23 32 — 55
Lodi (fg-ft-tp) — Jelinek 0-1-1, Faust 0-2-2, Furniss 6-0-18, Richards 1-1-4, Persike 4-6-14, Hamilton 3-2-8, Steinhoff 1-2-4. Totals 15 14-22 51.
Luther Prep (fg-ft-tp) — Roeseler 2-6-10, Lawrence 1-0-2, Kieselhorst 7-0-17, de Galley 2-1-6, Schlomer 4-2-11, Frick 3-1-7, Brands 1-0-2. Totals 20 10-12 55.
Three-point goals — L, Furniss 6, Richards; LP, Kieselhorst 3, de Galley, Schlomer.
Total fouls — L 13, LP 20.
Fouled out — LP, de Galley.