The shots don't drop for Lisle

 
By Phil Brozynski
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 12/22/2016 10:45 PM

Lisle had to shoot well and defend hard Thursday to have a shot at upsetting Plano.

But the more shots the Lions missed, the harder it got to stop the Reapers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The Interstate Eight Conference leaders got 23 points from senior guard Nathan Shead and 18 points, including four 3-pointers, off the bench from 6-foot-6 senior Anthony Martinez to whip the Lions 64-44 in Lisle.   

A 34-12 Plano run to close out the first half, including a 3-pointer by Brandon Contreras that beat the first-quarter horn and a driving basket by Shead to end the second, dashed any hope of a happy holiday for the hosts.

"Sometimes it's really hard when the ball's not going in for it not to affect your defensive effort," Lisle coach Mark LaScala said. "I think it did a little bit, and that was going to be a problem. They have a lot of offensive firepower. We knew that stopping them was going be a challenge.

"And we have some good shooters who didn't shoot well tonight," he added. "We had 10 3-pointers in our last game. Tonight, we had one. We had a lot of good looks that did not go in."

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Plano coach Kyle Kee was pleased to see Martinez break out of a recent shooting slump.  

"He should be a starter," Kee said. "He's been really struggling. He had a tough AP class and was really struggling with that. He completed it today. He's a great player when he hits those shots the way that he was tonight."

Lisle (4-7, 1-2) gave their home fans some momentary holiday cheer by mounting a 12-1 run to get within 56-41 with 3:57 remaining in the contest. Mark McGrath scored 8 of his team-high 17 points during the rally.

But a basket and two free throws by Elijah Maisonet, a pair of free throws by Shead and another bucket by Martinez quickly extinguished the comeback.

"Everything runs through Shead," LaScala said. "He's really good. I don't think it matters if we put one, two or three guys on him. They can spread you out and Shead is so good with the ball, they pose a real challenge.

"I thought we fought hard in the second half, but in order for us to be successful against that team we have to get some stops," the coach added. "We weren't able to do that."

Josh Jamison added 15 points including 10 in the second half for Lisle. Contreras contributed 10 points and 6-8 Jermaine Boyd added 14 rebounds for Plano (8-2, 3-0).

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