Boys basketball cruises in season opener

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Bobby Winebrenner

WINNETKA, Ill. — The boys basketball team started hot on Monday night and never looked back. Firing on all cylinders, Lake Forest was able to come away with a 63-45 win over Butler Prep. Jumping out to an early lead, the Scouts grabbed the momentum out of the gate. The Lynx battled back, however, taking advantage of many careless passes from LFHS, and tied the game at 12 at the end of the first quarter. Unsatisfied with how the the first quarter ended, Tommy Hanson nailed a three-pointer with 4:03 left in the second quarter to push the Lake Forest run to 13-0. From there, the game was in control. The Scouts went into halftime with a ten point lead at 32-22 and needed another big quarter to seal the deal. They got just that, pushing the lead to 19 at the end of the 3rd. Coach LaScala’s team prevailed after an excellent, four-quarter, balanced performance. The juniors played a majority of the fourth and held their own, ultimately finishing the competition off with a 63-45 win to kick off the Holiday week.

Prior to Monday’s game, guard Sean Trkla said in an “On The Line” episode that two of the team’s goals were to be the best defensive team in the state, and to grab every rebound possible. Coach LaScala couldn’t have asked for much more on that front. Trkla & Co. out-rebounded Butler 32-10, limiting the Lynx to only 4 offensive rebounds. Meanwhile, Lake Forest grabbed 20 defensive boards to go along with 12 offensive rebounds. On the defensive side of things, the Scouts held Butler to a mere 23% from behind the arc as well as allowing only a 35% field goal percentage. Still, the story of the game was Lake Forest’s performance from their frontcourt players. Mead Payne and Drew Arnson combined for 32 points on 17 field goal attempts. Jed Thomas and Jack VanHyfte were able to get it down low to their post players who seemingly scored at will against the inferior Butler big men.

Three Factors:

Forced turnovers: Lake Forest caused many Butler errors, creating havoc while on defense. They drew charge after charge as well as pickpocketed many opposing players for steals. The Scouts forced 14 turnovers and Coach LaScala has to be happy after that defensive performance.

Defensive close-outs: Ben Gibson and Sean Trkla used their size to cause fits for Butler. They played terrific defense on the shorter Butler guards, using their long wingspans to change what was once an open Butler 3 into a contested one.

3-point shooting: A synchronized offense creates many open opportunities, and Lake Forest took advantage of this. Moving the ball around at will, the best shot possible often came from three as the Scouts shot at near 40% from 3-point land.