The Shenandoah boys’ basketball team put together their best half of basketball of the season to open their Friday night home showdown with the athletic and rangy Lewis Central Titans, taking a hard-fought 38-36 lead into the locker room.
Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the Titans came out of the break with another gear, pushing the action on offense and clamping down on D with a full-court press that made it difficult for the Shen boys to even break mid-court. Riding the 22-12 third quarter onslaught, the Titans pulled away down the stretch and took home a 78-60 win to deny the Shen boys a second win on the season.
After a fast and furious first that concluded with junior point guard Jackson Baker draining a jumper at the buzzer for a 23-17 lead, the Mustangs picked up where they left off in the second, sophomore Payden Anderson hitting a three-pointer minutes in to give them their biggest advantage at 29-19. But Lewis Central, a far better team than their 4-14 record would point to, charged back with a 14-9 run driven by the athletic talents of senior guard Alex Reed, who scored 10 of his game-high 27 points to cut the Shen lead to two and spur the Titans’ mojo heading into the second half.
Baker closed out the game on a jumper with one tick to go to total 16 points on the night, Anderson putting up a dozen in support before a hard fall knocked him out of the game midway through the final period. Freshman Makonn Anderson also notched double figures with 10 points and sophomore Michael Cisneros added eight, including back-to-back three-pointers that helped propel the Mustangs in their impressive first quarter run. Freshman Austin Fichter also had a solid game, icing free throws and putting up a three to finish with eight points, as well.
The loss dropped Shen to 1-15 overall and 0-9 in the Hawkeye 10 conference leading into a three-game road swing that included a Tuesday night trip to 11-6 Red Oak, 6-10 Clarinda on Friday and their final non-conference game of the season against Fremont-Mills Monday. The Mustangs then return home for senior night against on Feb. 5 before closing out their regular season calendar with a hike up to Carroll to take on the 10-7 Knights of Kuemper Catholic.