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Longhorns battle to the end to beat Buckeye

Lutheran West's junior center Cameron Bremer gets hacked hard by a Buckeye defender in the Longhorns' victory on Friday night. (West Life photo by Ryan Kaczmarski)

Lutheran West's junior center Cameron Bremer gets hacked hard by a Buckeye defender in the Longhorns' victory on Friday night. (West Life photo by Ryan Kaczmarski)

By Ryan Kaczmarski

Lutheran West never trailed in the game and put the first notch in the win column by beating Buckeye 68-60 at home on Friday night.

“I’m happy for our guys, because they’ve been working really hard,” said Longhorns head coach Alan Januzzi. “We played three tough games to start the season, and we had a chance to win each and every one of them.

“This is a big win for our kids,” he added. “I’m extremely proud of the way they kept their composure.”

The Longhorns (1-3, 1-1 in the Patriot Athletic Conference) jumped out to a large lead early in the game, but Buckeye battled back to tie the game with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. The game went back and forth until the closing minutes, when Lutheran West hit some timely foul shots to seal the victory.

Lutheran West junior forward Dan Hillenbrand had a near triple-double with 17 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists in the game.

“Dan’s been playing extremely well,” Januzzi said. “He runs the floor well, he’s aggressive, he’s a guy that can knock down a 15-footer and he can play with his back to the basket. He’s kind of become the centerpiece of our offense. He’s also the one who knocked down those free throws down the stretch when we needed them.

“Our goal is to continue to get better every day and continue to work hard in practice,” he added. “It’s going to be like this night in and night out, but that’s fine. That’s what you want. You want close games where you continue to get better.”

Senior forward Shane Elkins scored 12 points and junior guard Chris Ranc scored 14 points for the Longhorns. Buckeye senior Billy Doerge scored 21 points to lead all scoring in the game.

Last week’s area boys basketball recap
  • WESTLAKE beat Avon Lake 61-57 on Dec. 13 and Berea 67-53 on Friday night to stay undefeated at 4-0.
  • NORTH OLMSTED lost to Brecksville 60-50 on Dec. 13, but beat Midpark 38-24 to make its record 3-2.
  • ROCKY RIVER beat Vermilion 75-33 on Dec. 13, but lost to Midview 38-33 on Friday and lost to St. Peter Chanel 51-30 on Saturday night to put their record at 2-4.
  • Bay won its first game of the season against Vermilion on Friday night to give the team a record of 1-4.
  • OLMSTED FALLS beat Midpark 45-44 on Dec. 13, but lost to Brecksville 79-75 Friday night, to give the Bulldogs a record of 1-3.

 

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