Sophomores Lead Charge to 54-37 Victory Over Raymond Central
Aaron Langemeier scored 18 points, recorded three steals and grabbed two rebounds and Easton Hall swatted away a school record 12 blocked shots, scored 14 points and added seven rebounds to lead the Schuyler Central High School Warriors boys basketball team to a 54-37 victory over the visiting Raymond Central Mustangs last Friday evening in Schuyler.
The sophomore duo brought the crowd to their feet on several occasions with Langemeier swishing four 3-pointers from long range and Hall turning away the Mustangs inside game time and time again with his ferocious blocks.
The parents night crowd cheered the Warriors to their second win of the season to close out the regular season on a high note with first round district foe Seward waiting in the wings last Monday night in Seward.
“That was the kind of game that we needed to play and could have played at times this year,” stated SCHS head coach Lyndon Beebe. “That was our most complete game, and if we would have hit free throws, it could have been like 60-37.
“We did a good job of getting out on their shooters with our zone, which worked much better tonight.”
The first half was a nip and tuck battle with the Warriors holding a slim 22-18 edge at the break. Oscar Velez had the hot hand for Schuyler in the first quarter as he hit three jumpers for six points. His last jumpshot from the baseline gave the Warriors a 12-9 lead after one quarter of play.
Raymond Central’s Mikey McCoy and Eli White each hit a long 3 to open the second quarter and give the visitors a 15-12 lead with 5:25 left in the half. That was the last time that the Mustangs led in the game.
The Warriors went on a 9-0 run to grab a 21-15 stealing momentum away from the Mustangs with 1:21 left in the first half. The run was spearheaded by a pair of layups from Juan Gonzalez, a two point follow-up by Hall and a 3 by Elmer Salazar.
Schuyler Central came out like gangbusters in the second half and enjoyed a 28-19 advantage after Langemeier nailed a pair of long 3s from behind the arc. Salazar’s layup with 4:41 to go in the third frame kept Schuyler’s lead at eight points but Raymond Central hung tough to cut the lead to five at 30-25. That is when Langemeier went to town again.
The 6-3 sophomore hit his third and fourth 3-pointers of the quarter to widen the lead to 36-25 sending the Warriors to a 40-28 lead heading into the final quarter of action.
Much like Langemeier had dominated the third quarter with his long-range arsenal, Hall controlled the final period with eight points in the paint and his fantastic defensive play.
“We did some things there tonight you can’t coach, and we have been waiting for those things to pop up all year long,” commented Beebe. “We finally broke someone through and hit some big shots from the outside to get everybody going which we needed to do. I think it showed we have improved as a team.”
The total team effort included seven points by Velez and Salazar, six by Gonzalez, and two by Preston Anderson. Anderson and Rosel Diaz, the only two seniors on the squad, played in their final regular season home game for the Warriors.
Velez and Gonzalez led the Warriors with nine rebounds each while Salazar and Hall paced Schuyler with five and four assists respectively. Defensively, Gonzalez led SCHS with four steals while Salazar and Hall had two each and Anderson had one.
With the sweet taste of victory back in their possession, Beebe says that his team is ready for the post-season.
“Now we feel like we can play in a district tournament and not just limp in there and let the season die. These guys have never been like that. They have always come out and practiced hard no matter what the result of the previous game was like.”
Doug Phillips is a freelance writer for the Schuyler Sun. Reach him via email at SCHsports@lee.net