TURBOTVILLE – Basketball is a game of runs, and Line Mountain made two big ones in the second half that helped the Eagles out in a big way in Thursday’s nonleague contest versus Warrior Run.
Trailing by a couple of points at the half, Line Mountain used a 13-point run to start the third quarter to retake the lead and go on for a 68-60 victory at Warrior Run High School.
“It was a tough win for the boys tonight,” said Line Mountain coach Matt Johnson. “We fought through some adversity – some ups and downs and peaks and valleys.
“That’s what we’ve been going through all season, and that’s what we’re trying to stick with,” added Johnson.
Riley Young, who led Line Mountain (6-4) with a game-high 37 points, scored 13 of them in the first quarter – 11 of them coming after Warrior Run (1-11) opened with an 8-2 lead.
However, a couple of big 3-pointers by the Defenders’ Mason Sheesley in the second quarter put Warrior Run back in front at the half 31-29.
“We talked about competing all week – that’s all we’ve been talking about,” said Warrior Run coach Eric Wertman. “We’ve had some tough losses (this year). We’re young and we’re learning on the fly, and tonight we were able to put some things together.
“That was our first lead at the half since I think the first game of the year,” added Wertman. “Unchartered waters right there, but something we talked about was putting some pressure on Line Mountain because everyone is applying pressure to us.”
Line Mountain also put some good things together in the game, namely that big run to start the third quarter.
Beginning with a bucket from Young and ending with a 3-pointer from Nick Snyder, the Eagles would turn a two-point deficit at the half into a 42-31 lead.
“That was huge,” said Johnson. “We came out huge in the second half, and that seems to be our theme (this season), and we got to get that under control.
“If we didn’t come out and run, we probably lose this game,” added Line Mountain’s coach.
But Warrior Run still refused to go away.
The Defenders bounced back to outscore the Eagles 20-6 the remainder of the third to grab the lead back at 51-48 and set up a wild and wooly fourth.
It didn’t quite turn out that way as Line Mountain put together its final big run of the night when the Eagles outscored the Defenders 10-3 to start the final period to take a 58-54 lead.
And although a 3-pointer by Sheesley got Warrior Run to within a point (58-57) with 3:55 left to play, a couple of buckets from Jeremy Lubnow grabbed the momentum right back and Line Mountain made a few free throws down the stretch to seal it.
“I think with our conditioning and our mental toughness that we’ve been getting throughout the games we know that we can come out and finish games when we have to,” said Johnson. “With this being a nonconference game for us, they are always tough because we don’t play schools like (Warrior Run) every year.
For Warrior Run, Sheesley led the way with 22 points, including six 3-pointers, plus Cooper Wilkins and Carter Marr added 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Wilkins also chipped in five rebounds, three steals and two assists; and Ryan Newton contributed seven points, 17 rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Warrior Run next plays at Midd-West at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and coach Wertman hopes the effort from Thursday’s game continues to the next.
“That was the most complete game we’ve played all year,” said Warrior Run’s coach. “I’m super happy with our effort. I loved the guys’ energy and the effort they brought tonight.
“That’s the type of energy and effort that it takes (to win) every single night, and we can compete with anyone if we do that,” added Wertman.
Line Mountain 68, Warrior Run 60At Warrior Run
Line Mountain 21 8 19 20 – 68 Warrior Run 14 17 20 9 — 60
Line Mountain (6-4) 68
Nick Snyder 2 4-6 9, Riley Young 16 5-7 37, Jeremy Lubnow 7 03- 14, Chase Shutt 2 0-0 4, Trent Steinhart 2 0-0 4, Aidan Tressler 0 0-0 0, Joe Spang 0 0-0 0.
29 9-16 68.
Warrior Run (1-11) 60
Chase Beachel 1 0-0 2, Carter Marr 6 0-2 12, Cooper Wilkins 6 1-2 14, Mason Sheesley 8 0-0 22, Gavin Gorton 1 1-3 3, Ryan Newton 3 1-2 7.
25 3-9 60.
Sheesley 6, Wilkins.
JV score: LM, 52-17. High scorers: LM, Chase Shutt, 15; WR, Gavin Gorton, 8.