Offensive drought leads to loss against Willard


WAYNESILLVE — A brutal first half at the offensive end of the court proved to be too much for the Lebanon boys’ basketball team to overcome in Friday’s district championship game as the Yellowjackets fell to Willard, 53-41.

Lebanon scored just eight points in the first half, all of which came in the first quarter as Willard slowed the pace at the offensive end and clamped down at the defensive end. The ‘Jackets were within 9-8 with 1:47 remaining in the first quarter after a bucket by senior Jack Ehrhardt, but didn’t score again until the 5:40 mark of the third quarter.

Junior Kenny Chambers hit a contested jumper at the buzzer to cap the first quarter for Wllard and give the Tigers an 11-8 lead,  Willard then scored eight points in the second quarter, but were held scoreless by LHS over the final 3:25 of the first half and the ‘Jackets went to the break within 11 points, 19-8.

The third quarter saw Willard end the frame on an 8-2 run and take a 35-18 lead to the fourth quarter. The ‘Jackets trailed by as many as 20 early in the fourth and got as close as 10 late in the game, but couldn’t get closer.

Lebanon head coach Adam Thornhill said the ‘Jackets attempted to back off the Willard guards and protect the paint against drives and senior big man Houston Johnson, but the passive play carried over to the offensive end of the court.

“We knew that (senior) Sam Bird can shoot it, but the other guys we wanted to back off a little bit and fight their drives and negate their speed and ability to get to the rim,” Thornhill said. “In doing that, we lost our aggressiveness and that fed over to the offensive end.

“The types of shots that they were getting in the first half, we forced them to take some bad shots, we just didn’t capitalize with our rebounding. By trying to adjust defensively it maybe put us behind doing the things that we do well whenwe are being aggressive, like blocking out and rebounding.”
For the complete article, see Monday's print edition of The Daily Record, or view the e-Edition online.


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