Thursday night, the Lutheran West Longhorns and the Gilmour Academy Lancers faced off in the final game of day one of the Northeast Ohio Youth Elite Christmas Classic. Lutheran West entered the game 7-1 looking to get back in the winners column after a upset loss last week against Holy Name. They also dropped five spots to #10 in this week's Plain Dealer Top-25 High School Basketball Poll. Gilmour entered the contest at 1-4 looking begin their claw back to an above .500 record.
The Lancers received the tip-off and started the game fast jumping out to an early 9-6 lead behind senior guard Brandon Rose midrange attack on the Lutheran West. Longhorn junior guard Jayson Levis quickly showed the crowd exactly why he one of the best high school shooters in northeast Ohio helping the team jump out to an early 12-11 lead after the first quarter.
Against Holy Name, the Longhorns struggled to be physical on the defensive end as well as missing wide open buckets. That wasn't the case today. In the second quarter, Levis knocked down two straight three-point shots outscoring Gilmour by himself at one point early in the quarter. Sophomore big man Joshua Meyer continued to attack the paint like twin brother Matthew did on the first causing trouble for the Lancers bigs. The Longhorns allowed nobody else outside Rose to make a jumpshot in the second quarter extending their lead to double digits up 25-15 at the half.
The Lancers found life in the third. Rose received some scoring help from teammates senior guard Adisa Molton II and sophomore guard David Pfundstein, outscoring the Longhorns 24-22 in the quarter. Molton II knocked down a three pointers with 1:20 on the clock to bring Gilmour within a reachable nine points giving Lancer fans hops of a big comeback. The Longhorns would go on to hold an eight point lead 47-39 at the end of three. Longhorns head coach Jordan Duke could be seen motivating the team during the third quarter break to finish the game strong and hard.
The Longhorns did just that intbhe fourth only allowing one basketball made from Gilmour with About 90 second left in the contest. Levis made an up and under basketball for an and-one that killed any hope for Gilmour's chances of coming back. Matt Meyer came right down next possession and used his size to get himself an and-one before Coach Duke pulled the starters and placed his reserves in while up 20. The Longhorns won by a final score of 63-46.
Levis led all scorers with 25 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds and took home MVP of the game. Rose led the Lancers with 16 points. The Longhorns improved to 8-1 while the Lancers dropped to four games under .500 at 1-5.
The NEO Youth Elite Christmas Classic will continue on Tuesday, December 27 after being rescheduled due to the upcoming winter storm on this upcoming Friday.
I caught up with Lutheran West coach Jordan Duke after the game.
This game recap is brought to you by Brunswick Auto Mart