Boys Basketball: Cavaliers can't stay with state-ranked Pirates

La Salle-Peru junior Alex Lenkaitis (No. 3) drives to the paint against the Ottawa defense in a NIB 12 West game Saturday in La Salle.

The LaSalle-Peru boys basketball team kept things tight early on against rival Class 3A No. 9 Ottawa Saturday in La Salle, but the Pirates length, athleticism and skill players eventually took control for a 57-36 victory.

OHS opened the scoring in the Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference East Division game with a no-look pass from Myles Tucker to Noah Gould.

L-P responded with senior Cole Lynch hitting a soft hook over Gould for a 4-2 lead. Moments later, Lynch hit another shot over Gould before Elliot Tubbs got a strong rebound and putback to put the Cavs ahead 8-6.

“Our guys were very patient and for a very long time now we have talked about being patient and getting the best shot,” Cavs coach Jim Cherveny said. “We needed to make sure we did that against a good defensive team like Ottawa. Tubbs has really dedicated himself to getting better. He was voted most improved last year and he’s improved even more this year.”

The Pirates quickly regained the lead when Tyler Carson and Dakota Deverteuil each got layups off solid passing.

After that things started to get physical as Ryan Skoog was called for a charge and then got aggressive when tangled with an Ottawa player. Skoog was called for a technical.

Not happy with the call and letting the referees know, Cherveny was called for a technical as well. Normally sure handed free throw shooter Wyatt Hill went 1-of-4 on the four technical free throws.

Seconds later, Skoog was again called for a personal foul when he shoved another Ottawa player and went to the bench with three fouls.

Carson then stepped up and drained a 3-pointer before Hill drove and dished to Alex Stevenson for the 3 at the buzzer for an 18-8 lead heading into the second quarter.

“There’s several ways to defend the rim,” Ottawa coach Mark Cooper said. “L-P was playing downhill at that point going to the basket and we got a number of charges on defense. I was proud of our guys. They handled the game situations that were happening and stayed within our game.”

The Pirates continued to move the ball well as Deverteuil found Gould for the fast-break layup for the 20-8 lead.

Tubbs went strong to the hoop for the basket and then got a putback the next time down the floor to end Ottawa’s 14-0 run.

But the Pirates came back down the floor and got a 3 from Hill before the Ottawa defense picked up two more charges and took a 27-14 advantage.

Tubbs hit the bunny shot for the Cavs, but the Pirates had an answer again as Hill drove into the lane and found Deverteuil for the layup at the buzzer to take a 29-16 halftime lead.

The precise passing of the Pirates allowed Ottawa to continue to pull away in the third quarter as Hill was inbounding the ball on back-to-back possessions and found Deverteuil and Carson for easy layups. Gould then found Carson for another layup.

Hill was again inbounding the ball and had the perfect pass to Deverteuil, which capped off a 10-2 run with all 10 points coming on uncontested layups for a 39-18 lead.

L-P junior Alex Lenkaitis hit a 3 for the Cavs, but moments later Tucker got the steal and the dunk before Hill hit a 3 to put the Pirates up 48-24 heading into the fourth quarter.

Tubbs continued his strong play with a quick move to the basket for the layup but things would start to get physical again with players getting tangled up and falling to the court.

The Cavs would get 3s from senior Jakob Kupperschmid and two from Bob Huber before the final buzzer sounded.

Tubbs led the way with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Ottawa was led by Carson with 15 and Deverteuil with 12.

Brad Martin Sr. can be reached at 220-6939 or at sports@newstrib.com.

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