In what felt like a State Tournament-type game, the Lennox High School boys’ basketball team fought to come back and get the 63-57 victory over Tea Area this past Friday night in Lennox.
This marked the first time in eight years, the LHS boys have defeated the Titans during the regular season.
“Our game against Tea was an exciting environment to be a part of. We told our guys to embrace the moment because there aren’t many games you get to experience with that sort of excitement and intensity; a huge thank you to the Lennox community for making that happen,” said LHS head coach Chris Buckmiller.
The match-up brought quite the crowd to the LHS gym during Pink Out Night and the Oriole faithful helped push the Orioles in the third quarter when they found themselves down by ten. The team rallied and outscored the Titans 21-11 in the fourth quarter to get the win.
“We showed some serious grit when we were down 10 with only a minute left to go in the third quarter. Those are the moments that a team never wants to be in, but also needs to experience in order to see how tough they truly are,” said Buckmiller. “It was an exciting moment seeing them believe in themselves. The mental toughness they displayed was a direct reflection of the strong leadership we have within our program. Due to our boys’ leadership, we beat the Titans for the first time in 8 years.”
The Orioles were led by Porter Ihnen who finished the game with 21 points, hitting nine of ten at the foul line. He also had eight rebounds and two steals. Braeden Wulf and Tate Gerdes also finished in double digits with Wulf scoring 13 and Gerdes ten. Wulf also grabbed six rebounds. Tate pulled down eight and had two assists. Jaxon Plank scored nine points in the game, grabbed one rebound, and had four assists and four steals. Conner Eich finished with seven points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal. Talan Diercks provided three points, two rebounds, one assist, and one steal.
In addition to a big win over their rival, it was also Senior Night at LHS.
“We have five seniors who we can’t thank enough for their contribution to our program. Andrew Daugherty, Braeden Wulf, Conner Eich, Jaxon Plank, and Jeffrey Klock have represented our program with class and excellent leadership,” said Buckmiller.
They were honored prior to the LHS girls’ game.
Before their big win against Tea Area, the Orioles traveled to Tri-Valley on Monday, Feb. 6 where they earned a decisive 75-48 victory.
“We had a slow start against Tri-Valley but found rhythm in the second quarter. In the second quarter, we outscored the Mustangs 36-8,” said Buckmiller. “Forcing our opponent into 24 turnovers was the biggest factor in the game.”
Ihnen once again led the Orioles in scoring finishing the night with 28 points. He recorded a double-double, grabbing 12 rebounds as well. He also had four assists and three steals. Eich finished the night with 15 points, sinking four three-pointers. He also grabbed three rebounds and had one assist. Diercks finished with 14 points, hitting four three pointers in the game as well. He also grabbed four rebounds, had two assists and one steal. Tate Gerdes finished with six points, six rebounds, four assists and one steal. Layton Smith had five points. Plank finished with four points and a team-high five steals. Wulf added two points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal and Trey Gerdes had one point, one rebound and one assist.
The Orioles were scheduled to face off against Beresford on the road on Tuesday, Feb. 14 and will host Dell Rapids on Friday, Feb. 17. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. On Monday, Feb. 20 the Orioles host Deuel in a rescheduled match-up, beginning at 5 p.m. and wrap up their regular season with a road game against Dakota Valley on Friday, Feb. 24.