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Titans lose opener but remain optimistic

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Shenandoah’s Zach Foster (51) defends as Lewis Central’s Wyatt Hatcher, above, looks to shoot during the first quarter on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021.

Lewis Central boys basketball lost its season opener on Monday at Urbandal 48-42, but head coach Dan Miller said the Titans still have high goals for the season.

Lewis Central led 10-8 after the first quarter but Urbandale found its rhythm and took a 21-17 lead by halftime. The Urbandale J-Hawks extended their lead to 36-27 in the third quarter.

“It was a good first game for us,” Miller said. “To go on the road and play against a quality opponent like Urbandale was a good first game for us. Our guys played very hard and I thought we played extremely well defensively. We had a couple balls go in and our at crucial points during the game that could have changed the complexion of it. Overall we were very pleased.”

Wyatt Hatcher scored nine points, Trenton Johnette finished with nine, JC Dermody totaled nine, Cole Arnold collected eight, Colby Souther tallied six and Devin Nailor added one.

Johnette grabbed 11 rebounds and Dermody dished out three assists and swiped two steals.

Last season, Lewis Central had multiple long win streaks, but ended the year losing five straight to finish with a 10-10 record.

The Titans return nearly everyone off that team and are hoping for improvement this year.

“We were pretty inexperienced,” Miller said. “We had one senior which is pretty rare for us. I thought our guys played hard we just struggled to score the ball at time.”

Miller hopes the returning experience will pay off this year. Some of the key returning players include a handful of seniors like Dermody, Nick Miller, Hatcher, Nailor and Johnette, Bryce Walker.

Other key returners include Colby Souther, Cole Arnold and Nash Paulson.

“When you can get guys with experience on the floor they can take care of a lot of the problems,” Miller said “When you’re young it’s kind of trial and error. We’re looking forward to the season.

“... Our goals are always to improve and be playing our best basketball by the time the tournament rolls around. We want to be playing our best basketball in February. That will be our goal this year as well.”

In order to be successful, Miller said the team will look to its defense to lead the way.

“Basketball is a hard game if you can’t score points,” he said. “If we can make it difficult on the opponent to score and do a good job on the defensive end I feel like that’s going to be our identity.”

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