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BASKETBALL

Lewis Central handles Harlan, gains momentum

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COUNCIL BLUFFS — Some wins stand out, and Council Bluffs Lewis Central earned by far its most prized triumph of the season Friday.

The Titans welcomed Harlan, third in Class 3-A in the state and No. 2 in the western Iowa 4-A/3-A rankings, into their gym for a battle of Hawkeye Ten teams. While the contest didn’t count toward the conference standings, it did plenty for Lewis Central’s confidence as it prepares for postseason play later this month. The Titans used a 12-0 run in the second quarter to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on their way to a 64-51 victory.

Junior guard Chad Moran paced the Titans with a season-high 26 points while adding five rebounds, three assists and two steals.

“Coach had been getting on us just to keep getting better before tournament time, and that’s the main goal for our team,” Moran said. “We just need to keep improving before tournament time because that’s when it matters.”

The Titans built a 31-22 halftime lead after making 7 of 9 shots in the second quarter while outscoring the Cyclones 19-6.

Even better for Lewis Central was its ability to sustain the lead. The advantage grew to 15 in the third quarter after a Max Duggan layup with 4:24 left in the period.

Moran, meanwhile, scored 15 of his points in the second and third quarters, making 6 of 11 field goals.

“They were really up tight on Blake (Elam), and Coach kept getting after me to go right because they weren’t helping off him,” Moran said. “I had an open lane.”

Harlan did manage to trim its deficit to 56-50 with 2:06 left in the game, but the Titans finished on an 8-1 run with free throws from Duggan and Mitchell Brinkman, a layup from Elam and a dunk from Ja’Chai Baker.

Elam finished with 14 for the Titans.

Lewis Central finished with a 37-29 rebounding advantage, with Baker grabbing a team-high 12.

“I’m really proud of the kids,” Titans coach Dan Miller said. “Any time you beat Harlan, it’s a great win, and you have to play really well for four quarters.

“We had a little stretch where we turned it over a few times, but outside of that, I was really pleased with our toughness.”

Harlan’s Kyle Juhl turned in an impressive performance, scoring a game-high 31 points and adding 12 rebounds, four steals and two blocks. He was the only Cyclone to score in double figures. Outside of Juhl, Harlan converted 8 of 29 field goals (27 percent).

The Cyclones earned a 55-39 victory over Lewis Central when the teams last met Dec. 18 in Harlan. They entered Friday as winners of six straight and 11 of 12.

“Give Lewis Central all the credit, they came to play,” Harlan coach Mitch Osborn said. “I told our guys that this is not the same team we played before Christmas, and that obviously fell upon deaf ears. You watch film, and you knew they were much improved.”

Harlan (16-3) .............................. 16 6 13 16—51

At CB Lewis Central (9-9) ............. 12 19 14 19—64

H: Caleb Rasmussen 2-5 0-0 5, Thomas Fink 1-5 0-0 3, Kyle Juhl 11-26 6-8 31, Ethan Knudson 2-6 0-0 5, Will Lansman 2-6 0-0 4, Sam McLaughlin 0-1 0-0 0, Josh Kloewer 0-2 0-0 0, Nolan Heese 0-1 0-0 0, Travis Crees 0-0 0-0 0, Logan Peters 0-1 0-0 0, Shane Chamberlain 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 19-55 6-8 51.

LC: Joel Thompson 0-3 -0-2 0, Blake Elam 5-7 2-2 14, Chad Moran 9-16 6-8 26, Mitchell Brinkman 1-7 5-6 8, Ja’Chai Baker 2-6 3-8 7, Wil Prine 0-0 0-0 0, Kyle Arrington 1-1 0-0 2, Max Duggan 3-4 1-4 7, Logan Redeker 0-1 0-0 0, Connor Cook 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-45 27-30 64.

3-point goals: H 7-28 (Juhl 3-11, Rasmussen 1-2, Finke 1-4, Knudson 1-5, Chamberlain 1-2, Lansman 0-1, Kloewer 0-2, Peters 0-1), LC 5-11 (Elam 2-3, Moran 2-4, Brinkman 1-2, Thompson 0-2). Rebounds: H 29 (Juhl 12), LC 37 (Baker 12). Assists: H 8 (Rasmussen 3), LC 9 (Moran 3). Steals: H 5 (Juhl 4), LC 6 (3 with 2). Blocks: H 2 (Juhl 2), LC 3 (Arrington 2). Turnovers: H 11, LC 14.

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