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Lone Tree used a big third quarter to erase a four-point halftime deficit and pull away for a 56-46 win over Iowa Mennonite.
IMS used a 10-0 and an 8-0 run to take the lead for the first time on Tuesday, but Lone Tree tightened the defense after halftime, allowing just one field goal in the third quarter.
“I thought defensively, we did a much better job of switching on their screens,” Lone Tree coach Tom Squires said.
The Lions also went into the post early and often in the third quarter as Niko Gosnell scored eight points during an 11-1 run. Reggie Borntrager answered with a field goal, but Lone Tree countered with seven points in a row, capped by Ross Swinton’s second three-pointer of the quarter, giving the Lions a 43-32 lead.
Gosnell finished with 16 points and seven rebounds for the Lions. Nick Yutzy had nine points and five assists for IMS.
Jovonte Squiers had nine points, nine assists and four steals for Lone Tree, but it was at the defensive end of the floor that Iowa Mennonite coach Dwight Gingerich saw Squiers and the Lions step up in the second half.
“I thought that they asserted themselves more defensively, you could hear them talking,” Gingerich said. “They did a great job of talking defensively and they switched on all screens. They mixed it up.
“You could tell Jovonte was kind of orchestrating out on the floor and was very engaged defensively, and talking to his teammates. He was saying a lot of the right things. At one point, maybe he could see that we were setting screens, we were running curls, we were switching. He just did a good job, and Lone Tree did a good job with that. Coach Squiers made some adjustments and took away some things that were working for us.”
Ross Swinton had 12 points and four assists for Lone Tree.
After Squiers started the scoring with a three-point shot, the Lions had success in the paint getting nine points in the post from Michael Schmidt, Gosnell, and Brock Smith during a 14-2 run.
Schmidt finished with eight points.
Cole Ours hit a three to cut the deficit to single digits and a pair of three-pointers from Trevor Leyden had IMS within a point early in the second quarter.
Borntrager scored the final four points of the half to give Iowa Mennonite its largest lead of the game.
Cole Yoder scored 10 of his team-high six points in the first half. Mitchell Schmieder scored six of his nine points during a 26-10 stretch for IMS to close out the half.
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