Lisle regains its confidence against Manteno
Swagger. Lisle rediscovered it Tuesday night.
The Lions boys basketball team forced Manteno into 19 turnovers, outrebounded the Panthers 40-28 and held them to 31 percent shooting from the floor.
Healthy for the first time this season and playing at home, Lisle won the Interstate Eight Conference contest 61-43.
Lisle (3-4, 1-1) had lacked Jay McGrath and Demetrius King the prior two games due to health reasons. Lisle lost both games but on Tuesday they rejoined 6-foot-5 point guard Connor Webb, guard Elisha Basnight and 6-5 Jakub Kowal in the starting lineup.
"I think us five, with Connor, Jay and me, Jakub and 'Demo,' we play hard together, we know what we can and can't do," said Basnight, who tied Webb with 16 points and grabbed 8 offensive rebounds, 12 overall.
"I think without Jay and Demo we kind of lost our swagger, as Coach (Mark LaScala) likes to say, and we just didn't click," the 6-2 senior said.
They clicked Tuesday, particularly after Manteno (5-2, 0-2) sat shooting guard Trevor Moisant with 2 second-quarter fouls. In the first quarter Moisant's three 3-pointers allowed the Panthers to stay within 13-9.
Without him Lisle sprung a 1-3-1 half-court trap and went on an 11-3 second quarter run. When Moisant returned he was met by Lisle's Connor Nigro and his ball-denial defense. The junior guard made just 1 more basket to lead Manteno with 11 points.
"They kind of took us out of our shooting game," said Panthers coach Zack Myers. "So far this year we've been shooting the ball pretty well and Coach LaScala definitely had a game plan to take us away from that."
Lisle led 26-17 at halftime and used steals by McGrath and King to go up by 15 points before Manteno pulled within 39-29 after three quarters.
After scoring the first 8 points of the fourth quarter Lisle's swagger really kicked in on King's defensive rebound and outlet pass to Webb for a two-handed dunk that pushed the score back to 49-34 with 3:14 left to play. The Lions eventually led 59-35.
"We still need to get a lot better in our offensive execution but today was a step forward," LaScala said.
Kowal scored 7 points with 10 rebounds and McGrath recorded 8 points, 5 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocked shots.
"I don't tend to think of myself as a scorer, but an all-around player," McGrath said. "I don't really look at points at the end of the game, I just look at more of a win or a loss."