Lions come up short against Eagles


Junior Max Rogal boxes out for the rebound in the fourth quarter. Rogal scored five points in the game on Monday.

Oren Minsk, Guest Writer

The boys junior varsity basketball team (3-1) fell to the Grace Brethren Eagles 45-26 on Monday. This was the Lions’ first loss of the season after three straight wins.

Throughout the game, the Eagles kept a comfortable lead, as the Lions fought to narrow the gap. Lions’ coach Brian Westerman had mixed feelings about the team’s performance.

“I think at points in time we grew together as a team, and at points, we played well, and at points there [were] several things we could have improved on,” Westerman said.

Junior Max Rogal, and sophomores Zach Gross, Ryan Bauman and Joe Goldberg led the team with 5, 9, 5 and 4 points respectively. Gross also had 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals.

Sophomore Yoni Preuss played his first game since injuring his elbow in the beginning of the season. He had 1 point and 4 steals in his return.

“He’s just an all-effort guy all the time,” Westerman said. “His effort is there, and everything else you can coach.”

The beginning of the game featured tight defense by both teams. Grace Brethren was able to get their fans loud by taking the first lead after three minutes of play. The Lions’ offense struggled to score, with Bauman scoring their first points at the end of the first quarter. The score at the end of the first quarter was 11-3 in favor of the Eagles.

During the second quarter, neither team excelled offensively. Both teams found open looks at the basket but missed their shots. The Lions scored all 6 of their second quarter points from free throws.

At the half, the Lions were down 18-9. During halftime, Westerman helped his players find out ways to move the ball and ultimately score. He also wanted to make sure that the players remained calm while playing.

The second half was filled with many short and quick possessions. Constant steals, deflections and turnovers by both teams led to a fast-paced second half, full of fast breaks.

Westerman’s halftime advice led the team to outscore the Eagles in the fourth quarter, but the Lions’ performance in the last quarter was not enough to lead them to victory. Westerman said that there were still definitely times where the team’s room for improvement was visible.

Goldberg saw improvement in the team’s effort and said that playing against a stronger team will ultimately strengthen them.

“I think we played hard throughout the whole game,” Goldberg said. “It’s a good learning experience because we had a lot of turnovers, but now we are going to know how to come back and not let that happen again.”