To say the basketball team at Lane (5-3, 1-0) was sluggish for three quarters in its Red North opener against Steinmetz (4-3, 0-1) would be an understatement. The Indians would able to build a 12-point lead despite 30 missed shots at the basket and 15 turnovers.
Lane started the final quarter by scoring 13 unanswered points to seal the section opener on the road at Steinmetz.
“In the beginning, we weren’t focused,” Lane guard Christian Aranez admitted after the win. “We weren’t playing Lane Tech basketball. After the third quarter, I told the guys let’s be the team we know we can be.”
Lane didn’t arrive until 4 pm while Steinmetz head coach Brad Dowling benched three starters for missing practice. Another factor was only one referee showed up to officiate this contest.
Lane led only 17-11 at halftime despite scoring the game’s first nine points on three treys.
“I was thrilled to be down only six at halftime,” Steinmetz head coach Brad Dowling stated after the loss.
Aranez has gone from being Lane’s most improved player to maybe its most important as the team’s point guard this season. Aranez would be the game’s most valuable player after his performance on Tuesday. Aranez keyed the fourth quarter surge with three three-pointers.
“He won the coaches award last year,”Lane head coach Nick Logalbo said. “He’s the ultimate team player. It couldn’t happen to a better guy. He became our captain this year. What he lacks in height he makes up for it with heart.”
Aranez didn’t seem affected by the bus trip. The senior scored a game-high 15 points including two three-point hoops in the opening quarter.
“I don’t think we got off the bus until the fourth quarter,”Logalbo joked after the game.
Aranez led Lane with 15 points as Logalbo used 14 players and seven players contributed offensively.
“(Aranez) makes my job easier,” Logalbo said. “He’s going to be a coach one day. He’s the heart and soul of this team. He runs the show for us.”
Lane really won this game on defense forcing 24 turnovers as Steinmetz shot 11-of-43 on its home court against Lane’s man-to-man defense.
Lane made 7-of-15 shots in the fourth quarter.
“The effort was good for the most part,” Dowling said on the loss.”The hope there being down 12 points was to get it under single digits. We start off the fourth quarter on a 4-0 run it’s a game. They started on a 4-0 run and it’s almost garbage time.”
Frank Bland led Steinmetz with 10 points and 18 rebounds before fouling out.