On Monday, Jan. 17 the Lennox High School boys’ basketball team traveled to West Central to take on the Trojans. Lennox struggled offensively from the field and with the poor shooting, the Orioles dropped just their second game of the season, falling to the Trojans 66-49.
“West Central was a game where we couldn’t get anything going. As a team, we were only able to make three two-point field goals throughout the game,” said LHS head coach Chris Buckmiller. “The toughest stretch that hurt us was roughly 11 minutes of game clock where we didn’t score during the second half of the first quarter and not scoring in the second quarter until there was 50 seconds until half.”
Despite the struggle offensively, the Orioles did manage to cut the Trojans lead down to 11 but never got it within single digits. Coach Buckmiller never stopped believing in his team, however.
“I still thought we had a chance. We cut it down to 11 and if we would have hit a couple more shots in the second half to cut it within single digits, I believe we could have made it interesting,” said Buckmiller. “Regardless, it was a great learning experience for our boys as we continue to grow.”
For the Orioles, Jackson Arlt led the way with 12 points. He also had five rebounds, three assists, and two steals. Carter Van Houten and Porter Ihnen each finished with nine points, Conner Eich had eight, Jaxon Plank seven, Braeden Wulf three, and Steven Christion one. Ihnen led in rebounds with six and led in assists with five in the game. Van Houten had two steals in the game.
Buckmiller’s attitude of believing in the team even when down paid off on Friday, Jan. 21 when the Orioles hosted Platte-Geddes.
The Orioles trailed Platte-Geddes 32-28 at the half and still trailed 49-41 at the end of three. However, Lennox fought back to tie things up around the one minute mark. A key three-pointer and key foul shots gave the Orioles the nice come-from-behind win, defeating Platte-Geddes 57-52.
Buckmiller was proud of the team’s determination to fight back and get the win.
“Against Platte-Geddes, we found ourselves down double digits. We have proven this year that regardless of double digits deficits, we can still find a way to win because they continue to believe in one another even while facing adversity. I’m proud of them for that,” said Buckmiller. “The story of this game was the fourth quarter. We locked in defensively and only gave up three points in the quarter. Our best defensive quarter of the season. We practice these types of scenarios in practice on a regular basis. It’s great to see our team apply these reps into a game in order to win.”
Leading the Orioles in scoring were Eich and Arlt who each had 12 points in the game. Arlt also grabbed two rebounds, had one assist and three steals. Eich pulled down two rebounds, had one assist and one steal. Ihnen recorded a double-double in the game, scoring 11 points and pulling down ten rebounds. He also had two assists and three steals. Talan Diercks finished with nine points, had three assists and one steal. Plank scored six points, including crucial free throws down the stretch. He grabbed five rebounds, had a team-high five assists and one steal. Wulf had five points, one rebound, and one steal. Christion finished with two points, two rebounds, and one assist.
The LHS boys will host Parkston on Thursday, Jan. 27 with varsity tip-off set for 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 29 the LHS boys will compete in the Dak XII - NEC Clash at Madison. Lennox, the second seed, is slated to face off against Groton Area, at 5 p.m. The game will be played in the main gym. Also in the main gym will be Hamlin vs. Elk Point Jefferson at 11 a.m.; Clark-Willow Lake vs. Tea Area at 12:30 p.m.; Parkston vs. West Central at 2 p.m.; Deuel vs. Sioux Falls Christian at 3:30 p.m.; and Lakota Tech vs. Dakota Valley at 6:30 p.m. at the Auxiliary gym games include Sisseton vs. Tri-Valley at 11:45 p.m.; Webster Area vs. Canton at 1:15 p.m.; Redfield vs. Madison at 2:45 p.m.; Aberdeen Roncalli vs. Dell Rapids at 4:15 p.m. and Milbank vs. Vermillion at 5:45 p.m.