COLUMBIA STATION — Sometimes things just don’t turn out as expected. What looked to be a tight early season Patriot Athletic Conference Stripes Division battle between two five-win teams, quickly went sideways Wednesday night as Lutheran West blew out host Columbia 49-20.
“Give all the credit to Lutheran West, they played a great game,” Columbia coach Tom Thompson said. “They have very good personnel, they move the basketball well and they’re a well-coached team. He does a really good job with them. That’s all I have to say.”
The Longhorns (6-1, 5-0 PAC) took Columbia out to the woodshed early and often, setting the tone with a 13-4 first quarter. The Raiders wouldn’t hit double figures until the second half and never totaled more than three baskets in a quarter.
While the Longhorns were crisply moving the ball around the perimeter trying to establish open shots, the Columbia passing offense was wearing out the term “ill-advised.” The Raiders (5-3, 4-2) handled the basketball like it was a cactus, turning it over 26 times. Almost from the opening tip, Columbia’s inbound plays, outlet passes, cross-courters and drive-and-kickouts fell harmlessly into grateful Longhorns hands and went the other way.
“We’ve been very inconsistent in our first seven games in terms of defensive speed, remembering our rotations, getting to the right spots on the weak side and I think that our kids were just thinking too much,” Longhorns coach Trey Senney said. “As good as our subs have been, they are still sophomores, and sophomores makes sophomore mistakes, and tonight, across the board, those subs were not making mistakes in rotations and got a ton of steals and a ton of easy layups because they were in the right spots all the time.”
Lutheran West logged 19 steals, led by five each from Larnae Vance and Paris Mather and four by Raiyah Johnson. Point guard Johnson, at 5-foot-2, also led the Longhorns with five rebounds — all on the offensive end. Mather scored12 points on 60-percent shooting.
The Longhorns defense shut down Columbia’s shooting as well. The Raiders shot only 25 percent from the floor and a frosty 14 percent on threes. Even without being guarded, Columbia only made three of its six free throws.
Senior captain Mikayla Duplaski and junior Danielle Gerda led the Raiders with five points apiece and sophomore forward Emma Roberts had six rebounds and two blocked shots.
Lutheran West actually shot worse from 3-point territory, hitting only one of nine, but shot 43 percent overall. That said, the Longhorns really didn’t need crisp shooting given their defense.
“Tonight was a night when we didn’t really hit a lot of them, but we played so well on defense that we were able to not feel the pressure of missing those shots because we had a cushion from the defense and the fast breaks,” Senney said.
Lutheran West was led by senior captain Carleen Ellerbruch’s 14 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots.
“Carleen, in the first quarter, had eight points and six of those eight were on second-chance opportunities which when you are not making shots, having a post player and a center like that is a huge advantage,” Senney said. “Defensively she’s been great since her sophomore year.”
Contact Fred Steiner at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lutheran West 49, Columbia 20
LUTHERAN WEST (49): Larnae Vance 2-2-6, Raiyah Johnson 3-0-6, Carleen Ellerbruch 6-2-14, Alyssa Scolaro 1-0-2, Julia Ellerbruch 1-0-2, Paris Mather 6-0-12, Abriana Rondin 0-0-0, Rachel Bender 0-0-0, Jashauna Harris1-0-2, Riley Keller 1-0-2,Kristin Groppe 1-0-3, Hope Kiraly 0-0-0. Totals 22-4-49.
COLUMBIA (20): Serena Goode 1-0-2, Miayla Duplaski 2-0-5, Danielle Gerda 1-3-5, Madison Spirnak 2-0-4, Emma Roberts 2-0-4, Jill Grzywna 0-0-0, Carissa Templeton 0-0-0, Megan Seitz 0-0-0. Totals 8-3-20.
Lutheran West 13 9 18 9 — 49
Columbia 4 4 6 6 — 20
Three-point goals: Lutheran West 1-9 (Groppe), Columbia 1-7 (Duplaski). Field goals: Lutheran West 22-51 (43 percent), Columbia 8-32 (25 percent). Free throws: Lutheran West 4-12 (33 percent), Columbia 3-6 (50 percent). Rebounds: Lutheran West 31 (Johnson 5), Columbia 22 (Roberts 6). Total fouls: Lutheran West 9, Columbia 5. Turnovers: Lutheran West 11, Columbia 26.
Junior varsity: Lutheran West, 41-14.