Coming into the game, the Lutheran North Mustangs knew they had a superb offense and the thought was confirmed in the 73-61 upset victory against the Anchor Bay Tars on Friday night.
Drew Arft led the offense with 23 points and seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Jack Hilt brought down seven rebounds and scored 11 points. Michael Barno and Eli Thaut each had nine points. Thaut hit three three-point jumpers to help the Mustangs pull away.
Lutheran North took a 26-20 lead, but never really had a full command on the game until the third quarter.
Speaking of triples, Kevin Kapanowski knocked down back-to-back three-pointers after coming off the bench in the third quarter, which saw the Mustangs drain five from behind the arc to take a 52-38 lead after the third.
“We were a little sluggish in the first quarter but we challenged them in the huddle before the second quarter and they responded,” Lutheran North head coach Kevin Murawski said. “We had a big third quarter in the first game on Tuesday and we kind of opened it up like that again.”
The Mustangs (2-0) played their defensive and offense game the rest of the way to finish things out on the road. Lutheran North's second win in as many games fashioned multiple players off the bench. The Mustangs have a very deep bench.
“We can’t rely on one person,” Arft said after his 23-point performance. “We’re a 13-deep team. We like to use all of our players and keep running the ball, just work as a team.”
Anchor Bay was led by Tino DeJesus, who collected 20 points. Brendan Vermander brought down eight rebounds, while Gabe Studer added seven boards for the Tars (1-1). Tyler Zweng was the second scoring option and finished with 11 points.
“I think we’re going to be OK in the long run. It’s things like this that opens their eyes,” Anchor Bay coach Bob Jolet said. “We talk about pressure all the time and if you’re not ready for it, that’s what’s going to happen. We talk about running and getting back. I think they’ll come around but to really get them to understand it takes something like that. This is all about getting ready for the league.”