Calvary Lutheran cruises to win

Calvary Lutheran proved it was the king of the jungle Friday night, as the Lions handed the Columbia Independent School Lions a 56-29 defeat at Trinity Lutheran School.

Calvary never trailed, jumping out to a 19-4 lead after one quarter, and improved to 3-0 on the season.

“I’m happy with the win, but I’m also happy with the improvement,” Calvary coach Jeff Latimore said. “Do we need to improve more? Of course we do. But we’re keeping it headed in the right direction.”

Calvary, which was able to force the running clock for large portions of the fourth quarter with the lead at 30 points or more, recorded the rout in large part because it took care of the ball. One week after forcing 49 turnovers and committing 41, the Lions forced 39 and committed just 21.

“That was great — that’s what we worked on all week,” Latimore said. “We worked on spacing and getting the ball to the open man. We did a pretty good job of it. I’m still not totally happy yet, but it was an improvement.”

Calvary had just four turnovers in the opening quarter, while CIS racked up13.

That enabled Latimore to go to his bench early in the second quarter, as his reserves got plenty of playing time. And not only did they play, but they helped stretch the lead, as Calvary took its biggest lead of the first half at 35-10 before settling for a 35-12 edge at halftime.

“That group included a guy who had never played basketball before, so that was big for them,” Latimore said. “It’s kind of a confidence builder for them. I know that one day these seniors will be gone, so I’m going to have to get the others ready.”

The third quarter didn’t start so hot for Calvary, which began the frame 2-of-14 from the field. But the Lions finished strong, connecting on five of their final six shots to take a 50-21 lead into the final quarter.

“That (finish) was exactly what I was looking for,” Latimore said. “I could have easily started pulling people, but I wanted to see how they would react to that situation, because you’re not going to score all the time. ... You’ll have those days, but you have to compensate for that and find a way to score, and that’s what they ended up doing.”

Calvary took its biggest lead of the game at 31 points twice in the final frame, the first on a bucket by Trevor Dusheke that made it 52-21 and the second on a jumper by Kyle Maddox that made it 54-23.

Lance Sommerer pumped in a game-high 14 points for the winners, while Maddox joined him in double figures with 12. Craig Wehmeyer, Joe Miller and James Bernskoetter pulled down six rebounds each to tie for the team lead.

Calvary’s margin of victory could have been even bigger, but the Lions struggled again from the free-throw line, hitting just 6-of-22 (27 percent). Amazingly, CIS was even worse, making just 3-of-12 (25 percent).

“Whatever it takes, we have to work on that, because the games are just going to get tougher,” Latimore said.

Calvary returns to action Thursday when it travels to Prairie Home.

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