LENOX — After a sloppy opening three minutes of the game, it looked like Lenox might roll in its Class 1A District 12 matchup against Martensdale-St. Marys here on Thursday, and give co-head coach Karl Peterson a win in his final game coaching in front of the home crowd.
But, Martensdale-St. Marys closed the gap in the second quarter, took control in the third quarter and held on in the fourth quarter for a 55-49 win over the Tigers.
Lenox led 13-4 after the first quarter, but Martensdale steadily chipped away at that lead until taking a 28-26 lead with 4:48 to go in the third quarter.
“That’s kind of what we’ve done the past four or five games,” Lenox co-head coach Jesse Cox said. “We’ve jumped out to a big lead and haven’t sustained it. I think we just relax or something, and just didn’t put the throttle down and close the game out.”
The Blue Devils built up a seven-point lead at 35-28 before Caleb Lange hit two free throws with just :15 left in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 35-30.
Lange led the Tigers with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Martensdale-St. Marys quickly worked the ball into the frontcourt, though, and Trent Verwers nailed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to stretch the lead back to eight.
Lenox battled back in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to two points with less than 3:30 tog at 49-47, but a pair of missed free throws with 2:21 left hurt Lenox’s chances of completing the comeback.
“That hurt,” Cox said of the 3-pointer at the buzzer. “We did fight back and got it down to two at one point, and we were shooting free throws and missed a couple of free throws. In close games, you’ve got to do everything right, make free throws, can’t commit turnovers. They’re a good team. We were really close.”
Mason Peterson scored a layup with :45 remaining to cut the lead to two points one more time at 51-49, but Martensdale-St. Marys closed the game out with a layup and two free throws.
It marked the final game of Peterson’s career, as well as fellow senior Jose Govea.
It was also the final game as co-head coach for Karl Peterson, who is retiring from varsity coaching.
Lenox finishes the season with a mark of 12-11. Martensdale-St. Marys advances to take on Murray in the district semifinals on Feb. 21.
MARTENSDALE-ST. MARYS (55) — Gage Gavin 5 1-3 11, Eddy Kraber 4 2-7 10, Miller Hatcher 3 4-5 10, Trent Verwers 3 0-0 8, Garrett Gehringer 4 0-0 8, Luke Anctil 2 0-0 6, Connor Dunn 1 0-3 2. Totals — 22 7-18 55. 3-point goals — 4 (Anctil 2, Verwers 2). Team fouls — 14. Fouled out — None.
LENOX (49) — Caleb Lange 7 3-7 17, Mason Peterson 3 4-8 11, Spencer Brown 4 2-3 10, Todd Stoaks 2 1-2 5, Dustin Gordon 1 0-0 3, Frank Martinez 1 0-0 3. Totals — 18 10-20 49. Free throws — 10-20. 3-pointers — 3 (Martinez 1, Gordon 1, Peterson 1). Rebounds — 36 (Lange 14, Stoaks 8, Peterson 7, Brown 6). Assists — 11 (Peterson 7, Lange 3). Steals — 10 (Peterson 4, Lange 4). Blocked shots — 3 (Brown 2, Peterson 1). Turnovers — 22. Team fouls — 14. Fouled out — None.
MSM — 4 17 38 55
Lenox — 13 22 30 49
MURRAY — The Class 1A eighth-rated Murray Mustangs didn’t play up to head coach Darin Wookey’s standards at times on Thursday, but the Mustangs played well enough to get a 73-33 win over Corning to advance in Class 1A District 12.
Murray will host Martensdale-St. Marys on Feb. 19 in the district semifinals.
The Mustangs held a 22-10 lead after the first quarter and led 52-19 at halftime.
Austin Halls recorded a double-double for Murray, while Cody Scroggie came up just short. Both players scored 18 points, while Halls finished with 12 assists and seven steals. Scroggie finished with nine assists and eight steals.
Sam Rockhold also finished in double figures scoring for the the Mustangs with 12 points. Eddie Otto and Pat Kilmer each added eight points.
“We were very sluggish tonight at times,” Wookey said. “But, we got the win and we move on and play a tough Martensdale team. We will need to play better next week as we try and make our run.”
Keegan Longabaugh led Corning with 14 points and Lance Swartz added 10. Quintin Wilcoxson scored five points.
Nick Spring, Swartz and Longabaugh each grabbed six boards.
“Murray is the real deal,” Corning head coach Pete Nett said. “They really passed the ball around to get good shots on offense, and their rotations off of switches and help situations to cover the lane area were as good as we have seen all year. We simply didn’t get the ball down inside enough to be as effective scoring from the block as we needed to be.”
Corning finishes the season with a 2-21 record, while Murray improves to 21-1.
Mount Ayr 59, Diagonal 45
MOUNT AYR — Mount Ayr claimed the Ringgold County championship and advanced to the Class 1A District 12 semifinal with a 59-45 win over Diagonal here on Thursday.
Mount Ayr (15-7) travels to Lamoni on Tuesday.
Jake Still recorded a double-double for the Raiders, while Jacob Sobotka scored 13 points off the bench.
Still finished with 18 points and 15 rebounds. John Triggs scored 13 points and Braydee Poore added 10 for Mount Ayr.
Diagonal finishes its season with a record of 11-11.
Nodaway Valley 67, Panorama 29
GREENFIELD — Nodaway Valley held a Panorama team that had scored 82 points in its previous game to just three two-point field goals in a 67-29 win over the Panthers here on Thursday.
Panorama netted six 3-pointers, but it wasn’t enough to contend with the Class 2A third-ranked Wolverines.
Four Nodaway Valley players scored in double figures, as Alex Welsch led the way with 27 points, followed by Brad Baudler with 12, and Dean Frank and Dan Ehrsam with 11 each.
Welsch also grabbed nine rebounds and TJ Bower pulled down seven boards.
“Our guys responded to playing a potentially high-scoring team, limiting Panorama to three two-point baskets and holding them to 20 percent from the field,” head coach Darrell Burmeister said. “Our guys did a nice job of getting the ball inside to Alex.”
Nodaway Valley (21-1) advances to the Class 2A District 14 semifinal against Interstate 35 in Creston on Tuesday.