The North Scott boys basketball team struggled on the road at times against Davenport West on Tuesday night.
But the Lancers made the big plays in key spots late to eventually grind out a 59-49 win in Mississippi Athletic Conference action.
North Scott struggled shooting the ball in the first and third quarters but started to be more aggressive in the fourth quarter, taking the ball to the basket and drawing fouls. The Lancers (5-2, 3-1) went 5-for-21 from the 3-point line through the game's first 23 minutes but finished the contest going 5-for-5 from beyond the arc to help keep a fourth-quarter lead.
The Lancers got to the free-throw line 15 times in the fourth quarter but only made nine of the free throws. However, on five of those misses, North Scott got big rebounds from Drew Boffeli, Corvon Seales and Bailey Basala who in turn got fouled again and returned to the line.
Basala led the Lancers with 16 points and 13 rebounds, including 10 rebounds in the second half. Seales chipped in another 16 points for the Lancers and Boffeli had eight rebounds to go with seven points.
Brett Erwin led the Falcons with 15 points and eight rebounds,
"We had to make some offensive adjustments in the second half," Basala said. "Coach (Shamus Budde) saw what to do and drew up plays in the second half. We got some better looks when we took the ball to the basket."
North Scott went 3-for-11 from the 3-point line in the first quarter and led just 9-8 after one. The Lancers were more patient offensively in the second quarter and took three 3-pointers, making two of them. North Scott led 24-16 at halftime.
North Scott missed its first seven 3-point attempts of the third quarter.
Behind 3-pointers from Mason Carney and baskets from Dylan Hansen, West (2-5, 1-3) took a 28-26 lead three minutes, 41 seconds left in the third quarter, leading to Budde calling a timeout to settle his team down. It was from that point the Lancers took good shots, made the rest of their 3-pointers in addition to going 9-for-14 from the floor for the rest of the game.
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"I thought our guys did a great job with the adjustments that they made and they trusted each other to make plays," Budde said. "West kept clawing back, we would get up six then they would cut it to two and then we would go up six then they would get it to three and our guys did step up make some big plays."
Basala, Boffeli and Corvon Seales were not the only ones making key plays. Gary Morgan had two big steals late to help preserve the lead and Sam Stonskas grabbed some big rebounds and also played tough defense for the visitors. Cortaviaus Seales also scored five points for the Lancers early in the fourth when West was still close.
"Without those guys making those hustle plays, we wouldn't be the team we are," Basala said of the contributions. "They make plays when it matters."
West was never out of the game but once again the home team was victimized by its own inability to make shots from inside the paint. The Falcons missed numerous short jumpers and putback attempts, especially in the first half.
The Falcons also had six turnovers in the fourth quarter and did not box out when the Lancers had their misses on some of the free-throw attempts. Those empty possessions eventually allowed the Lancers to salt the game away.
"We are getting better every game but the problem is composure mistakes," Falcons coach Mark Bigler said. "We missed some easy shots and we haven't caught up to the speed of the game offensively. Do we give effort? Yes. But rebounding, at times, hurt us. Then we had some mental errors and those things add up. Overall, I thought we competed. We just have to eliminate our own mistakes."