Lewis Central boys beat Harlan, move to 5-0 in Hawkeye Ten Conference

Lewis Central's Josh Simmons shoots between Harlan's Brett Sears (21) and Jonathan Monson (25),

COUNCIL BLUFFS — It’s only the middle of December, but the Council Bluffs Lewis Central boys basketball team already has conquered half of its conference schedule.

The Titans improved to 5-0 in the Hawkeye Ten on Friday, suffocating Harlan Community in the third quarter en route to a 66-58 victory at the L.C. gymnasium.

“Really happy to be there,’’ L.C. coach Dan Miller said. “I felt like we were going to have a pretty good squad. It’s a pretty good place to be right now.’’

Lewis Central’s (5-1 overall) only loss was a one-point decision to Denison-Schleswig, but that game didn’t count in the conference standings.

“Lewis Central’s got a good team,’’ Harlan coach Mitch Osborn said. “They’re big. They’re physical.’’

Harlan (2-3, 1-2) finished a sizzling 12-for-21 (57.1 percent) from 3-point range in the game. But the Cyclones were 1-for-10 from the field in the third quarter, going scoreless for a stretch of 5:34 in the period. That allowed Lewis Central to go on a 9-0 run to lead 46-35 late in the third, and that run proved to be the difference.

The Titans extended their 2-3 zone during that run, harassing the Cyclone perimeter players. Underneath, they had the 6-foot-7 duo of Nolan McKenzie and Cole Jensen to protect the basket.

“I thought the zone was really good to us,’’ Miller said. “We were more aggressive in the zone than we were in the man to man.’’

Osborn faceguarded L.C. 3-point specialist Seth Wineland (18-of-37, 48.6 percent on the season) whenever he was in the game. He took only one field-goal attempt and finished with two points.

L.C. was only 3-of-18 from three in the contest, but it punished the Cyclones on the boards to the tune of 39-20. McKenzie had nine, including several key ones on the offensive end, while Josh Simmons added seven and Jensen six.

Lewis Central’s superior size and strength allowed it to shoot 36 free throws. It made only 19, but it was enough to keep the Cyclones at bay down the stretch. Harlan got within six with 45.6 seconds left on Brady Wagner’s basket, but drew no closer.

Noah Rigatuso, a 6-4 junior, came off the bench to lead L.C. with 14 points and three assists. Jensen added 12 points and McKenzie had 10. Simmons played a terrific floor game, adding five assists and coming up with a slew of hustle plays.

“We’re unselfish,’’ Rigatuso said. “You saw the extra passes. Layups. We’re pushing the ball, rebounding, good defense.’’

Cole Drummond had some nice minutes off the bench, adding seven points, and reserve Logan Jones had six.

“We’re getting good contributions from all nine guys that are playing,’’ Miller said. “I’m really pleased with those guys and their development.’’

Blake Goshorn led Harlan with 14, and Taymon Klinkefus added 11. “We fought. We battled,’’ Osborn said. “We can improve a lot yet.’’

L.C. will travel to Sioux City East on Tuesday. Last year, the Black Raiders won by 24. Usually the road to state goes through East.

“I think we can go to state,’’ Rigatuso said. “It’s a big test Tuesday. They killed us last year. We’ll see if we can redeem ourselves.’’

Harlan (2-3, 1-2)..........................16 18 6 18 – 58

CB Lewis Central (5-1, 5-0)........14 23 12 17 – 66

H: Jonathan Cheek 0-0 0-0 0, Brett Sears 4-12 0-2 9, Johnathan Monson 3-9 1-2 9, Taymon Klinkefus 4-6 0-0 11, Jake McLaughlin 0-2 0-0 0, Blake Goshorn 4-6 2-3 14, Connor Bruck 2-4 5-6 10, Brady Wagner 2-3 0-1 5, Jon Owens 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 19-42 8-14 58.

LC: Nolan McKenzie 4-8 2-7 10, Cole Jensen 5-9 2-3 12, Josh Simmons 2-8 0-2 4, Dane Norville 2-4 4-5 8, Noah Rigatuso 3-3 7-13 14, Seth Wineland 0-1 2-4 2, Cole Drummond 3-3 0-0 7, Easton Dermody 1-7 0-0 3, Logan Jones 2-8 2-2 6. Totals: 22-51 19-36 66.

3-point goals: H 12-21 (Goshorn 4-6, Klinkefus 3-5, Monson 2-5, Bruck 1-1, Sears 1-2, Wagner 1-2), LC 3-18 (Drummond 1-1, Rigatuso 1-1, Dermody 1-7, Wineland 0-1, Norville 0-1, Jensen 0-2, Jones 0-2, Simmons 0-3). Total fouls: H 26, LC 15. Technical foul: Sears. Fouled out: Cheek, Bruck, Klinkefus. Rebounds: H 20 (Sears 6), LC 39 (McKenzie 9). Assists: H 13 (Monson 6), LC 13 (Simmons 5). Steals: H 4 (4 with 1), LC 7 (Norville 2). Turnovers: H 13, LC 11.

Kevin is The World-Herald's lead western Iowa sportswriter, covering about 60 high schools. He's also in charge of the sports department at The Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.