Dec. 3 against Brighton, Legacy basketball fought through allowing 13 offensive rebounds, staying in the contest. However, despite the relentless effort of coach Connor Clay’s group, the Lightning …
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Dec. 3 against Brighton, Legacy basketball fought through allowing 13 offensive rebounds, staying in the contest. However, despite the relentless effort of coach Connor Clay’s group, the Lightning fell in the season opener, 68-66.
“It’s always frustrating, but we knew that coming in,” Clay said of the difficulty securing defensive rebounds after the game. “We are not going to be the biggest team on the court, so we have to box out. That killed us. Knowing that going forward, we improve that — I think 50 percent of their points were second-chance — I would love to play them again without giving up as many boards. Good lesson going forward.”
Losing size upfront in seniors Jack Olson, Owen Weber and Reese Huxtable a season ago, the Lighting attack changes with team rebounding becoming a priority for this season’s smaller, guard-heavy group. Despite the changes, the Lightning on the night were only out-rebounded by one.
After overcoming a 16-6 deficit less than five minutes into the game, the home team went on an 8-1 run to end the quarter. In the second, six points from junior Jack Thurston and five from junior Gavin Poxson helped give their team a 33-31 advantage at the break.
Extending the lead to a night-high of five a minute and 43 seconds into the third, the energy of Legacy surprised the road team. However, the Bulldogs settled down. Going on a 19-9 run to end the third, 10 points by senior Blake Ferguson headlined the Brighton attack.
Legacy didn’t lay down to start the fourth, accumulating 6-straight points the first 50 seconds of the frame. Brighton once again responded with nine of the next 11 to jump ahead to a 6-point lead with 3:40 remaining. When all things looked to be lost, behind Legacy junior Macully Sehr, we were tied again at 66 after the guards’ clutch corner 3-pointer with 40 seconds left.
“We trust the ball in his hands,” Clay said of Sehr. “He’s got great poise, it takes a lot to speed him up, so anytime we can, we like the ball in his hands.”
Unfortunately for the Lightning, the game was decided in the final seconds on free throws by Brighton senior Nathan McNurlin — who knocked them both down.
“I think we are close. We have been talking about every possession mattering, and that wasn’t the case tonight. If we can string together possession by possession, I like our chances against anyone,” Clay said.
For the Lightning, Poxson led the team with 19 points, followed by 14 from Sehr. Poxson, senior Eli Barrow and junior Tyson Spradling recorded a team-leading six rebounds apiece. Thurston led the squad with two blocks.
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