The offense went quiet for the Calvary Lutheran Lions.
Calvary came within a point with 4:52 left and looked to have the momentum, but the La Monte Vikings held the Lions to 1-of-14 shooting the rest of the way to win 37-33 Thursday night at Calvary Lutheran.
“What I’ve seen from this week is they’re not ready to play basketball,” Calvary coach Beau Monson said.
Both teams struggled to get on the board early, with Malik Moody knocking down a 3-pointer from the left wing for La Monte for the game’s first points with 5:14 left in the first.
The Lion offense started to wake up with Jaxson Jobe driving for a hook to get Calvary on the board at 3-2 with 3:53 left, then Jobe assisted Gage Pavely for a left-wing 3 to put Calvary up 10-9 with 29 seconds left before the first break.
Moody hit a free throw to send the game into the first break tied at 10.
Calvary took the lead right out of the break with a Landon Vandegriffe free throw and a Israel Cobian layup off a Jobe assist to take a 13-10 advantage.
Then the rest of the quarter was all Vikings.
La Monte went into halftime on a 10-0 run and held Calvary scoreless for the final 6:16 of the second quarter to go into the midpoint with a 20-13 lead.
“To be complete honest, halftime wasn’t about X’s and O’s,” Monson said. “These boys had to do a bit of soul searching and find a way to work through it.”
The Calvary offense got rolling in the third quarter with a Vandegriffe jumper and a Cobian floater to cut the lead to 22-17, then a Cobian free throw and a Jobe steal-turned-layup brought the Lions within 24-20.
The Lions got within four points at the end of the quarter when Jobe tossed a post-entry pass to Ben Kuhlmann for a traditional three-point play, bringing the Viking lead to 30-26 at the final break.
“We challenged them, you can’t play games like that and expect to win,” Monson said. “There were no X’s and O’s that would fix what was going wrong tonight.”
The Lions kept inching closer in the fourth with a Kuhlmann hitting a putback after an offensive rebound and a layup to bring Calvary within 31-30 before the final La Monte run.
Tyler Weber seemed to break the Calvary momentum with a block that went down the court to a sprinting Moody for a transition layup, then Weber hit a layup for two of his game-high 22 points.
The Vikings went 2-of-6 from the free-throw line in the final minute to hold off any Calvary comeback attempt.
“Third game of the season, I get it. It’s hard to see a different team in practice than you see in the game,” Monson said. “The hesitation in the game, things like that. It’s a mentality. It’s a long season and we’ve got another game tomorrow.”
Calvary (1-2) will get back on the court today when it plays at Jamestown in a CCAA conference matchup.
“Tomorrow is a new day, Jamestown is in the conference. If you want to defend the conference title you won last year, you’ve got to change something internally,” Monson said.
Calvary won the junior varsity matchup 34-8 in two quarters.