A tough second quarter made difficult by stifling opposing defense — and struggles at the free throw line in the second half — hurt Lewis Central in a 66-46 Class 4-A Substate 7 first round loss at Urbandale Monday night.
“Our achilles all year has been at the foul line. That’s hurt us. It’s obviously something we need to improve,” Titan head coach Dan Miller said.
L.C. cut the lead at various points in the second half to around 12 or 14 points, but could never get it to single digits. One of the reasons why — an 11-for-27 effort at the line.
“Those freebies, you have to cash in at a higher rate. Get it under 10 going into the fourth quarter, you’re right there,” Miller said. “Those misses allow the game to get away from you, as opposed to staying within contact.”
Miller said he had hoped for higher defensive intensity from his charges.
“Just a step slow, not prepared to stop the ball,” he said.
Instead, it was Urbandale that brought the defensive intensity, especially in a second quarter that saw the J-Hawks break the game open.
After a tight first quarter that saw the Titans down 15-13, the J-Hawks used transition defense and solid shooting, to extend its lead. Urbandale finished the half with a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 35 to 21 lead into the locker room.
Junior JC Dermody led L.C. (10-10) with 15 points. Junior Wyatt Hatcher scored nine.
Senior Dylan Sams led Urbandale (4-13) with a game-high 20 points. Grant DeKruyf scored 18 points.
“I anticipated us playing a little better. I felt like we could’ve competed harder at times. But overall it’s been a good year. Came into the season with no one who’d seen significant minutes a year ago,” Miller said.
Dylan Carroll is the only senior on the Titan team, which returns everyone else next season.
“Dylan gave us a good effort all year,” Miller said. “I’m proud of the kids’ effort this year. There are plenty of things to continue to work on as a program.”
Urbandale advances to take on West Des Moines Valley (15-4) at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Lewis Central (10-10) 13 8 15 10 — 46
Urbandale (4-13) 15 20 16 14 — 66
LC: Wyatt Hatcher 9, Dylan Carroll 5, JC Dermody 15, Nick Miller 5, Trenton Johnette 4, Colby Souther 2, Caleb Moore 4, Nash Paulson 2.
U: Dylan Sams 20, Grant DeKruyf 19, Greysn Schmitz 8, Kirby Schmitz 8, Drew Dykstra 9, Nolan Baethke 2, Jack Craig 2.