By Rob Kiser
Piqua Daily Call
SIDNEY — The Lehman Catholic boys basketball team had a big finish in the third quarter.
And that was just enough to hold off a fast and furious fourth quarter rally from Newton — as the Cavaliers won 53-47 Saturday night in Schlater Gymnasium in the season opener for both teams.
“It makes it a lot easier,” Lehman coach Pat Carlisle said about winning the season opener. “I was really happy with our defensive effort tonight.”
And Newton coach Gavin Spitler was disappointed.
“The energy we played with in the fourth quarter was the positive,” Spitler said. “I think if we had played with that kind of energy all game, we probably could have won.”
Newton was within 25-17 midway through the third quarter, before Lehman used a 14-4 run to take a 39-21 lead to the fourth quarter.
“We just really struggled at the offensive end, for the first three quarters,” Spitler said. “I think the struggle on offense carried over on to the defensive end in the third quarter. We just didn’t play good defense.”
Lehman’s 6-foot-5 freshman post Justin Chapman took full advantage, scoring seven points in the closing run and 11 points in the quarter after not scoring in the first half.
“They extended their 1-3-1 zone,” Carlisle said. “And we were able to take advantage of that and get the ball to Justin (Chapman) inside.”
When Newton switched to full-court pressure in the fourth quarter, the script flipped as well.
The Indians scored more points in the fourth quarter (26) than the first three combined and put together a 23-9 run to open the quarter.
Newton’s 5-10 freshman guard Hudson Montgomery had 10 points in the quarter and when Kleyson Wehrley scored with 2:01 remaining, the Indians were within 48-44.
“I think the press got us moving and got us into a flow on offense,” Spitler said. “I probably should have gone to that earlier.”
For much of the quarter, Lehman struggled to handle the pressure.
“They (Newton) were flying all over the place,” Carlisle said. “But, then we settled down a little bit at the end.”
With Brendan O’Leary running the point, the Cavaliers were able to put the game away at the end, as Newton was forced to foul.
“Brendan (O’Leary) is a senior and a leader out there,” Carlisle said.
Lehman had led throughout the first half as Luke Frantz hit two early 3-pointers and a three by Landon McIver put Lehman in front 13-6 going to the second period.
The Cavaliers were still up 19-13 at the break, before a roller coaster second half.
Chapman led Lehman with 16 points, all in the second half.
Frantz netted 12 and O’Leary added nine.
“It is always good to win the first one,” Carlisle said.
Wehrley led all scorers with 18 points to pace Newton.
Hudson Montgomery added 12 — all in the second half —and Ross Ferrell scored eight.
Lehman converted 16 of 28 free throws in the game, while Newton hit on just 13 of 24.
“The big thing was the easy shots we missed and the free throws,” Spitler said. “We just didn’t finish around the basket.”
Newton plays at Milton-Union Tuesday, while Lehman gets to enjoy the win for awhile — not playing again until Dec. 13.
Ross Ferrell 3-0-8, Andrew Whittaker 1-2-5, Kleyson Wehrley 6-6-18, Mitchell Montgomery 1-0-2, Harold Oburn 1-0-2, Patrick Hughes 0-0-0, Hudson Montgomery 3-5-12, Quentin Smith 0-0-0, Ethan Cook 0-0-0, Chandler Peters 0-0-0. Totals: 15-13-47.
Lehman Catholic (53)
Drew Barhorst 1-0-2, Brendan O’Leary 2-4-9, David Rossman 2-0-5, Luke Frantz 4-2-12, Justin Chapman 4-8-16, Gabe Knapke 2-0-4, Michael McFarland 0-0-0, Landon McIver 1-2-5. Totals: 16-16-53.
3-point field goals — Newton: Ferrell (2), Whittaker, Hudson Montgomery. Lehman: O’Leary, Rossman, Frantz (2), McIver.
Score By Quarters
Newton 6 13 21 47
Lehman 13 19 39 53
Records: Newton 0-1, Lehman 1-0.
Contact Piqua Daily Call Sports Editor Rob Kiser at email@example.com.
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Reserve score: Newton 34, Lehman 20.