Collectively, the Edinburgh boys’ basketball team knew its defensive challenge would be big Thursday, facing Lutheran’s J.C. Faubion, the state’s leading scorer.
Ironically, even though one of the Lancers matched Faubion point-for-point, their defense ended up sparking a big road win.
The Lancers forced 16 turnovers, including five during a third-quarter stretch in which they pieced together a 12-0 run. That turned a 29-23 deficit into a 35-29 lead and paved the way for a 56-49 win.
With the victory, Edinburgh improved to 5-1. Lutheran dropped to 5-2.
Edinburgh’s decisive third-quarter spurt came partially as a result of renewed defensive intensity after a halftime talk. The Lancers trailed 23-21 at intermission but trailed 23-16 before closing the half with a 5-0 run.
“We weren’t very good offensively in the first half,” Edinburgh coach Drew Glentzer said. “We missed some easy shots and gave up some offensive rebounds. We knew if we were going to come back, we were going to have to get loose balls, rebounds and make all the hustle plays.”
Edinburgh committed just one third-quarter turnover and shot 7 of 12 from the field while taking only one 3-point attempt. All 12 of the Lancers’ points during the game-changing run came in the paint.
Senior Trent Tatlock scored all six of his points during the spurt, with two weakside put-backs and a layup.
Meanwhile, the Lancers’ Caleb Giles attacked the basket aggressively throughout the game, matching Faubion’s scoring output, which came primarily from the outside.
Faubion, who entered the game leading the state with a 37.3-point scoring average, finished with 33 but needed 29 field-goal attempts to get there. Giles hit 9 of 17 shot from the floor and made 12 of 16 free throws for his 33 points.
Lutheran’s team, by comparison, attempted just nine free throws, hitting six.
“(Giles) put us on his back offensively, but Ryan Burton made some hustle plays, Trent Tatlock and Nate King got some big rebounds, and Riley Price made some big defensive plays,” Glentzer said. “Our defense created our offense.”
Burton finished with 10 points, while Tatlock pulled down a game-high seven rebounds to go with his six points.
While Edinburgh defeated Lutheran in last year’s Class A sectional, the Lancers hadn’t forgotten that the Saints won a 57-53 decision last Dec. 22 at Edinburgh. The teams figure to be top contenders once again for this year’s sectional title, as well, along with Waldron. Lutheran already has defeated potential sectional foes Greenwood Christian Academy, Morristown and Southwestern (Shelby).
Edinburgh’s lone loss came Dec. 1 against Waldron (7-0), and the Lancers currently stand 2-1 against potential sectional foes.
“We knew we wanted to get them back,” Giles said of the Saints. “We wanted to come here and get them again. We’re proud of ourselves, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
Edinburgh is off until next Thursday when it hosts Seymour.