Kapaun fights off Lolar, Northwest
Kapaun took control early in Tuesday’s 73-57 boys basketball win over Northwest, and never let it slip away, no matter how many three-pointers the Grizzlies’ Eric Lolar made.
After facing a 12-point deficit at halftime, Lolar hit four three-pointers in the third quarter and helped the Grizzlies cut Kapaun’s lead to as little as four. But Kapaun fought off Northwest’s attack.
“I feel comfortable now that I started shooting more outside of games. I’m getting my confidence back finally,” said Lolar, who finished with 27 points. “I just tried to come out and get my team going, not only shooting, but moving the ball, it just didn’t turn out the way I wanted.”
Kapaun jumped ahead of Northwest right away, outscoring the Grizzlies 11-3. Lolar made a three-pointer with 2:25 remaining in the first quarter, sparking an 8-3 run for Northwest and cutting Kapaun’s lead to three by the end of the period.
Kapaun outscored Northwest 21-12 in the second quarter, with 11 points from Atir Cherne, giving the Crusaders a 12-point lead at halftime.
“Not only did (turnovers) affect us this game, but they’ve affected us all season,” Northwest coach Chris Collins said. “There’s been a lot of unforced turnovers. It’s not from pressure, it’s just from us getting sped up and not valuing the basketball.”
Kapaun’s offense began to click when Lolar began to hit threes.
“I knew for us to potentially get back into it, I needed to start hitting some shots, because our shots weren’t falling,” Lolar said.
Kapaun scored six points on a three-point play and a three-point field goal to take a 15-point lead. But Northwest’s Cortez Carr put in a layup, then Nick Williams stole the ball to set Tyler Brown up for the three-pointer. Lolar made another three-pointer to cut the deficit to seven.
Forty seconds later, Lolar hit another, and 57 seconds later made his last three-pointer of the period to cut the deficit to four with 2:34 remaining. Kapaun finished the quarter on a 7-4 run, and a seven-point lead.
“This time of year you have to play defense, and at halftime we said we needed to tighten up a lot more, because they’re playing possession basketball game, and we don’t want to get a shootout with them,” Kapaun coach John Cherne said. “We did talk about buckling down, but Eric Lolar did a good job creating space and then finishing shots when he had that space.”
Kapaun stopped Northwest’s offense in the fourth quarter, starting the period on a 13-2 run, and holding Northwest 1-14 in shooting until Kaleb Cobb scored the second Northwest field goal of the period, with 1:53 remaining.
Braden Hullings led Kapaun with 28 points, while Atir Cherne added 16.
“We needed to push the tempo which we didn’t do much of in the first half, but once we got going in the second half, getting the ball for our fast breaks, we really opened the game up,” Kapaun’s Toby Baxter said.
Northwest: Nicholson 1 0-0 2, Williams 2 1-2 5, Lolar 10 1-2 27, Carr 2 0-3 4, Johnston 3 1-3 8, Brown 1 0-0 3, Darr 0 0-0 0, Carson 1 0-0 2, Cobb 3 0-1 6, Standifer 0 0-0 0, Landenberger 0 0-0 0, Kaufman 0 0-0 0. Totals 23(8) 3-11 57.
Kapaun: Hamilton 2 4-8 8, Hullings 8 10-11 28, Baxter 1 3-5 5, Lickteig 3 1-2 7, Cherne 4 6-7 16, Gross 1 0-0 3, Akao 1 0-0 2, O’Connor 0 0-0 0, Santiago 2 0-0 4, Auer 0 0-0 0, Ewers 0 0-0 0, Dempsey 0 0-0 0. Totals 22(5) 24-33 73.