By Kurt Ritzman
Assistant Sports Editor
The first time Northeast and Prince of Peace played this season in Big East Conference boys basketball, the Rebels cruised to a 30-point win.
Friday night’s contest was very different but still resulted in a Northeast win, this time 53-40.
“We were battling them harder for longer,” Prince of Peace coach Gerry Murphy said. “The first time we played them, the battle was over right before the first quarter. This time, we battled a lot longer.”
Prince of Peace (0-11, 0-9 conference) trailed by six early in the fourth quarter after a layup by Warren Lewis, but then the Rebels made their move. Matt Lorenzen made a 3-pointer to start a 12-5 run to end the game. The run included a dunk by Bo Lingle, who finished with a game-high 20 points.
“We stopped gambling (on defense),” Northeast coach Travis Eversmeyer said. “We had some breakdowns in our press. They were doing a nice job of breaking it. We went to straight man-to-man and said, ‘Hey, let’s lock this thing down and get a couple post touches on the other end for easy baskets. Then maybe we can coast home.’”
Lingle, a 6-foot, 5-inch senior, scored six of Northeast’s first seven points and added eight more in the third quarter. But he was saddled with foul trouble. When he was on the bench, Eversmeyer said the rest of the players did a little too much watching instead of being active.
Lingle went to the bench with his second foul early in the second quarter, and Prince of Peace cut the deficit to one on two occasions and had several chances to take the lead.
The Irish attacked the basket, which was something Murphy said he thought they needed to do, and drew a lot of fouls. Nine of their 13 second-quarter points came from the free-throw line.
Northeast (10-1, 8-1) got seven points in the second quarter from freshman Will Hasken, including a 3-pointer the first time Prince of Peace got within one.
“He doesn’t play like a freshman,” Eversmeyer said. “He’s going to be a great ballplayer. We’re excited that we’re going to have him for four years.”
Prince of Peace trailed 39-29 late in the third quarter when Laufenberg scored four points in a row.
Neither coach was pleased with the way the teams took care of the ball.
“We had way too many unforced turnovers,” Murphy said. “We had a lot of lost opportunities. The kids battled hard, but we can’t keep giving them the ball back.”
Eversmeyer said: “It was pretty sloppy. Prince of Peace executed their gameplan extremely well. That’s to be expected. I have a lot of respect for Gerry, and his kids play hard. ... We had way too many turnovers, and we’re going to have to clean that up.”
Murphy said the Irish were continuing to move in the right direction, especially being in a two-possession game in the fourth quarter against one of the conference’s top teams.
“There were signs of improvement,” he said. “I think our kids at some point are going to play a complete game, and that’s when we’ll get a win.”
NORTHEAST 53, PRINCE OF PEACE 40
NORTHEAST (10-1, 8-1) — Ben Hildebrandt 2 0-1 5, Damon Diedrich 2 0-0 4, Bo Lingle 7 6-7 20, Nick Wall 0 1-2 1, Will Hasken 3 2-4 9, Matt Lorenzen 2 1-2 6, Eli Kaczinski 1 0-0 2, Nick Anderson 0 0-0 0, Brendon Butler 1 0-0 2, Tyler Moothart 2 0-0 4, Kaylon Trenkamp 0 0-0 0, Matt Haferbier 0 0-0 0, Shawn Banowetz 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 10-16 53.
PRINCE OF PEACE (0-11, 0-9) — Quinton Schnier 2 2-2 6, Lucas Laufenberg 4 8-11 17, Warren Lewis 1 6-8 8, Caleb Kitteringham 1 1-2 3, Austyn Williams 0 0-0 0, Trent Hessing 0 0-0 0, Nic Roth 3 0-0 6. Totals 11 17-23 40.
Northeast 14 13 14 12 — 53
Prince of Peace 9 13 11 7 — 40
3-point goals — Northeast 3 (Hasken, Hildebrandt, Lorenzen); Prince of Peace 1 (Laufenberg). Total fouls — Northeast 15; Prince of Peace 12. Fouled out — none.