(La Porte, IN & Knox, IN) - The La Porte High School boys' basketball team improved their record to 5-2 with a pair of victories over the weekend. On Friday night, at Slicer gym, LP defeated Griffith 80-49 and Saturday traveled to Knox winning 63-46.
La Porte used a trapping defensive and balanced scoring to overwhelm Griffith on Friday. The Slicers got at least one 3-point basket from seven different players while ten players scored. La Porte led and increased their lead in each quarter. The Slicers lead 20-11, 40-26, and 57-34 at the quarter breaks.
Kyle Kirkham led all scorers in the game with 22 points. Kirkham hit three 3-pointers and was 5-5 from the foul line. Nic Spence scored 11 of his 13 points in the 4th quarter and Tommy Samuelson chipped in 11 to join Kirkham in double figures. Ja’Meryion Cross had 9, Dylan Salisbury 7, Malik Corley and Rylin Kieszkowski had 5 points, Brennan Balka had 4 while RJ Anglin and Brogan Riley each had a basket for 2.
Samuelson was named the Spence & Salisbury, Edward Jones Player of the Game. He had 9 of his 11 points in the first half when the game was still in doubt, he also dominated the boards, blocked several shots, and alter others.
On Saturday night, La Porte traveled to Knox and used the same formula of a smothering defense, balanced scoring, and great depth to defeat Knox 63-46. Eight Slicers scored, led by Corley and Cross with 15 points each. Kirkham added 14, Samuelson 6, Anglin and Kieszkowki had 4, Salisbury 3 along with a 2-point basket for Spence.
Corley was named the Spence & Salisbury, Edward Jones Player of the Game. A pass-first point guard, Corley hit four 3-pointers along with an old fashion 3-point play. Corley’s 3’s were important as they came when Knox gained momentum and cut into the Slicer lead.
Knox was led by 6’7 center Declan Austin with 18 and freshman Myles McLaughlin adding 14.
JV TEAM ALSO SWEEPS
Matt Millers’ JV squad also swept the weekend, surviving last second shots in wins over Griffith 54-53 and Knox 41-38.
In the Griffith game, La Porte maintained the lead throughout, leading by quarter scores of 16-7, 30-21, and 47-36. Griffith started the 4th quarter on an 8-0 run and it was nip and tuck until the end. La Porte had a 3 point lead in the game's final seconds. Griffith hit what appeared to be a game-tying 3 from the corner with 5 seconds remaining. In the confusion after the basket, La Porte committed an inbounds violation with 2.4 seconds left. The Panther 3-pointer was ruled to be a 2-point basket, leaving the Slicers with a one-point lead. The violation gave Griffith the ball under their own basket and an opportunity for the win. The Slicer defense held and La Porte came away with th3 54-53 win.
Gage Raymond with 12 points and Sawyer Tonagel, with 11, led La Porte. Eli Taylor had 9, 6 points each for Javelle Broome and Vann Warner, Mike Montoya chipped in 4 as did Jose Duarte. Kevin Konieczny had a basket for 2 points in his debut coming back from a football injury.
The Slicers won another close one at Knox on Saturday. The Redskins led 16-14 at the half. La Porte took the lead 31-27 after three quarters before coming away with the 41-38 win.
Knox had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer in the final seconds but La Porte’s defense would not allow them a good look. All Knox could muster was a contested off-balance shot at the buzzer.
Taylor (14) and Tonagel (10) were in double figures. Warner (5), Raymond (4), and Konieczny (4) rounded out the scoring.
La Porte will host Elkhart Thursday night, Varsity tip is scheduled for 6:30, JV at 5:00. The varsity game, as always, will be broadcast on 96.7 the Eagle, Pre-Game begins at approximately 6:15.