Panthers pick it up in second half, drop Durant

Luke Lambert of Monticello (4) makes a move in the Dec. 22 game at Durant. (Photos by Pete Temple)

Connor Lambert of the Panthers (5) blocks the path of a Durant player.
Pete Temple
Express Sports Editor

     With a 16-point halftime lead, there seemed little danger the Monticello High School basketball team was going to be caught in its Dec. 22 game at Durant.

     In the third quarter, the Panthers made sure.

     Monticello outscored the Wildcats 31-4 in that period, with a blur of pressing, stealing and scoring that blew the game open, on the way to an 83-25 win.

     “We just played harder,” Monticello coach Tim Lambert said. “Everything is better when you play hard. We shot better, we defended better.

     “If you play half speed, you’re going to shoot half speed, you’re going to defend half speed. You start playing hard, and suddenly the ball moves better, and everything is better.”

     The coach added that the first half, despite a 35-19 lead, was not what the Panthers are looking for in terms of intensity.

     “We just told them, with as experienced a team as we have, we shouldn’t have a first half like that,” the coach said. “We were flat, we were not playing hard, we were just not into it. We were playing well enough to win, but not well enough to get better.”

     Justin Recker scored 24 points and Luke Lambert added 20 points and eight assists in the rout. Tate Petersen had 11 points and four steals. Connor Lambert pulled down eight rebounds. Preston Ries came off the bench to score eight points.

     Monticello scored the first 18 points of the second half, not allowing a Durant point until a free throw with 4:21 left in the third quarter.

     “Great effort in the second half,” coach Lambert said. “Then we won the fourth quarter 17-2 with our second and third string, so everybody got the message.”

     Monticello headed into the holiday break with a record of 6-0, including 3-0 in River Valley Conference North Division games.


Dec. 22

Monti   20 15 31 17 – 83

Durant   7 12   4    2  – 25

     MONTICELLO (83) – Justin Recker 11-15 1-2 24, Luke Lambert 7-9 4-5 20, Connor Lambert 1-6 0-0 2, Ty Kehoe 3-5 0-0 6, Tate Petersen 4-9 1-1 11, Preston Ries 4-7 0-0 8, Riley Manternach 2-4 0-0 5, Jasper Nietert 1-1 0-0 2, Grahm Schneiter 1-1 0-0 2, Lucas Bartachek 0-0 0-0 0, Ian Temple 1-3 0-0 3, Caleb Sauser 0-2 0-0 0, Peyton Schilling 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 35-63 6-8 83.

     Three-pointers – L. Lambert 2, Petersen 2, Recker, Manternach, Temple.

     Rebounds – Monticello 36 (C. Lambert 8, Recker 7, Ries 6, Kehoe 5).

     Total fouls – Monticello 16.

     Assists – Monticello 31 (L. Lambert 8, C. Lambert 5, Petersen 5, Kehoe 5.

     Steals – Monticello 13 (Petersen 4, L. Lambert 3, Ries 3, Manternach 2).

     Turnovers – Monticello 7.



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