COUNCIL BLUFFS — Although Council Bluffs Lewis Central prides itself on its transition offense, the Titans took the air out of the ball when the game was on the line.
A late scoring possession took at least 90 seconds while holding onto a slim lead, and Lewis Central beat Carroll Kuemper 46-40 Tuesday night.
“It's what we wanted to do,” Titans coach Derek Archer said. “We realized both teams were struggling scoring. We took some time off the clock and ran our offense.”
With a 38-34 lead and four minutes remaining, L.C. patiently sat in its half-court offense and rotated the ball around the perimeter against its Hawkeye 10 foe.
Finally, junior guard Dana Doebelin hit Lexi Spielman cutting to the hoop in stride, and Spielman's layup stretched the Titans' lead to six.
“I was about ready to pull my hair out,” Archer said. “It was a great pass, and she made a big shot.”
The fast break, however, is what got Lewis Central out to a quick lead. The Titans capitalized on 22 turnovers by a young Kuemper team to push the tempo early.
Senior forward Aubrey Norville was on the receiving end of multiple two-on-one passes for L.C. She tallied eight first-quarter points — outscoring the Knights in the frame — and finished with a game-high 18.
“You're not going to beat a team like L.C. with 22 turnovers,” Knights coach Randy Snyder said. “Twelve, 13 turnovers is where we need to be.”
Although L.C. stretched its lead to eight late in the first half, the Knights used a mix of outside shooting and inside power to cut the halftime deficit to two.
Kuemper picked up where it left off after the break. The Knights scored the first eight points of the third quarter to go up six.
But Lewis Central answered with a 14-4 run, mixing inside baskets with transition layups. The exclamation point of the run was another fast-break basket.
“I've always been kind of an undersized post,” Norville said. “We're an undersized team. We've been compatible with that and learned to play like that.”
With the win, the Titans improved to 6-1 and moved into second place behind undefeated Harlan in the Hawkeye 10 Conference. Kuemper fell to 6-3.
Despite his team being keyed by a half-court offense that moved at a snail's pace, Archer says the Titans plan to keep the transition game as a key part of their game.
“When we play an up-and-down game,” he said, “that's when we excel.”
Carroll Kuemper (5-2)......................6 14 12 8--40
At CB Lewis Central (6-1)...................12 10 14 10-46
CK: Paige Overmohle 6. Alexis Albrecht 6, Hannah Dentlinger 3, Kaitlyn Tigges 9, Maria Dentlinger 16.
LC: Natalie Madsen 6, Paige Beacom 8, Lexi Spielman 8, Aubrey Norville 18, Kye Madsen 4, Asia Sockrider.