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Lone Tree couldn’t stop a pair of Keota runs in the second and third quarters and lost their season opener 76-64.
Keota went on a 10-0 run from the 3:56 mark of the second quarter to 2:11 left in the half to erase a four-point deficit and turn it into a 34-28 lead. Their second run began midway through the third quarter and expanded the Keota lead from 54-48 to 63-48 with 7:08 left in the fourth quarter.
The key to those Keota runs according to Lone Tree head coach Tom Squiers were too many Lone Tree turnovers.
“We turned the ball over and that was the key,” Squiers said. “ We had 22 turnovers for the night and against a good team like that it’s 22 more times they’re going to get to try and score the basketball.”
Every time it seemed Lone Tree was going to gain a little momentum or a Lone Tree run was coming there was a Keota three-point shot or free throws that broke things up. Keota shot 34 free throws on the night to Lone Tree’s 16. Lone Tree had over 10 fouls in each of the half, giving Keota easy trips to the line.
“We fouled too much, the first half we were reaching in on press and fouled too much,” Squiers said.
Lone Tree was led in scoring by Brock Smith with 14 points, nine of those coming in the second half. Squiers said the Lions will have to go to him earlier in the game to be more fluid on offense.
“We did a better job in the second half getting the ball to Brock Smith, the ball has to go through him,” Squiers said.
Brady Dauber, Austin Marshek and Bryce Houser were the other double-digit scorers for the Lions.
The Lions played Tuesday at Iowa Mennonite and home against Louisa-Muscatine on Friday.
Lone Tree:19; 15; 12; 16; 64
Keota: 18; 24; 17; 17; 76
Brock Smith 14
Brady Dauber 13
Austin Marshek 11
Bryce Houser 10
Avery Knock 9
Keegan Edwards 7
Casey Shalla 5
Brady Dauber 5