LESTER PRAIRIE – It was too little too late for the Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity boys basketball team in their matchup with Legacy Christian Academy Tuesday night. Despite a furious comeback in the second half, it wasn’t enough to overcome their slow start as the Lions complete the season sweep of the Bulldogs with a 57-44 victory.
“We dug ourselves a hole early,” LP/HT coach Andrew Dahl said. “That seems to be a pattern for us. We get behind early and then we fight back. Then we run out of gas. They made some good adjustments in the second half once we made our run. It’s good that we hung in there though at times, but we’d like to find a way to come back all the way and pull it through in the end.”
Cold shooting and turnovers left the Bulldogs in a big hole early in the second half. Legacy Christian Academy extended their lead to 20 points early in the second half, making Dahl and the Bulldogs change things up on both ends of the floor.
With just over 14 minutes left to play, Dahl switched LP/HT into a 3-2 zone, and it paid off immediately. Buckets from Alex Heimerl, Dexter Harrison, and Jack Behning sparked an 8-0 run for the Bulldogs to get them back within striking distance with plenty of time left.
“That was big,” Dahl said. “We don’t run a ton of zone, but we tried to mix it up on them. We wanted to put a bigger lineup in there and mix them up with some long arms and athletes. It caused them some trouble and we got some tips and fast breaks out of it. That was big to have that group play well for us.”
LP/HT would close the gap to just six with just under three minutes to play as they took advantage of their size inside to get back into the game. Harrison and Heimerl took control of the game inside, scoring 14 of the final 18 points for the Bulldogs.
“We had some size advantages inside, and for the most part, they worked hard and finished pretty well,” Dahl said. “The first half we probably could have done that same thing but we were kind of bobbling the ball and not finishing as strong as we’d like to. It was good to see those guys fight and battle inside and kind of get us going.”
In the end, LP/HT ultimately ran out of time as they couldn’t complete the comeback. The slow start was too much to overcome as the Bulldogs fell to .500 on the season with an 8-8 record. Although the loss was disappointing for LP/HT, Dahl knows his team can figure things out in time for the postseason.
“It’s kind of been our theme,” Dahl said about the up-and-down nature of the season. “We can look really good at times, but other times we struggle to get a bucket and we struggle to get stops. If we can just have that mindset that we have to bring it every play, I think that can lead us to be a pretty tough team come tournament time.”
LEGACY CHRISTIAN 57, LP/HT 44
LEGACY CHRISTIAN: Trenton Harrison 17, Carson Sharp 11, Jake Wald 11, Primeau Hill 2, Harley Kendall 13, Thomas Steffen 3.
LP/HT: Evan Lee 5, Zach Jackson 1, Alex Heimerl 14, Dexter Harrison 10, Jason Zimprich 2, Jack Behining 12.