MACOMB, Michigan -- The Lutheran North Mustangs were dialed in from downtown, scoring 10 three-point jumpers, to run away with a 64-55 victory over the Cranbrook-Kingswood Cranes in a Catholic League Intersectional 1 battle on Friday night.
The Mustangs (11-5, 5-3 CHSL Intersectional) only scored nine points in the first quarter, but bounced back with 23 points in the second quarter to hold a 32-23 lead at halftime. The three point shooting late in the second quarter gave the Mustangs all the momentum the team needed to finish strong.
“If you are not shooting the ball well, you had better play good defense, and that second quarter killed us,” said Shane Finney, the Cranbrook Kingswood coach.
After Lutheran North found themselves with a 16 point lead early in the third quarter, Cranbrook-Kingswood marched back into the game and trailed by just six points, 56-50, with 1:58 left in the contest. Five late free throws from junior point guard Eli Thaut, who scored a team-high 14 points, sealed the deal for Lutheran North.
“We didn’t do the little things, and they did,” Finney said. “They are well-coached and they did what they had to do win; things like rebounding and hitting their free throws.”
Besides Thaut scoring 14, junior forward Jack Hilt dropped in 11 points and Kasey Lesnau, a junior guard, found himself with 10 points. Kevin Kapanowski, Peter Freeman and Joe Milanov scored five points, while Jake Schinkai knocked down two three-point jumpers and recorded eight points. Lesnau scored two of his 10 points on a late layup, which he was fouled. The junior could not connect from the free throw line to complete the old fashion three-point play, but it gave the Mustangs a spark of momentum.
For the Cranes (7-8, 2-6 CHSL Intersectional), Tim Hauxwell scored a game-high 17 points. The 6-foot-8, 250 pound center tallied well over 10 rebounds to record a double-double.
“Their big kid really played well,” said Lutheran North coach Kevin Murawski. “He kept the ball in play for them. Cranbrook is a tough team. They didn’t stop fighting.”
Jordyn Finney scored 16 points and Kyle Lebada put through eight points for Cranbrook-Kingswood in the loss. The Cranes, who were on the road against Lutheran North, only made two three-pointers with one coming in the final few seconds of the game.
“I thought everyone, from one to 11, played well tonight. This was a real team victory. A big difference was our three-point shooting in the first half,” said Murawski.