FACTORYVILLE — Lake-Lehman’s defensive intensity coupled with a deft shooting touch led the Black Knights a 66-50 win over Lackawanna Trail in the consolation game of the Cal King Memorial Basketball Tournament Dec. 12.
The Black Knights began the game on a 9-2 run and forced nine Lackawanna Trail turnovers to lead, 20-11, at the end of the first quarter.
“I think it just goes with being a young team,” Lackawanna Trail head coach Christian Sunseri said. “We turned the ball over early and put ourselves in a hole. We have to work on the little things and get used to playing the game the right way. When we turn the ball over, we don’t get shots and I think that kills our offense more than just the ball not going in the basket.”
Trail’s Steven Scioscia, who led the Lions with 13 points, scored the first four points of the second quarter to cut the deficit to five points, but Lehman scored the next 10 and 14 of the final 21 in the quarter to lead, 34-22, at the half.
The Lions also didn’t help their cause at the free throw line, converting just 50 percent of their attempts in the first half.
Lake-Lehman’s duo of Jake Corey and Cole Spencer provided a spark on offense by combining to score 39 points, including three 3-pointers from Corey.
“It’s nice that both of our (inside players) are able to do everything,” Lake-Lehman head coach Nate Schlichter said. “They’re not just big men; they can dribble and shoot and that helps our team a lot.”
The defensive pressure from Lake-Lehman (1-4) caused Lackawanna Trail to commit 26 turnovers in the game.
Schlichter believes the team’s defensive intensity played a big role in the Black Knights picking up their first win.
“The first four games of the season, we came out flat,” Schlichter said. “I’ve been trying to get the guys to be intense and they finally did it today.”
Center Jake Sanders contributed 12 points and three rebounds for Lackawanna Trail while forward Travis Ankoff chipped in with six points, five rebounds and four assists
Despite a poor start to the season, Sunseri is hopeful the Lions can shore up their play before they begin Lackawanna League competition Jan. 2.
“Our defense needs to get better, our rebounding needs to improve and we have to cut down on the turnovers,” he said.
Lackawanna Trail (0-6) will travel to play Valley View at 7:15 p.m. Dec. 21 in a non-league contest.
Reach Robert Tomkavage at 570-704-3941 or on Twitter @rtomkavage.