In Lisle sophomore point guard Nick Massura, Lions coach Mark LaScala sees some of Coal City senior point guard Brennen Shetina.
Given that three-year starter Shetina scored 24 points in Coal City’s 54-41 Interstate Eight Conference victory Tuesday in Lisle, that bodes well for the future of Massura, who scored 9, all in the first half.
“Nick’s coming off his best game ever against Westmont Friday night,” LaScala said of a 17-point effort. “He’ll learn from playing against guys like that, for sure. There’s a learning curve, and Brennen Shetina went through it when he was a sophomore, and Nick’s going through it now.”
Coal City (15-6, 5-2) committed 7 turnovers in a first quarter Lisle (4-19, 2-6) led 16-12. Once the Coalers got that out of their system they kept the ball in the able hands of Shetina and returning all-conference center Nick Peters, who scored 13 points with 6 rebounds, 5 steals and 3 blocks.
“We turned the ball over more in the first half (10 times) than we had in the past few games,” said Coal City coach and 2004 graduate Brad Boresi. “I mean, we’re playing on the road, this isn’t the easiest of places to play, they’ve got some long, athletic guys. Once we settled down, took care of the ball, we did a much better job executing offensively.”
Lisle’s long athletic guys — namely 6-foot-7 Shane Murray and 6-6 Jeremy Glavanovits — each scored a pair of buckets in that first quarter along with 2 Massura 3-pointers against Coal City’s 1-2-2 zone.
After making 7 of 16 from the floor in those first eight minutes Lisle shot 31 percent the rest of the way with 11 turnovers.
“We just didn’t take care of the ball,” said Murray, who scored 8 points. “We didn’t really run our plays as a team, we were running too fast. We just need to slow down, work together and run our plays.”
Peters scored inside for a 21-19 Coal City lead with 3:29 left in the second quarter and the Coalers never trailed again. Lisle did finish strong in both the second and third quarters — down 26-24 and 37-30, respectively.
A 10-0 Coal City run in the fourth quarter, capped by Shetina’s press-breaking layup for a 49-34 lead with 2:08 to play, was the clincher.
“Shetina was outstanding tonight,” LaScala said. “They never looked like they were flustered. They never looked like they were out of sorts.”
That, of course, is where Lisle wants to be.
“I think in the first half we played pretty well. We were moving the ball, we were getting our options and we were getting after it, we really were. It’s just tough to see us only play half a game,” said Glavanovits, who led the Lions with 10 points and 8 rebounds.
“It’s tough. We’re all working hard, though, and trying to get there.”