DAILY JOURNAL SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
Third place is never fun to play for, especially when it’s your own tournament.
Still, the Edinburgh boys basketball team had plenty to celebrate after battling back from a 15-point deficit for a 58-45 win against Lutheran in Tuesday’s consolation game of the Johnson Memorial/Sports Plus Classic at Edinburgh.
After the game, a Lutheran assistant coach asked Edinburgh coach Drew Glentzer what he said to the Lancers at halftime and requested a copy.
“Really, it wasn’t anything,” Glentzer said with a smile. “We just talked about things being in our control and playing harder.”
That’s what the Lancers did in the second half, limiting Lutheran to 11 points during the final two quarters.
Lutheran didn’t score a field goal in the second half until the 2:13 mark of the fourth quarter. By that time, the Lancers had all but secured the win.
“It was a collective team effort,” Glentzer said. “We didn’t have anyone score a bunch of points; we just had everyone contribute to the win, and I’m happy with that.”
This game was a preview of sorts for a regular-season meeting Jan. 10, when the Lancers travel to Lutheran.
Lutheran used its height to outrebound the Lancers in the first half and build an early lead.
But the Lancers, still stinging from the previous night’s loss against Trinity Lutheran, steadily chipped away in the second half with the sort of determined effort Glentzer hopes will be habitual moving forward.
“We also talked that this game, and every one from now on, is working towards the sectional,” Glentzer said. “We also didn’t want to let this get away from us.”
Edinburgh went on a 13-0 run in the second half to take the lead. Although the Saints would forge a tie on a pair of free throws, that was their high-water mark for the half.
Edinburgh was sparked in the half by five 3-point baskets, four of them by junior Kyle Pendleton. Junior Bobby Simpson also was an instrumental playmaker in the final two quarters.
“They grew up out there,” Glentzer said. “We have a rivalry with (Lutheran), and we’ll be seeing them soon and quite possibly in the sectional.”
Senior Matt Heagy led the Lancers with 19 points. Pendleton added 16, and Simpson finished with 14.
Senior 6-foot-8 center Blake Sobieralski had 19 points, but only two points in the second half, to pace Lutheran.
Edinburgh’s next game is Jan. 6 against visiting Seymour.