DIXON — The Calloway County Lakers returned to action Monday afternoon with a visit to Dixon to face the Webster County Trojans.
The Lakers were looking to build on the momentum created by their thrilling last-second victory over Marshall County this past Friday night with a showdown with Murray High ahead of them later this week. Calloway Head Coach, Brad Cleaver looked on as his team shot only eight free-throws while the home-standing Trojans marched to the free-throw line for 30 attempts in a 71-64 Webster County victory.
After setting the nets on fire Friday night from behind the 3-point line, the Lakers struggled from the field for three quarters against Webster. Calloway mustered only two made 3-pointers as a team until Jackson Chapman drained the first of his four second-half threes with 30 seconds left in the third quarter. The Lakers finished the game with nine made threes and exploded for 26 fourth-quarter points.
Cleaver was excited about the grit his team showed as they battled from behind.
“We continue to show that we are capable of scoring in bunches,” Cleaver said. “We fought back tonight after being down 14 and were one stop away from a one-possession game late in the fourth.”
The fourth quarter opened with the Lakers trailing 49-38. Webster built its lead by shooting over 50% from the field. Destin Allen led the Trojans with 23 points while playing point-forward but it would be free-throw shooting by Allen and his Trojan teammates that would keep their lead from disappearing.
The Lakers forced a turnover on the Trojans’ first possession of the fourth quarter, then Matthew Ray knocked down the first of six Calloway 3-pointers in the final quarter. On the ensuing possession, Webster Head Coach Ryan Haile called a set play to get Ryan McNaughton the ball on the low block. The 6-4 McNaughton received the entry pass and forced his way to the rim with a powerful drop step. McNaughton missed the shot, but a whistle blew. The seemingly never-ending, fourth-quarter parade to the free-throw line had begun for Webster. The Trojans shot 21 free-throws in the fourth quarter and made 14 of them to preserve their lead.
Cleaver felt his team fought hard but just could not overcome the discrepancy in free-throw attempts.
“Webster shot 30 free throws to our 8,” Cleaver said. “That’s the difference in the ball game.
“These Lakers are fighters,” Cleaver continued. “I like our team!”
Laker senior forward, Evan Garrison scored 17 points to lead his team in scoring. Jackson Chapman hit four three-pointers and pumped in all 15 of his points in the second half while Matthew Ray finished with 10 points to round out the Lakers double-figure scorers for the game. Jarrett Darnell chipped in all eight of his points in the fourth quarter and Drew Hudgin also added eight points to the Lakers cause.
Next up for Calloway is the three-mile road trip to visit Murray High this Friday at 7:30 p.m.