By ANDY WOLF
KANSAS — Lakota senior Josh Kagy and his teammates made it a priority to “start strong and put it to” Arcadia on Tuesday night.
The Raiders did just that, leading 21-6 after the first quarter and all the way through their 67-56 nonleague boys basketball victory.
“We came out ready to fight,” said Kagy, who scored a game-high 24 points. “Last game we didn’t start out very well.”
Lakota improved to 1-1 overall while Arcadia fell to 0-2.
Raiders coach Ty Ray also cited the difference in their season-opening loss to Danbury (48-44) where they fell behind by 12 points early, but couldn’t come all the way back.
This time, they reversed the script and set the tone with an active and aggressive first-quarter press.
In the remaining three quarters, Lakota relentlessly attacked the rim and lived at the foul line. They made 19 free throw trips in all, 17 after the first quarter, and converted 21 of 34 shots at the line — nearly hitting as many foul shots as field goals (22).
“I think the fouls was a little bit of us being a half-step quicker than them,” Ray said. “They were trying to catch up to us defensively and keep us out of the paint. We were able to get cuts going back to the basket.”
Braden Schaser tallied 13 points for the Raiders while Levi Myers and Tyler Gabel each added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Lakota produced four turnovers in a two-minute stretch of the first quarter to fuel a 13-0 run and take a 17-3 lead. Midway through the run, Tyler Wehrle recorded two steals and twice dished off to Kagy for a fast-break lay-in on consecutive possessions.
“We did a good job scouting them and knew what was coming, so we jumped the passes and turned it into easy offense,” Kagy said.
Arcadia finished with 22 turnovers and Lakota with nine steals.
Wehrle and Schaser each made three steals.
Ray noted the amount of athletes on his team but a lack of scorers.
“We need defense to create offense for us this year,” Ray said. “We need our athleticism to get up in the passing lanes, create turnovers like we did tonight and be able to cash in with some easy layups because we’re not real good with the half-court sets.”
Yet, even with the benefit of free throws, Lakota couldn’t put Arcadia away.
After facing 15-point deficits at the end of the first and third quarters (51-36), the Redskins hung around and, each time, trimmed it to single digits.
They used an 8-2 second-quarter run to pull within 27-20 and then a 10-3 fourth-quarter spurt to trail 54-46 with 5:46 remaining. Levi Squire (14 points) drained two of his four 3-pointers in the second spurt.
Yet, both times Lakota quickly extended its lead back out to double digits with free throws.
Schaser twice hit a pair of free throws in the second quarter, added another pair in the fourth as did Myers, who was 5 for 6 in the fourth quarter at the line.
“It’s just that (first-quarter) hole,” Arcadia coach Clay Baker said. “You’re constantly climbing your way out. … We cannot allow teams to get to the line that much.
“We’ve got to be more active defensively. We can’t let dribble penetration get to the rim as much as they did.”
Trevor Brubaker led Arcadia with 18 points and four assists. He also collected six rebounds.
Collectively, the Redskins shot 21 of 53 from the field including a respectable 9-of-23 night from beyond the arc.
“That’s pretty average. We didn’t shoot the ball that poorly,” Baker said. “Once again, shooting 23 threes is not what we want to do. We’re a big team and we want to get the ball inside but when you’re down that much you’ve got to claw your way back at the 3-point line.”
Eli Palmer added 10 points and seven rebounds for Arcadia, while Justen Stoner had six points.
Squire 5-0–14, Palmer 4-2–10, Rader 1-1–4, Stoner 2-1–6, Brubaker 7-1–18, Simon 2-0–4. TOTALS: 21-53 5-11–56.
Myers 2-6–10, Miller 1-0–2, Kagy 8-6–24, Wehrle 2-2–6, Balderson 1-0–2, Schaser 3-7–13, Gabel 5-0–10. TOTALS: 22-42 21-34–67.
Arcadia 6 15 15 20 — 56
Lakota 21 12 18 16 — 67
3-Point GOALS: Arcadia 9-23 (Squire 4, Brubaker 3, Rader & Stoner 1); Lakota 2-5 (Kagy 2).
rebounds: Arcadia 26 (Palmer 7); Lakota 30 (Myers & Gabel 7).
turnovers: Arcadia 22; Lakota 19.
junior varsity: Lakota, 45-25.
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