Boys Basketball: Sandburg starts fast, downs Lincoln-Way East
Bombing away from the perimeter during the first half of Friday’s game at Lincoln-Way East, Sandburg’s Nick Lehnerer got into the sort of rhythm basketball players dream of.
Hitting 8-of-10 shots, including five three-pointers, the senior guard scored 21 first-half points as the Eagles raced to a 40-27 halftime lead.
“As a shooter, you feel like you’ve got in that rhythm before,” Lehnerer said. “It’s always nice to get it going like that. I was just spotting up. My teammates were the ones finding me.”
Lehnerer finished with a career-high 27 points, including three late free throws that helped Sandburg hold off a Lincoln-Way East comeback for a 68-57 SouthWest Suburban Blue win.
Only leaving the floor late in the fourth, Lehnerer was 9-of-12 overall from the field and 6-of-8 from three-point range.
“Nick was making some tough shots,” Sandburg coach Todd Allen said. “That’s the first time this year he’s really gotten his rhythm offensively, and he’s always capable of that.”
Ken Payonk and Malek Harris added 14 points apiece for Sandburg (7-6, 3-1). The Eagles shot a sizzling 15-of-22 in the first half to take a 13-point halftime lead.
It was the host Griffins who came out firing in the second half, climbing to within 48-47 after two Joel Magrum free throws. Sandburg’s Mario Wright hit a three-pointer at the third-period buzzer to turn the tide.
East got to within 57-55 after a free throw by Mike Martin (11 points) at 5:08. The Griffins went ice cold from there on out, not scoring until Jelani Yancy’s free throws with 25 seconds left.
Harris had six points and Lehnerer three of his own as Sandburg pulled away.
Eric Spudic (18 points) and Yancy (15) led East (7-6, 0-4).
“We got a little fatigued,” East coach Rich Kolimas said. “We made some poor decisions and ended up taking some bad shots.”