The Longhorns are undefeated no more! On Thursday night, Lutheran West hosted the Holy Name Green Wave at Wittrock Gynasium in a battle of the unbeatens. Lutheran West entered the game 8-0 (3-0 in CVC play) as well as being named #5 in the recent Cleveland.com high school poll. Holy Name entered 5-0 and unranked in the poll.
Lutheran West started the game with high tempo showing why they deserved to be ranked top five locally. Junior Longhorn guard Junior Kambomba caught an alley oop inbound pass from fellow junior Longhorn guard Derek Fairley to set the tone immediately. Sophomore forward used his inside game to pick up 6 quick points to help the team jump out to a 8-2 lead over the Green Wave. Holy Name would quickly answer back behind 9 points from senior guard duo of Josh Pineiro and Keegan Fernlund. The Longhorns would lead the first quarter 14-11. This would be the only quarter Lutheran West led the entire game.
Holy Name turned their intensity up in the second quarter being more physical than Lutheran West was accomsted to. Pineiro knocked down four consecutive triples to electrify the Green Wave crowd. Pineiro outscored the Longhorns by himself 12-10 to put the Green Wave ahead at the half 28-24.
The Longhorns started the second half on a 4-0 run to make things interesting but could not overcome the Green Waves's success behind the three line. Fernlund knocked down two more triples in the third. The Longhorns had six different players score at least one bucket to keep them close 42-41 at the end of the third.
In the fourth, fan favorite Green Wave sophomore guard Maxwell Bollin took over for the team scoring 13 fourth quarter points including two deep three-pointers that made his dad and grandmother cheer the loudest in the crowd. Bollin finished with 15 points. Senior big man Dorian Pettway's defense made things difficult for both Meyer's brothers of the Longhorns. The Green Wave would go on to win 62-55 handing the Longhorns their first loss of the season.
"They played harder than us tonight and they wanted it more. I think they (Holy Name) did a good job coming in knocking down shots and playing exceptional defense. They were more physical than us on both ends of the floor. They took it to us tonight." said Longhorn head coach Jordan Duke in a postgame interview.
Jayson Levis who had had multiple 20 point games coming into this matchup. When asked was this just simply an off night or the result of Holy Name's great defense, Duke responded
"I think Jayson took some tough shots tonight and it got him out of him rhythm and they keyed on him not giving him much room to shoot."
When asked if this loss would be black could over the program seeing that the expectations for the program rose after upsetting St. Ignatius last week Coach Duke responded
"It could be good for us. We get guys that get too high instead of being level-headed and it's good to get in the mindset that we get back ti work and prove ourselves."
The Longhorns fall to 8-1, while the Green Wave stays perfect at 6-0. Josh Pineiro led all scorers with 20 points. Junior Kambomba led the Longhorns with 15 points.
I spoke with a happy Holy Name coach Ryan Patton after the game.
This game recap is brought to you by Medina Auto Mall